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Plywood Grades & Applications

Choosing the Right Panel Grade for Specific Applications

APA trademarked plywood panels contain vital information on use – either by identifying the end use application, such Sturd-I-Floor, or by the type of veneer grade on the face and back of the panel, such as  A-C or B-B.

This guide gives you a round up of the most popular plywood APA plywood panels, indicating durability (whether they are  Exposure 1 or Exterior panels) and the type of applications they are suitable for. It includes span ratings and performance categories for thickness.  More on trademarks.

APA Rated Sheathing APA Rated Sturd-I-Floor
APA A-B APA A-C
APA B-B APA B-C
APA C-C Plugged APA C-D Plugged
APA 303 Siding
APA High Density Overlay (HDO) APA Medium Density Overlay (MDO)
APA Rated Sheathing – Veneer Grades: Face C; Inner & Back D

Unsanded panels specially designed for structural subfloor decking, wall and roof applications. Other uses are shipping crates, pallets & pallet bins, shelving and partitions, as well as a range of industrial applications.

APA RATED SHEATHING PERFORMANCE CATEGORY THICKNESS REQUIREMENTS
Panel Span Rating Trademark Notation Min Thickness (IN) Max Thickness (IN) Recommended Thickness INCHES
24/0 3/8 0.344 0.406 0.354
32/16 15/32 0.438 0.500 0.451
32/16 1/2 0.469 0.531 0.483
40/20 19/32 0.563 0.625 0.578
40/20 5/8 0.594 0.656 0.609
48/24 23/32 0.688 0.750 0.703
48/24 3/4 0.719 0.781 0.734

Sturd-I-Floor – Veneer Grades; Exterior = Face C plugged; Inner C; Back C. Exposure 1 =Face C; Inner C, D; Back D

Specially designed floor panel with smooth surface for carpet and high impact and concentrated load resistance. Available with square or tongue-and-grooved edges.  Normally touch sanded.  Plywood Sturd-I-Floor may also be available with a sanded face.

 STURD-I-FLOOR PERFORMANCE CATEGORY THICKNESS REQUIREMENTS
Panel Span Rating Trademark Notation  Min Thickness (IN) Max Thickness (IN) Recommended Thickness INCHES
16 oc, 20oc 19/32 0.563 0.625 0.578
5/8 0.594 0.656 0.609
24oc 23/32 0.688 0.750 0.703
3/4 0.719 0.781 0.734
48 oc 1-1/8 1.069 1.181 1.091
APA 303 Siding – Veneer Grades: Face B; Inner C; Inner C. Exterior

Textured, grooved or overlaid exterior panels used for cladding or fencing and made exclusively by APA member manufacturers. Available in a variety of wood species. When applied directly or through blocking to studs, the panels possess sufficient strength and shear wall racking resistance to eliminate the need for diagonal bracing.

APA 303 SIDING Performance Category THICKNESS REQUIREMENTS
Panel Span Rating Trademark Notation Min Thickness (IN) Max Thickness (IN) Recommended Thickness INCHES
16oc 11/32 0.313 0.375 0.322
16oc 3/8 0.344 0.406 0.354
16 or 24oc 15/32 0.438 0.500 0.451
16 or 24oc 1/2 0.469 0.531 0.483
16oc (T1-11 only( 24, 32 oc 19/32 0.563 0.625 0.578
24 oc or 32oc 5/8 0.594 0.656 0.609

APA A-B – Veneer Grades: Exterior = Face A;  Inner B; Back C; Exposure 1 = Face A; Inner D; Back C

Provides two solid sanded surfaces for applications where appearance of one side is less important than the other such as high appearance hoarding, signboards, shipping containers, shelving, ducts and cabinets.

PERFORMANCE CATEGORY THICKNESS REQUIREMENTS
Trademark Notation Min Thickness (IN) Max Thickness (IN) Recommended Thickness INCHES
1/4 0.234 0.266 0.234
11/32 0.328 0.359 0.328
3/8 0.359 0.391 0.359
15/32 0.453 0.484 0.453
1/2 0.484 0.516 0.484
19/32 0.578 0.609 0.578
5/8 0.609 0.641 0.609
23/32 0.703 0.734 0.703
3/4 0.734 0.766 0.734

APA A-C – Veneer Grades: Exterior. Face A; Inner C; Back C

For exterior applications where the appearance of only one sanded side is important, such as soffit boards, high quality appearance hoarding, lorry cargo space linings, farm buildings and commercial refrigerators.

