What is Birch plywood?

What in the world is Birch plywood?

If you’re just starting out on finding the perfect plywood, it can get overwhelming with the sheer amount of plywood circulating the market. Two plywood boards can usually differ from just about everything, which is why you see so many ways that people classify plywood. Most commonly, though, you’ll just find plywood being organized into categories based on either wood species, face veneer, characteristics or even the type of the glue used. However, whenever the topic of plywood comes up during a conversation (which is probably never), there is a very high chance you would come across this word, Birch plywood. Now you might ask, “what is that?”, and I’d say “I can’t hear you, this is prewritten”. Jokes aside, Birch plywood is currently one of the most popular furniture boards out there, used and loved by architects, interior designers, woodworkers and DIY enthusiasts everywhere. Let me show you why.

Now, there are a lot of Birch plywood out there, but the two most common types you’re likely to come across are either a hardwood core plywood with thin decorative Birch face and back veneers or pure Birch plywood. Pure Birch plywood is fully made of Birch veneers, with the core veneers arranged cross-banded, which means the direction of the wood grain from each layer is perpendicular to the next. Moreover, Birch is a very durable species, between this and the cross-banding, you can be sure Birch plywood has the strength and the stability to meet every single of your requirements. As you might have guessed, this makes the full-Birch plywood the more desired material. Which also means it is significantly more expensive and much harder to come by. The alternative to this would be hardwood Birch plywood, while less sturdy compared to pure Birch plywood, the decorative layers can still give it the distinctive Birch look without costing as much. Although it can’t compete against Birch, the hardwood core layers are still arranged in a cross-banding fashion; and can still be manufactured with various types of waterproof glue. This means they still has Birch’s characteristics, although just not as good.

One thing to note when trying to get your hands on some Birch plywood, however. Birch plywood used to be one of the most accessible and the best value furniture plywood in terms of affordability and quality. Until recently, that is. See, if you have heard about Birch plywood, you might have also heard about these terms: Baltic Birch or Russian Birch. That’s because these places are where Birch trees come from (most of them, anyway). Since there is little export coming out of Russia at the moment (for obvious reasons) and the Baltic countries barely keeping up with demand; we don’t have much Birch to work with right now. Which means less Birch plywood and higher prices, especially for pure Birch plywood.

Now that we’ve gone over both of the common types of Birch plywood, how can we decide which one is better? Since they both have their pros and cons, it’s difficult to pick out the definite winner. It’s all going to come down to what you need. If you need to build something strong and sturdy, go with pure Birch. If you’re on a budget and still want something that looks nice, just get hardwood Birch. Or if being waterproof is more of a priority for you, maybe get marine plywood instead.

 If all this sounds like a headache, that’s because it is. Luckily for you, we’re here to help. There is no single “best” plywood, only one that best suits your needs, and we can help you find it. If you ever find yourself in need of some high quality plywood, be it Birch or anything else, pay our website a visit.

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