Plyco Blog

The Plyco plywood and veneer blog provides product information, practical tips, and project inspiration for completing DIY, architectural & professional projects. Expert plywood product tutorials and catalogue updates will have you completing your project in no time.

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The Plyco Guide to Plywood

Plywood. We live and breathe it here at Plyco. It’s in our blood, our DNA, and our very soul. While other stores may dabble in Plywood products, we’ve devoted ourselves to this beautiful wood product. To put it simply; we are Plywood.

Not only do we stock and sell loads of different types of Plywood, but we offer so many more services and resources to give our loyal customers the best possible experience. Whether it’s our cut-to-size service, Australia-wide shipping, online store, or our informative and tutorial blog posts, we’re not just about supplying Plywood. The goal at Plyco is to be your one-stop shop for EVERYTHING Plywood.

When you step into a Plyco store we not only want to be able to sell you the vital resources you need to complete your job, but we also want to make sure that even the earliest beginner, DIY, or weekend warrior can walk away having just as much confidence in the Plywood they’ve selected as a decades-long woodworking veteran would be able to.

Here you’ll find a hub containing information about how plywood is sourced, the processes involved in getting it to a manufacturing plant, and how that manufacturing works! Every detail of the plywood journey is detailed here, and we’ve even given you a peek into how Plyco’s own on-site manufacturing plant works and what creative creations come out of it.


Here’s what we’ll cover:

What is Plywood?

So, what is Plywood? “A type of timber” is an answer you’d probably get from most people, but what is it really? What makes plywood, plywood? What separates it from other wood and timber products? Most importantly, why is it the perfect choice for your next project?

Besides being one of the most popular wood products in the world, Plywood is a sheet material that is brought to life by combining layers of wood veneer, which are then glued together. It’s also incredibly notable for being able to resist splitting, minimising expansion and shrinkage and being incredibly stable compared to a lot of its other competitors.

Believe it or not, Plywood has actually been around since 1797.

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How is Plywood Made?

The manufacturing process for how plywood is made has changed and become more advanced since Samuel Bentham started combining layers of wood veneer with glue, but overall, the theory of creating Plywood is still mostly the same despite being around for over two centuries!

From being selected on the plantation, to the Plywood mill where the wood is debarked, peeled, and then heated to extreme temperatures, Plyco will walk you through every step of the Plywood process until our beautiful Ply is in your very own hands.

How Plywood is made is actually an extremely unique and interesting process, so we hope by peeling the curtain back you’re able to learn a thing or two and feel like a true expert on the product during your next project.

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What is Plywood Used For?

Here at Plyco, we’re often asked: “what is Plywood used for?” This is a great question to ask, especially for someone who’s just starting out with woodworking or someone who is unfamiliar with Plywood in general. Our general, go-to answer for this is “what isn’t Plywood used for!”

Seriously, the range of applications for the various types of Plywood we stock is absolutely outrageous, and we’re constantly blown away by some of the stuff our customers create. As you can imagine you see a lot of traditional projects in construction and building, as well as areas like cabinetry, boat building, shop fitting and furniture making. However, where we usually see some outrageous creativity is with our Laserply range. Laser Plywood is so versatile, yet we’re still shocked when we see that someone has used our products to make clocks, coasters, book covers, fashionable jewellery, trendy handbags, or even lanterns!

From wardrobes and kitchen benchtops to trophies and caravans, the uses for Plyco’s Plywood sheets are limited only by your imagination.

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What are the Different Types of Plywood?

Plyco prides itself on being the one-stop shop for all your Plywood needs, and when we say that we really mean it. Plywood is such a diverse and complex range of wood products, which means the types of Plywood we carry are also diverse and complex.

Our go-to option for your regular Plywood needs is Plyco’s Premium Birch Plywood. This is the leading option when it comes to architectural and joinery applications, taking a combination of strength and aesthetic beauty to create the industry standard. If you’re looking for a construction plywood that is primarily focused on strength though, our CD Structural Plywood range might be better suited for you.

Additionally, we also have a range of laminated plywood architectural products such as our Strataply, Laminato, Decoply and Spotless ranges. These Plywood laminates are great choices when you’re making kitchen counters or bench tops, or anything that needs a splash of elegance and class.

Last, but not least, is our extensive range of Laser Plywood products which have been specifically designed to work wonderfully with laser cutting and engraving.

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Which Plywood Thickness Should I Use?

Choosing the correct thickness for your upcoming project can be daunting, especially if you’re not a hardened tradie. Thankfully, the team here at Plyco have put together a handy guide to help you select the right thickness every single time!

Whether it’s getting the perfect thickness for your cabinetry and furniture so they’re both sturdy and fit wherever they’re being installed, or building Plywood walls, Plyco can guide you to safety and ensure you end up with an end result that you’re happy with.

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What Size Plywood Should I Use?

