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Water Proof Plywood FAQs | Guide for your furniture | Homeslibro

This article lists frequently asked questions related to waterproof plywood and provides the answers to them.


waterproof plywood

What is waterproof plywood?

Most types of wood eventually become damaged with prolonged exposure to water. However, good quality waterproof plywood is constructed in such a way that it offers a better degree of water resistance, compared to natural solid wood or commercial grade MR plywood. The reason for this is that a phenolic resin (which is a synthetic plastic resin) is used to bond all of the individual layers together. The use of such a synthetic plastic resin helps to make the plywood waterproof.



What is the Grade Used to Indicate Waterproof Ply?

The grading system may vary from country to country. In India, 'BWR grade' plywood means waterproof plywood.

BWR - 'Boiling Water Resistant'.

There is also another similar-sounding grade called BWP (Boiling waterproof) Which is commonly used to refer to blockboards. In waterproof plywood, the BWR grade is indicated on the plywood sheets.


Is waterproof plywood the same as Marine plywood?

No, waterproof plywood (BWR grade) is different from marine plywood. Marine plywood is specially made to resist prolonged exposure to water.

Quality testing for marine plywood involves placing a sample piece in boiling water for 72 hours and then checking its strength and other properties.

Marine plywood is more expensive than waterproofing and is used for marine applications such as building boats and ships. For making office or home furniture, Marine fly is usually overcooked, and good quality waterproof plywood serves the purpose in most cases.


Is it waterproof plywood exterior grade?

Yes. Plywood is classified as interior and exterior grade plywood. The interior standard is designed for indoor use, while the exterior is for outdoor use where the wood is exposed to natural weather elements (slight rain and sunlight).

In outdoor use, the choice of marine ply or waterproof is a case-by-case decision, depending on the intended use. (For the purpose of the roof, for example, marine plywood would be better).

In India, Commercial MR (moisture resistant) plywood is for indoor use while BWR standard can be used for outdoor. Different grade systems are in practice in other countries. E.g. In the United States, the codes 'INT' and 'EXT' are used to denote these grades.


What grading system was used to Indicate Waterproof Ply in the USA?

In the United States, the codes 'INT' and 'EXT' are used to Indicate Waterproof Ply.



What is the exact difference between Commercial MR grade and Waterproof BWR plywood?

MR stands for Moisture Resistance. This means that MR grade plywood can withstand a certain amount of moisture and humidity successfully. The important thing to note is that 'moisture resistance is not equivalent to 'water resistant' and therefore not MR grade waterproof plywood.


The key points for comparing MR and BWR plywood are listed in the table below.


BWR grade plywood

MR grade plywood

Boiling waterproof

Moisture resistant

Better strength and quality

Of slightly lesser quality



Phenol formaldehyde synthetic resin is used

Urea-formaldehyde resin is used for bonding the plies

Exterior grade for outdoor use

Interior grade for indoor use


Should waterproof plywood be used for home furniture?

Marine Plywood is better than waterproof BWR plywood and BWR is better than commercial MR plywood making it a thumb rule. Based on this, what kind of plywood we as customers choose depends on our scope of work and cost-effectiveness.

In our opinion, the use of waterproof plywood (BWR) is a good choice for furniture that is slightly exposed to water, for example, kitchen cabinets or other kitchen furniture. For other furniture that is dry (e.g. drawing room, bedroom furniture, partitions, wall panels, etc.) it is sufficient to use commercial MR grade plywood.

Another thing to consider is that all plywood used in furniture and home decor will in most cases be laminated, and the laminate surface coating helps to prevent water from reaching the core of the plywood, increasing the overall water-resistance of the finished material.

Also Read: What is a Laminate sheet? | Sizes | Thickness | Types | Manufacturing Process


Can Waterproof Plywood Be Used For Doors?

Instead of plywood, blockboard and flush doors are the preferred material for constructing doors. Flush doors consist of solid rectangular blocks of softwood covered on both faces by a thin layer of tile 2.5 mm thick. Flush doors are lighter in weight, cheaper and have less sagging and bending compared to plywood. People prefer waterproof (BWP grade) flush doors instead of waterproof (BWR) quality plywood for their doors.



What are the sizes and thicknesses in which waterproof plywood is available?

Waterproof plywood is available in all the standard sizes. The most common sizes are 8 feet by 4 feet sheets and thickness of 18 or 19mm. Read the related article on standard plywood sizes and thickness for more information about this.

Waterproof plywood is available in all standard sizes. The most common sizes are 8x4ft sheets and 12mm or 19mm thick.

For more information on this, read the corresponding article on standard plywood sizes and thicknesses.


Also Read: Woodworking Materials Guide for Beginners! | Woodworking Handbook

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