Tips on Choosing Plywood

Tips on Choosing Plywood

December 9, 2021

Is it your first time buying plywood? Know that plywood is a type of engineered wood product with many uses. Plywood comes in many shapes and sizes. Choosing plywood can be difficult if you don’t know what you’re looking for.


Make sure you pay attention to the following things because it is very important to know what affects the quality of the plywood that you buy.


Prior to purchasing plywood, it is best that you pay more attention to several points above. In addition, always make sure that the plywood you buy has a high quality with international standard qualification and safety for health. Avoid plywood or any wooden products that contain a high formaldehyde since the long exposure to it can lead to severe health problems.


Wood Material.

Learn more about the materials of your plywood and where they come from, so that it meets your needs.

Choose the best wood material. Kayu Lapis Indonesia uses Shorea (Meranti) which has a higher density, resulting in a stronger product. Ensure that the plywood is made from wood with FSC®️ and SVLK certifications.


The Glue That is Used

It’s very important to check how much formaldehyde content is used in the plywood products that you buy since the wood glue contains formaldehyde.


Have you ever felt your eyes hurting while being near plywood products? 

That was probably due to the high formaldehyde content in wood glue.

Every plywood and other wooden products should be marked with their Formaldehyde Emission Grade.

We are the only company that uses ULEF (Ultra-Low Emitting Formaldehyde) standard wood glue in Indonesia.


In Indonesia, regulations on this particular issue have not been properly adopted. But, it is a different case abroad as the level of formaldehyde in glue components is more strictly regulated.

In the USA, for example, there is the Ultra-Low Emitting Formaldehyde (ULEF) standard released by California Air Resources Board (CARB), which is considered as the highest degree of standardisation. In Indonesia, only Kayu Lapis Indonesia holds the certificate. As a result, the plywood products that we produce won’t induce sore eyes.

There are different standardised methods that are used in formaldehyde determination.

Japan has one of the strictest Formaldehyde Emission standards in the world, called JAS JPIC Standard.

CARB (California Air Resources Board) has set the limits of formaldehyde emissions as well.

They even regulate the highest standard called Ultra-Low Emitting Formaldehyde (ULEF), which we use on our plywood too.


Long exposure to high levels of formaldehyde can lead to severe health problems. 

Formaldehyde is a colorless gas which is hazardous to health. So, every plywood and other wooden products should be marked with their Formaldehyde Emission Grade.

The glue plant at Kayu Lapis Indonesia has an additional advantage of being the first in Indonesia with ULEF (Ultra-Low emitting Formaldehyde) certification. It also has JAS JPIC standard with F4 Star rate, which means our plywood has the lowest Formaldehyde Emission value (0.3 mg/liter)


Veneer Composition 

Veneer composition also affects the quality of plywood. The more layers used in the composition, the better the strength will be.


Display of Plywood

Make sure the plywood you are using meets the IHPA (International Hardwood Plywood Association) standards. 



Make sure that the wood doesn’t provide unpleasant odor since it indicates a high and dangerous formaldehyde content in it.   


Different plywood types also have different uses. Some are good for indoor furniture, while some others are better for construction. These are some of them and their purposes.


Softwood plywood

As the name suggests, softwood plywood is a type of plywood created using softwood, like pine and redwood. 

Although the word “soft” implies weakness, this type of plywood is excellent for exterior uses, such as exterior frame and roof sheathing.


Hardwood plywood

This plywood is created using hardwood, like oak and birch. They are a strong and durable type of wood.

Choosing plywood like this is essential if you are making furniture, musical instruments, and other items that need a strong frame.

Structural plywood

If you are in need of strength but with limited budget, choosing structural plywood is a very good choice. 

Structural plywood is not known for its beauty, but its strength is amazing and its price is cheap. It is often used as a building material due to its durability as a frame. 

Despite structural plywood’s strength, it is not weather resistant, so make sure that the plywood is covered by other materials like waterproof paint.


Exterior plywood

For exterior use, choosing plywood like this is your best choice. Looking by the name, exterior plywood is specialized for exterior use.

Exterior plywood also has some strength to back up its weather-resistant property. The price is higher though, so put some consideration when choosing this plywood.


Marine plywood

High quality and strong. If that is what you desire, then marine plywood is the best choice. High-grade wood combined with water resistant glue create a type of plywood that is very durable for outside use.

Choosing marine plywood is imperative for creating exterior items and structures, such as benches or docks, where they will be subjected to the elements.


Now you know to buy the proper plywood in the correct situation. Kayu Lapis Indonesia offers plywoods for general or specific needs. You can trust Kayu Lapis Indonesia to give you the quality product you need.