Another tricky question if you’re just beginning to dip your toes into the world of Plywood woodworking is the best Plywood sizes to buy. Some general rules to follow before you pick your plywood size and thickness include knowing what kinds of cuts you’ll be making to the Plywood sheet and making sure you’ve done your measurements. Having these two factors planned out in advance means you’ll be able to do the quick math and easily recognise whether you’ll have enough Plywood to complete your work. 

Additionally, it’s also good to ask yourself if you’ll need your sheet cut to size. Here at Plyco we offer a cut to size service for all of our products, so using this can potentially save a lot of time, money and headaches.

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What Grade of Plywood Should I Use?

Generally, the biggest decision you’ll make when it comes to choosing Plywood grades is whether you’ll use Structural or Non-Structural grade Plywood.

The big difference between these two grades of Plywood is that Structural Plywood is legally classified and rated for structural purposes due to its use of either an A-Bond glue or a B-Bond glue. This glue resists being weakened due to environmental factors like rapid change of temperature and ensures that its integrity won’t be compromised.

Similarly, the faces of all our Plywood sheets have grades for their aesthetic quality. Some sheets, such as our Hoop Pine AA Marine Plywood, has an A-Grade face on both sides, while other sheets will have a combination of an A and a lower grade on the back. You’ll also find other options that have lower grades on both sides, which are a cheaper and perfect option for jobs that don’t require an aesthetic look.

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Bunnings Plywood Alternatives

There are many places to purchase Plywood, but if you’re looking for the best combination on variety, quality, service and price, you'll find that Plyco is the undisputed home for Plywood. The most obvious alternative to buying Plywood from Plyco is Bunnings. Most people have a Bunnings store near them, making it a convenient option. But as the home of Plywood experts, whether it's a simple DIY job or a huge commercial project, Plyco is the plywood supplier you want to trust with your project!

Whether you’re looking for Plywood in Melbourne, Plywood in Sydney, Plywood in Brisbane or anywhere around the country, our online store and Australia wide Plywood delivery has you covered! For additional convenience, click & collect is always an option for our customers located near our Victorian showrooms.

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What Plywood Edging Should I Use?

Plyco offers three distinct types of edging to try and satisfy your every possible need. Our Veneered Edging is available in three different roll dimensions and comes in unglued or pre-glued varieties. However, the best part about our Veneered Plywood Edging is that it’s available in so many different veneers! We have 17 stock veneers on hand, and as always if there’s a commercially available veneer that you specifically want but we don’t stock it, we’ll source it for you.

We also offer PVC and Melamine, both of which come in black and white colour options and multiple roll dimensions, as well as the pre-glued or unglued options. If you’re looking for something that’s extremely durable and able to withstand constant wear and tear while resisting stains, our Melamine Edging is the way to go.  

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What Types of Plywood Textures are There?

Our Plywood textures can be sorted into two different categories; wood grain and laminated.

Our wood grain products, like our Premium Birch Plywood or Hoop Pine Plywood, keep that natural, earthy feel. When you run your hands across it you really feel that the finish has a deep connection with the tree it came from. Some of these products are extremely smooth to touch, but no matter what you’ll always get that slight hint of touching an actual tree.

On the flip side, our laminated products are as smooth as butter. Products like our Spotless and Decoply are sleek and designed as architectural plywood products that are extremely pleasing to the eye. While we do have laminated products with wood grain finishes, such as the Wood Grain selections of our Decoply range, these products still have that classic smooth finish and feel.

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Creative Uses For Plywood

If you do a little digging and research you’ll quickly find that plywood is one extremely versatile resource. It doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone when you mention some of the more standard uses for plywood; cabinet making, joinery, shop fitting, flooring, and the like. However, what if we told you an entire skyscraper is being built out of plywood? You probably wouldn’t believe us, right? Well, it’s an actual real thing being built in Japan!

You probably also didn’t know that plywood cars have been built before, as well as planes, torpedos, and even dentures of all things. It really goes to show that plywood is one of the most unique products on this planet.

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Guide to Plywood Flooring

Plywood is quite commonly utilised as an option when it comes to flooring. Because of its popularity, Plyco stocks two different styles of Plywood specifically for use as flooring. We have our Particle Board Flooring, which is obviously made from Particle Board. We also have our Plywood Flooring that Plyco’s iconic Birch Plywood for the substrate.

One of the most unique and arguably best features about these two products is that they feature what we’ve dubbed the “tongue & groove”. Every sheet has machine-grooved edges that are fitted with colour-coded PVC tongues, which fit together seamlessly and offer unparalleled strength and support.

If you’re looking for a strong Plywood Flooring option that will give you a perfect tight fit every time, Plyco should be your first option.

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Brandon Marlow
Brandon Marlow
Brandon is the Woodworking Wordsmith and Social Media Sage at Plyco HQ. Crafting copy for customer tutorials, inspiration and advice, Brandon builds and maintains Plyco's plywood knowledge base.

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