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What In The World Is A/C Plywood?


“What in The World Is ?” is a series of short articles I will be posting on common questions we receive at the Home Depot.


Plywood is constructed of multiple layers or "plies" of wood with the grain facing opposite directions for strength. These plies are glued together with an interior or exterior glue, depending upon the application. The greater the number of layers or plies, the greater the strength of the plywood.


Plywood is available in several grades, A thru D, The primary difference between one grade and another is the number of knotholes and voids in the layers of veneer. The number of defects in a panel - and the amount of work required to repair the defects - will determine the grade and the price of plywood.


“A” grade plywood is the highest quality, all knots are replaced with oval shaped patches of the same wood, and wood putty is applied to the edges of the board to fill any gaps. The “A” grade side is sanded smooth and can be stained or painted.


“C” grade plywood is a less expensive grade, which has more knots and defects, the knots may be filled with putty rather than a wood plug and some defects my go unattended such as cracks or splits. This grade of plywood is used in construction where the appearance is not important, as it will be hidden from view.


Thus, a sheet of A/C plywood has an “A” side and a “C” side, with the “A” side for finishing and the “C” which will be hidden when the sheet is installed. Using this combination of “A” and “C” makes the plywood sheet less expensive while still offering an attractive finished surface.


Mike, The Home Depot Answer Man

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Posted 2018-03-20T00:46:15+0000  by Mike_HD_OC Mike_HD_OC