Building Homes or Extensions/Plywood


I have a question about plywood, I would appreciate your expertise.

The recommended selection of plywood where the appearance of one side is important for interior applications such as built-ins and cabinets is:

A-A, group 1, exposure 1 plywood
A-D, group 2, exposure 2 plywood
M,D overlay, group 1, exterior plywood
Decorative, group 2, interior plywood

Which is the better choice, and why?

Thank you

Hi Tracy, if one side of the plywood will not be exposed then A/D is a good choice because it only has one finished side and is about 25% cheaper.  If both sides will be seen then AA, MDO, or Decorative group (which can come in a variety of wood grains).. Each has its own characteristics and price.  MDO  can be painted but is difficult to stain unless it comes with a stainable veneer or you use a solid body stain.  MDO is like a dense particle board and can take a nice router edge.  AA has a finished side on both sides, can take a nice router edge, but may have some voids in the laminations that will need to be filled with wood putty prior to staining...Decorative grade is similar to AA with similar characteristics, has a broader wood grain selection and generally costs more.

If I am building a set of standard grade plywood cabinets I will use an AA or AB plywood with an oak or maple veneer. To keep costs down your cabinet backs and bases can be like a BC with the B side exposed.  And the doors and stiles either hardwood or AA plywood or a combination of both. I guess it all boils down to how much you want to spend and what you expect the finish result to be.  


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Bruce E. Johnson


I can answer any construction related question in regards to carpentry, concrete, drywall, masonry, structural elements of any type of building, residential or commercial. Interior or exterior.


Custom Commercial and residential buildings. Churches, theaters, schools and auditoriums. Most recently I am working with the Catholic Church on several design build committees. I have a website related to scheduling and project supervision. Although my expertise is more related to multimillion dollar commercial, educational and theatrical projects my generous credentials in residential and remodelling construction make me a viable source of information regarding all forms of building questions.

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