Plywood Sizes & Thickness: Essential Dimensions
Plywood is most often used as a wood packaging material for transporting products, other timber, etc. It can even be used in the production of crates, pallets, and skids. If you’re unsure about the plywood size needed for your upcoming project or if you’re not familiar with the available options, don’t worry. We’ll explore different sizes, thicknesses, and lengths to help you make a well-informed choice. Additionally, the specific type of plywood you require will be considered to ensure suitability for your project.

By the end of our discussion, you’ll have a clear understanding of plywood sizes, thickness, allowing you to proceed with your purchase confidently and start your project smoothly

Different plywood sizes
Different plywood sizes

How is Plywood made? 

Firstly, Plywood is made by peeling thin sheets of wood from a log, then gluing them together in layers with their grains perpendicular to one another. This cross-grain construction gives plywood its strength and durability. After the veneers have been peeled, they are sorted by size and quality. The veneers are then clipped into uniform widths and laid out in a sequence to form a panel.

The next step is to glue the veneers together using a hot press. The glue can vary depending on the intended use of the plywood and can use a cheaper, non-waterproof glue. The hot press applies heat and pressure to the veneers, bonding them together into a solid panel.

Once the plywood is bonded, it is trimmed to its final size and sanded to remove any rough spots. The final step is to grade the plywood based on its appearance and quality. The grading system varies depending on the location but generally, it ranges from A to D, with a being the highest quality and D being thow lowest.

Vinawood plywood
Vinawood plywood

Plywood Core Types

Not all plywood cores are identical. The plywood core, situated between the outer wood veneers, varies in composition.

Different types of plywood utilize distinct cores to manage costs, enhance strength, or improve flexibility, catering to specific project needs. Typically, a veneer core suffices for most projects and is readily available at most home improvement stores.

Regardless of the core type, these panels always feature an exterior wood veneer, creating the impression of a single solid wood sheet:

Veneer Core

This is the most common type of plywood core, which consists of thin sheets of wood (veneer) glued together at opposing wood-grain angles on the same plane for increased strength.

For high-end applications or projects that will leave the laminated edges exposed, look for Baltic B-birch plywood or hardwood veneer plywood.

Veneer core plywood commonly has either 5 or 7 sheets of veneer. For stronger sheets less resistant to bending and warping, purchase 7-ply sheets. Some sheets used in heavy-duty applications can have as many as 13 ply or more.

Lumber core

This consists of edge-glued strips of wood with a wood veneer. This results in a stronger product that resists deflection (doesn’t bend easily), which makes it great for long shelves. It is more expensive and can be hard to find.

> Read more: 9 Factors To Choose Laminated Veneer Lumber – VINAWOOD

MDF core

Not common for home construction, medium-density fiberboard (MDF) is commonly used in art projects and speaker boxes. It is heavy and has a uniform thickness, size, and appearance.

> Read more: MDF Vs Plywood: Is MDF Better Than Plywood? – VINAWOOD

Particleboard core

Particleboard is the least expensive plywood core. It isn’t very strong and is susceptible to water damage. It’s best for inexpensive furniture and projects where strength isn’t required.

> Read more: Particle board vs Plywood: Which Is The Best Choice For Your Needs?

Standard Sizes of Plywood

What size does plywood come in? The standard sheet of plywood measures 4 x 8 feet. However, it can come in a variety of different thicknesses, so not all standard plywood sizes are the exact same.

Common Plywood Dimensions

Plywood is most often sold in 4′ x 8′ sheets, but may also be available in 4′ x 10′, 4′ x 12′, or 2′ x 4′ sheets. Hardwood plywood (e.g. birch, maple, oak, cherry, etc.) is often available in 4′ x 8′, 5′ x 5′, and 2′ x 4′ sheets.

Softwood plywood may be thicker than hardwood plywood, due to the need for additional plies to lend stability and structure to the sheet.

MDF, or medium-density fiberboard, is another sheet good that is sold in 4′ x 8′ sheets. Usually, the actual dimensions of an MDF sheet are oversized by one inch, and the full sheet is typically 49″ x 97″.

You can use a plywood calculator to estimate the number of 4′ x 8′ sheets needed for a project.

