As a homeowner, sometimes it is cheaper to renovate than to move to a new home. Not only do you save time, but you also save lots of money in the process. Renovation is also a learning process for a homeowner. Notably, some renovations need structural plywood as the primary renovation material. While it is common for homeowners to leave an entire project to a contractor, being a part of it from start to finish has a positive impact. You can opt to buy structural plywood, but you still need to differentiate between standard wood and structural plywood. This article highlights key characteristics of structural plywood.
Glue plays an integral role in bonding plywood for building purposes. However, if you are going to look for plywood with glue, then there is a high likelihood that you will pick the wrong material. The best approach is first to find out the type of adhesive used on the plywood. Once you are at the supplies store, look at the labels on the plywood since most manufacturers list the type of glue used on the material. Structural plywood is held together with A-bond type adhesives, which are practically made from phenol-formaldehyde resin. When processed, the resin creates a strong bond that is not be affected in wet conditions or by changes in temperatures. On the other hand, non-structural plywood is held together with C-or D-bond-type glues, which are made from urea-formaldehyde resin and get weak when exposed to excess moisture. The property makes structural plywood stronger than non-structural plywood.
Another characteristic of structural plywood that you must look for is cross-laminated panels. It is a critical feature, especially if you consider the amount of force structural plywood is exposed to. Cross-lamination allows the plywood to distribute force over a large area, thereby reducing tensile stress. It makes structural plywood the perfect material for balconies or decks. Non-structural plywood, on the other hand, does not have cross-laminated panels, and this makes it less strong than other counterparts.
When inspecting plywood, the number of veneers glued together will tell you if it is structural or non-structural. If there are fewer than three veneers, then you are looking at non-structural plywood. If the number of veneers is three or above, then you have structural plywood. The higher the number of veneers glued together, the stronger the plywood, which is usually appropriate for load-bearing ceilings. The best part is that you can quickly tell the difference in the thickness of the plywood, consequently increasing your chances of picking the right plywood.