Think about the grade of plywood for exterior uses

Modern laminating services are able to create a massive array of different products. For example, you could add laminate to plywood or composite boards to make furniture, decking, cladding, and more. In fact, you probably have something like this in or outside your own home.

If you do choose a product that is laminate over plywood, you need to think carefully about the specifications. There are actually three different classes of the wood. Some are suitable for exterior uses such as decking and outdoor furniture. Others are only for interior products. We want to have a closer look at this today.


Laminating servicesThe first type of plywood is Class I. It is generally the cheapest option. However, it is only suitable for dry interior use. The wood can absorb moisture, accelerating the wear and deterioration. Even a high quality laminate can’t provide enough protection to use this kind of wood outside.

Secondly, we have Class II. This type of plywood has more resistance to moisture. As a result, it is a good option for use in humid settings. It can also withstand occasional wetting. That means you could use it for some exterior products, but you must make sure they won’t get soaked and remain wet for long periods.

Finally, we have class III. Now we have a plywood that you can use for unprotected exterior products. It can withstand frequent wetting and exposure to a high amount of water, especially when you choose quality laminating services. So, it is the best choice for things like decking and furniture that won’t have any cover against rain.

Marine plywood

There is actually a type of plywood that is specifically for marine and boating applications. It typically has a higher number of plies (or veneers). These are the layers of wood within the material. More plies equals more resistance to water. Thick plywoods can have lots of them. For example, if you have a 27mm board there could be as many as 21 with a face and back veneer.

Typically marine plywood is also more reliable because it uses a waterproof adhesive. This means it has better resistance to moisture. It ultimately reduces the risk of issues like delamination and warping.

A rule of thumb

An important thing to keep in mind with any kind of plywood is more plies equals stronger materials. Let’s say you have two types, both 18mm. The first has 15 plies whereas the second only has 13. In this case, the former will be stronger.

However, there is a trade-off here. More plies typically means more costly. So, if you have the same two 18mm boards, the one with 15 will be more expensive. If you don’t need as much strength, you could save money by opting for the one with 13.

Do you need laminating services?

High quality laminate can make plywood useful for lots of different products. It can make them look like real timber but for a fraction of the price. They can also be light and durable. It is a green and sustainable option too.

If you want reliable laminating services, you should speak to us. We have plenty of experience as well as access to a massive selection of laminate. This even includes exterior ones.