How To Identify Marine Plywood?

November 15, 2022


Marine plywood is a type of composite material made from layers of wood and fibreglass vacuum-bagged between layers of marine grade, high-density polyethene plastic. There are two main types: hardwood and softwood, which are typically used for outdoor projects. Although it can be expensive to purchase compared to a comparable piece of solid wood plywood, marine plywoods can withstand impact from tools during construction and are much more durable than their solid counterparts. Unlike normal untreated bare wood, marine Plywoods also hold up better in wet environments because the wood fibres absorb water rather than moisture from the air. So that's one characteristic that you can use if you're wondering how to identify marine plywood.


Let's discuss some other characteristics:

  • It's Weight

You know you're dealing with marine plywood if it weighs 80 pounds per cubic foot. That's twice the weight of regular plywood, which averages 40 pounds per cubic foot. How to identify marine plywood? Just check if it feels heavier than any piece of wood you've ever encountered.

  • Its Texture

Marine plywood is harder and denser than regular plywood, so its texture is different, too. When you run your hand across it, it feels more like a hard rubber or plastic surface. That's because wood exposed to water can become hard and dense. The surface of marine plywood is also relatively smooth because it has been treated with a wax-based coating that helps seal the grain to resist moisture penetration and makes the surface waterproof for added durability. The latter is a great reason why you should choose marine plywood.

  • Its Durability

Marine plywood is a durable material and can withstand demanding conditions. It does not rot, burn or splinter. When exposed to the weather, it holds the colour and texture of the wood that was used to make it, so marine plywood lasts longer than solid wood, which can change shape and fade. That makes it a perfect option for outdoor projects such as campers, decks, furniture, and more. Weathering worries become a problem of the past, given you pay a little extra for your brand new porch.

  • Its Foundation

Marine plywood also has good support under its weight, making it great for outdoor projects such as decking and outdoor furniture. Because it has fibreglass linen fibres in it, marine plywood is best used to build outdoor projects where the weight will be supported by a foundation. For example, a house built upon concrete piers or pilings would work best with marine plywood. That's a big reason you should choose marine plywood.

  • Its Strongest Frame

Another characteristic of marine plywood is that it has the strongest frame of all composite materials with 4X the shear strength of regular solid wood and 3 to 6 times the tensile strength of solid wood in a comparable size. Now that's one way if you're still wondering how to identify marine plywood. All this makes it a great choice for plywood sheets, especially if you're planning an outdoor project and will be using screws to assemble it.


As you can see, marine plywood is a superior material, and it is a shame that most building contractors are not aware of its many advantages. Making it the best choice for outdoor projects such as decking, outdoor furniture and more. It's not surprising it's become popular in recent years, and people have been wondering how to identify marine plywood.

This article will help you choose the right type of marine plywood in Melbourne for your next outdoor project. But before you go ahead and make your purchase, make sure you get it for the best prices possible.


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Terry Wambui

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