Selecting The Best Moisture-Resistant Plywood Option

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Plywood is one of the most frequently utilized building materials available today. It can be found in cabinets, furniture, walls, sub floors, and ceilings, as well as in a variety of outdoor spaces.

The quality of plywood you use can make or break the success, look and longevity of any project.

Selecting The Best Moisture-Resistant Plywood Option header

Like all wood, most ordinary plywood is susceptible to moisture and humidity levels in the air. And while this may not affect every use the product is put to, there are many applications where a moisture resistant plywood will provide better results.

Why Moisture Resistant Plywood Is Important

Plywood is made up of varying layers or plies of wood, usually with a hardwood or veneer top surface. These layers help give the material its strength, and ensure that it remains stable enough to be used for many different purposes, from creating a roof deck to building cabinets.

But like all wood, each layer of the plywood can absorb moisture, whether from direct contact or through humidity in the air. And when the wood absorbs the moisture, it can expand, then shrink again once it dries.

This type of expansion and contraction may have little effect on some areas beyond the need for an expansion joint to absorb some of the movement, but in the case of specialty items like cabinets or furniture where tight tolerances are required, too much expansion and contraction over time can lead to warping of the finished piece.

In addition, traditional plywood is often made using an adhesive made from urea-formaldehyde, which bonds the different plies together. Formaldehyde is sensitive to moisture and can degrade over time if subjected to enough water or high humidity levels. This can cause the plies to delaminate or to begin to pull apart from one another – not something that you want to happen to the products you build.

By using moisture resistant plywood, you hinder the expansion and contraction process and you prevent this degradation from occurring between the layers. There is no need to account for an expansion joint and no worry about warping over time. In addition, it means that the plywood can now be used in areas where higher levels of moisture and humidity are found, such as the bathroom or below grade, where traditional types of plywood cannot be used.

PureBond Hardwood Plywood

PureBond Hardwood plywood from Columbia Forest Products answers the need for a moisture resistant plywood that also provides a smooth, hardwood veneer and a formaldehyde-free adhesive.

In addition to the soy flour-based adhesives that go into the manufacturing of each PureBond product, the material also uses a wet strength resin that’s used on things like milk cartons and printed currency. The result is a plywood that is more moisture resistant than traditional, urea-formaldehyde (UF) bonded panels.

In tests, PureBond Hardwood plywood outperformed UF bonded panels in moisture degradation. Meaning that the material won’t delaminate or degrade upon exposure to moisture the way that other plywood products may.

Get a Better Plywood

You take pride in your work, so make sure that the plywood you use will ensure that your products hold up well year after year regardless of the moisture they may encounter. Invest in moisture resistant plywood like PureBond Hardwood plywood to help protect your finished products from warping or degradation over time. Use a better quality plywood to build a better quality product and grow your business more effectively.  

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