Plywood is usually sold by the sheet, but in some rare cases, it may be sold by the board foot. Board footage is a measure of the volume of wood in the sheet, and to calculate it, you can use a board footage calculator or calculate the cubic inches and divide by 144.

One board foot is the measurement of 144 cubic inches, or 12″ long by 12″ wide by 1″ thick.

> Read more: What Should The Best Thickness For Plywood Subfloor Be?

Quality control processes are essential in plywood manufacturing.
Quality control processes are essential in plywood manufacturing.

Plywood sheets are economical for the pocket as they can be produced to precise dimensions as per the requirement. The commonly manufactured and sold plywood size in India is 2400 x 1200 mm (8’x4’). Other plywood sizes available are 6’x3’, 7’x3’, etc. These are also available in the market.

According to ‘Indian Standard, IS: 10701:2012’ (Structural Plywood — Specification) and ‘IS: 303:1989’ (Plywood for General Purposes Specification), here we have summed up some standard plywood sizes which are available in India in square feet as well as its corresponding value in mm.

  • 8′ x 4′ (ft) – 2400 x 1200 (mm)
  • 8′ x 3′ (ft) – 2400 x 900 (mm)
  • 7′ x 4′ (ft) – 2100 x 1200 (mm)
  • 7′ x 3′ (ft) – 2100 x 900 (mm)
  • 6′ x 4′ (ft) – 1800 x 1200 (mm)
  • 6′ x 3′ (ft) – 1800 x 900 (mm)

In other countries like USA, Canada, UK, etc. plywood is available in different sizes. According to the Canadian Wood Council, plywood is manufactured in prevailing sizes:

  • 8′ x 4′ (ft) – 2440 x 1220 (mm)
  • 9′ x 4′ (ft) – 2740 x 1220 (mm)
  • 10′ x 4′ (ft) –3050 x 1220 (mm)
  • 7.8′ x 4′ (ft) – 2400 x 1220 (mm)
  • 8.2′ x 4′ (ft) – 2500 x 1220 (mm)

> Read more: Laminate Flooring: Everything You Need to Know

Thickness of Plywood (Plywood thickness chart)

Plywood sheet goods are available in various thicknesses and sizes and are typically sold by their nominal thickness, as well as by the number of plies – 3 ply and 5 ply being common. While the length and width are often the actual dimensions, the nominal thickness is usually different from the actual thickness.

Nominal Actual
⅛ inch 7/64 inch
¼ inch 7/32 inch
3/7 inch 11/32 inch
½ inch 15/32 inch
⅝ inch 19/32 inch
¾ inch 23/32 inch
Plywood thickness
Plywood thickness

Size Tolerances

Plywood is often sold in 1/4“, 1/2“, or 3/4” nominal thicknesses, but the actual thickness is often 1/32” thinner. Because the actual thickness may vary, measuring the plywood sheet using a caliper is the only accurate way to determine its thickness.

  • A 3/4” sheet is actually 23/32” thick.
  • A 1/2” sheet is actually 15/32” thick.
  • A 1/4” sheet is actually 7/32” thick.

The exception to this rule is plywood sheets that are over an inch thick. 1-1/4″ and 1-1/8″ plywood sheets are generally true sizes and not nominal. This may vary by manufacturer, though, so always check if you need a precise size or measurement.

Keep in mind, that while many sheets of plywood are also sold by the number of plies, that veneers and plies can have different thicknesses as well, depending on the type of wood used. So, a 3 ply sheet – one of the most common – may measure 2mm or 3mm in thickness, depending on what wood was used in its manufacturing.

It is important to keep in mind, that regardless of the thickness of the sheet, that the more plies it has, the stronger it will be. Therefore, a multi-ply sheet with 9 plies that measures a nominal 3/4″, will be stronger than a sheet with 5 plies that also measures 3/4″.

For some applications, such as sheathing a roof, the 1/32” difference is not important, but for fine carpentry, it may be critical to get grooves and cuts to be precisely the thickness of the plywood.

For example, a groove for a cabinet door panel needs to be the exact thickness of the plywood, or the door will not be stable due to the loose fit of the parts, and it will likely rattle each time it’s opened or closed.

Precision is important for trim carpentry as well; when installing wainscoting panels, if a cut doesn’t match the exact plywood thickness the final result will have noticeable gaps.

