Decorative finishing plywood – a new word in the interior

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Plywood is a well-known and widely used material. Its operational properties are well known to everyone who at least once has been independently repairing housing or furniture. From this article you will learn about the new qualities and characteristics of this material – finishing plywood.

Finishing plywood - a new word in the interior

Despite the well-established image of a technical structural material, plywood is becoming more and more in demand for finishing and creating unique interiors, while maintaining its reliability and ease of processing. This became possible thanks to the creation of a new grade – finishing plywood.


Finishing plywood consists of three layers – structural, decorative and protective.

Constructive layer.This is a board formed by multi-layer gluing of wood sheets. Such sheets with a thickness of 0.5 to 3 mm are called veneer, they are obtained by cutting timber (logs). Then the individual sheets are glued together with epoxy adhesives (based on resins), alternating the direction of the fibers.

Plywood production video

Decorative layer.Edge sheets of veneer on one or both sides, made of valuable or simply beautiful wood species. It can also be selected (without defects) veneer of the material of the structural part. In most cases, it is made of oak, hornbeam, beech and other hard and resistant species. The decor can include structuring – furrows imitating the structure, staining, tinting, brand (burning of a picture, letters).

Finishing plywood - a new word in the interior

Protective layer.Essential to protect against dirt, abrasion and moisture. It is applied in two ways, depending on the purpose of the product..

Varnishing. It is used to protect the natural wood finishing layer. Alkyd and water-soluble (yacht) varnishes are used for coating. Often, products are supplied rough or clean-sanded for fitting, finishing and varnishing on site. This option is popular when creating unique interiors and decorating fireplaces, offices, vertical and horizontal panels..

Lamination. There are two types – constructive and decorative:

  1. Constructive. To the constructive base (“rough plywood”), a polymer layer of 1-3 mm is glued, or rather welded, using the factory thermal method. It serves both as decoration and protection, and allows you to apply additional finishing layers – tiles, plastic, etc. The polymer itself gives strength and durability to the plywood board.

Finishing plywood - a new word in the interior

  1. Decorative. Sheets are pasted over with moisture-proof film or thin polymer panels with heat-shrinkable glue. Easily “transforms” structural plywood into any kind of wood. Scope – finishing panels and boards, consumer furniture.

Finishing plywood - a new word in the interior

A subtype of film faced plywood – formwork, has a safety class E4 and is used only for concrete formwork.

Classification of finishing plywood by raw material

According to the type of raw materials used, finishing plywood is divided into two types, which have generalized names:

  1. “Birch”. For the production used veneer of birch, poplar and other “white” hardwoods. Such wood has greater structural strength than coniferous wood, but is more susceptible to shrinkage and moisture saturation, soaking. Used as a basis for parquet boards, furniture boards, interior decoration. “Birch” finishing plywood is widely used in the manufacture of furniture.
  2. “Coniferous”. The layers are created from any coniferous wood. A distinctive feature is the saturation of the fibers with natural resin. This gives better (than birch) resistance to moisture, shrinkage and corrosion. Allows to reduce the amount of glue. It is used for exterior decoration and cladding of rooms with a drop in humidity – vestibules, verandas.
  3. “Mixed”. Both types of raw materials are used – the properties are averaged, and technical indicators are achieved by additives to the glue and impregnations.

Finishing plywood - a new word in the interior

Application area and safety class

Safety is the main requirement of the modern building materials market. The safety class is designated by the letter E and a number characterizing the emission of harmful substances. For plywood, these are phenol, formaldehyde, phenol-formaldehyde and ammonia – decomposition products of epoxy adhesive for layers.

In the European classification, there are 5 safety classes for the emission of harmful substances – from E4 to E1 and Super E. For interior finishing materials, only the last two classes are applicable – E1 and Super E. This indicator limits and specifies the scope of products from finishing and structural plywood:

  1. Super E and E1 class. Children’s and hospital furniture, decoration of premises associated with a long stay of children and patients.
  2. Class from E1 to E2. For residential buildings, animal nurseries and food warehouses. Part of the structure of the boards of the walls of the house, floors, roofs, ceilings, partitions.
  3. Class from E2 to E3. For public needs. Public buildings furniture, sports equipment, MAF *.
  4. Class from E3 to E4. For industrial needs. It is used to make technical furniture (workbenches), industrial parts, elements of mobile vehicles and machine tools, containers and packaging..

* MAF – small architectural forms. Benches, sandboxes, slides, gazebos, etc..

Separately, it is worth highlighting veneer, which is part of the plywood, but does not have a place in the certification for toxins, since it consists of pure wood. Read more about safety classes in our article.

Finishing plywood products

Sheet.All types described in this article can be purchased as an uncut sheet. Dimensions by area:

  • 1525×1525 mm (2.32 m2)
  • 2440×1220 mm (2.97 m2)
  • 2500×1250 mm (3.125 m2)
  • 2800×2070 mm (5.796 m2)

Sheet thickness:

  • 4–8 mm (1525×1525 mm)
  • 8-16 mm (1525×1525 mm, 2440×1220 mm)
  • 16–32 mm (any size available)
  • more than 32 mm (any size to order)

Parquet board.The most common plywood joinery. Reliable and durable floor covering similar to parquet. Many times cheaper than a natural prototype due to the replacement of solid wood with plywood. It is produced in the form of finished panels (width 100–250 mm, length 1200–1800 mm) with locks along the perimeter. Completely ready for installation and operation.

Finishing plywood - a new word in the interior

Furniture.Kitchen and cabinet furniture imitating natural wood. Usually these are facades of kitchen and office sets, decorative inserts. Recreation or imitation of antique furniture, fireplaces. Usually this is a “custom” work – cutting is done in the workshop. Finishing – in the workshop or on site.

Wall panels.Luxurious decoration of antique or modern wooden interiors, walls, ceilings. When covering large areas, plywood sheets of a given size are faced with a lock like on a parquet board.

As with any composite material, finishing plywood helps achieve several goals. First of all, this is saving personal funds, since products made from it are much cheaper than from living wood, and they look completely indistinguishable. Up to 80% of natural material has been replaced in such products. Secondly, such products are much more resistant to moisture and are not interesting to insects. Thirdly, the colossal saving of natural resources – valuable and rare species of wood, because it is the respect for nature that makes a person – a Person.

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