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Properties of Birch-Faced Plywood

Updated February 21, 2017

Birch faced plywood is used in many applications, including wall and floor coverings, furniture manufacturing, musical instruments, wood working and playground equipment. The sturdiness of birch-faced plywood makes it a long-lasting alternative to many applications where standard plywood could be used. There are certain properties that make birch-faced plywood strong enough for high-quality applications.

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To make birch-faced plywood, three or more thin layers of birch wood are bonded together with a strong adhesive. To reduce the shrinkage of the plywood and increase the finished plywood's strength, each layer of the birch wood is oriented with the grains running alternate to the piece below it.


Due to the way that birch-faced plywood is manufactured, it is considered strong and stable, lending to its durability. The inner layers of the plywood are free of voids, or small holes, which decrease the chances of a nail or screw going off centre when you are working with it. Additionally, birch-faced plywood has a good surface hardness that resists wear and tear to a good degree. Sudden impacts to the plywood do not seem to impart much harm to the wood.


Birch-faced plywood is relatively lightweight, making it easy to work with in a variety of applications. Available in thicknesses ranging from ¼ inch to 1-½ inches, the pieces can easily be handled on site to build cabinets, wall partitions or floor coverings. In addition, the birch-faced plywood can be fastened with machine implements, such as drills or nail guns, or with hand-held implements.

Types of Birch

The layers of wood can consist of European White, Heritage River, Silver, Crimson Frost, Whitebarked Himalayan, Paper, Canoe, River, Red or Yellow or White Birch, as well as Jacquemontie and Young's Weeping Birch. Any number of the varieties can be mixed and matched, depending upon what is available, although many companies attempt to use the same variety of birch when creating the plywood.

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About the Author

Marsanne Petty has been a writer and photographer for over ten years, and is currently pursuing the combination in tandem. She attended Madison Community College, receiving a degree in Administration. She has published several articles for magazines, including Jack Magazine, and the local newspaper, the Jasper News. Her latest creation, a pictoral history of Hamilton County, Florida, was published in early 2009 through Arcadia Publishing.

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