Likewise, if you are using plywood as an underlayment, you often need precise measurements of the height of the finished surface. For example, a floor may need to meet up with another material in an adjacent room; you need to know the exact thickness of the underlayment and the material on top to match it with the next space.

> Read more: Plywood For Cabinets: Choosing The Right Grade And Thickness

Plywood Price

The following are prevailing price of MR grade plywood:

  • 4 mm Thick – Rs. 30 to 35 / sq.ft.
  • 6 mm Thick – Rs. 38 to 42 / sq.ft.
  • 9/10 mm Thick – Rs. 42 to 50 / sq.ft.
  • 12 mm Thick – Rs. 45 to 55 / sq.ft.
  • 18/19 mm Thick – Rs. 72 to 85 / sq.ft.
Vinawood factory
Vinawood factory

The following are prevailing price of BWR grade plywood:

  • 6 mm Thick – Rs. 32 to 35 / sq.ft.
  • 9/10 mm Thick – Rs. 45 to 50 / sq.ft.
  • 12 mm Thick – Rs. 55 to 70 / sq.ft.
  • 18/19 mm Thick– Rs. 75 to 85 / sq.ft.
  • 25 mm Thick – Rs. 80 to 95 / sq.ft.

The following are prevailing price of BWP grade plywood:

  • 4 mm Thick – Rs. 30 to 35 / sq.ft.
  • 6 mm Thick – Rs. 40 to 45 / sq.ft.
  • 9/10 mm Thick – Rs. 55 to 60 / sq.ft.
  • 12 mm Thick – Rs. 60 to 80 / sq.ft.
  • 18/19 mm Thick – Rs. 85 to 110 / sq.ft.

The following are prevailing price of flexible plywood:

  • 4 mm Thick – Rs. 40 to 45 / sq.ft.
  • 6 mm Thick – Rs. 40 to 50 / sq.ft.
  • 9/10 mm Thick – Rs. 45 to 50 / sq.ft.
  • 12 mm Thick – Rs. 50 to 60 / sq.ft.

The following are prevailing price of fire-resistant plywood:

  • 4 mm Thick – Rs. 45 to 50 / sq.ft.
  • 6 mm Thick – Rs. 55 to 60 / sq.ft.
  • 9/10 mm Thick – Rs. 60 to 75 / sq.ft.
  • 18/19 mm Thick – Rs. 120 to 135 / sq.ft.
  • 25 mm Thick – Rs. 165 to 175 / sq.ft.

The following are prevailing price of shuttering plywood:

  • 6 mm Thick – Rs. 25 to 30 / sq.ft.
  • 9/10 mm Thick – Rs. 40 to 45 / sq.ft.
  • 12 mm Thick – Rs. 45 to 55 / sq.ft.
  • 18/19 mm Thick – Rs. 60 to 70 / sq.ft.

Why is a 3/4” Sheet of Plywood Less Than 3/4” Thick?

The actual thickness of a 3/4” sheet of plywood is less than 3/4” due to several reasons. Firstly, wood naturally shrinks as it dries and loses moisture, which can cause a slight reduction in thickness. Additionally, the glue used to bond the plywood sheets together can swell the wood slightly during manufacturing, but this excess thickness is lost as the glue dries.

Furthermore, plywood sheets can be sanded down for a smoother finish, which also removes a small amount of thickness. Manufacturing tolerances can also lead to variations in thickness, with different grades of plywood having different acceptable tolerances.

Overall, plywood is typically thinner than its nominal measurement, with a 3/4” sheet often measuring closer to 23/32” (18 mm). This practice is common in the industry to ensure that the plywood can fit into tools and assemblies designed for slightly thinner materials.

Measuring plywood
Measuring plywoo

Conclusion

Plywood dimensions vary depending on factors such as wood type, grade, and intended use. Your specific requirements will dictate the most suitable plywood sizes for your business and supply chain, taking into account the inherent thickness loss during manufacturing.

Plywood is just one aspect of the broader picture of product distribution. With over four decades of expertise, Conner Industries stands as a premier supplier in the packaging sector. We offer both standard and customized pallets across various industries, alongside crates and integrated industrial packaging solutions.

Partner with a supplier capable of optimizing your transportation packaging. Connect with our team of knowledgeable professionals to explore how we can assist you today!

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