PERFORMANCE CATEGORY THICKNESS REQUIREMENTS
Trademark Notation Min Thickness (IN) Max Thickness (IN) Recommended Thickness INCHES
1/4 0.234 0.266 0.234
11/32 0.328 0.359 0.328
3/8 0.359 0.391 0.359
15/32 0.453 0.484 0.453
1/2 0.484 0.516 0.484
19/32 0.578 0.609 0.578
5/8 0.609 0.641 0.609
23/32 0.703 0.734 0.703
3/4 0.734 0.766 0.734

APA B-B – Veneer Grades:  Exposure 1 = Face B; Inner D; Back B. Exterior = Face D; Inner C; Back B.

General purpose utility panel with two solid sanded sides. With B-B Exterior both sides can be used for concrete forming (Plyform) to double panel usage.

PERFORMANCE CATEGORY THICKNESS REQUIREMENTS
Trademark Notation Min Thickness (IN) Max Thickness (IN) Recommended Thickness INCHES
1/4 0.234 0.266 0.234
11/32 0.328 0.359 0.328
3/8 0.359 0.391 0.359
15/32 0.453 0.484 0.453
1/2 0.484 0.516 0.484
19/32 0.578 0.609 0.578
5/8 0.609 0.641 0.609
23/32 0.703 0.734 0.703
3/4 0.734 0.766 0.734

APA B-C – Veneer Grades: Face B; Inner C; Back C. Exterior

Utility exterior panel with B-grade veneer face, sanded smooth. Suitable for use on farm service and non-permanent buildings, cargo linings for rail cars and lorries, concrete formwork and agricultural bins.

PERFORMANCE CATEGORY THICKNESS REQUIREMENTS
Trademark Notation Min Thickness (IN) Max Thickness (IN) Recommended Thickness INCHES
1/4 0.234 0.266 0.234
11/32 0.328 0.359 0.328
3/8 0.359 0.391 0.359
15/32 0.453 0.484 0.453
1/2 0.484 0.516 0.484
19/32 0.578 0.609 0.578
5/8 0.609 0.641 0.609
23/32 0.703 0.734 0.703
3/4 0.734 0.766 0.734

APA C_C plugged – Veneer grades: Face C plugged; Inner C; Back C. Exterior

Provides smooth surface for applications of carpet with high impact and concentrated load resistance. For floor decking, refrigerated storage rooms, pallet bins, railcar and lorry floors and lining of their cargo areas, soffit, tile backing, concrete formwork where smooth finish is not essential and other similar uses where continuous or severe moisture may be present.

PERFORMANCE CATEGORY THICKNESS REQUIREMENTS
Trademark Notation Min Thickness (IN) Max Thickness (IN) Recommended Thickness INCHES
3/8 0.344 0.406 0.354
1/2 0.469 0.531 0.483
19/32 0.563 0.625 0.578
5/8 0.594 0.656 0.609
23/32 0.688 0.750 0.703
3/4 0.719 0.781 0.734

APA C-D plugged – Veneer grades: Face C plugged, Inner D; Back D. Exposure 1

For built-in storage units, walls and ceilngs tile backing, cable reels, separator boards and other interior or protected applications. Not intended for formwork or as a substitute for APA Rated Sturd-I-Floor because it lacks the required puncture resistance.

PERFORMANCE CATEGORY THICKNESS REQUIREMENTS
Trademark Notation Min Thickness (IN) Max Thickness (IN) Recommended Thickness INCHES
3/8 0.344 0.406 0.354
1/2 0.469 0.531 0.483
19/32 0.563 0.625 0.578
5/8 0.594 0.656 0.609
23/32 0.688 0.750 0.703
3/4 0.719 0.781 0.734

APA High Density Overlay (HDO) – Veneer grades: Face A or B; Inner C plugged; Back A or B. Exterior

Panel face and back coated with hard, semi-opaque resin fibre overlay highly resistant to abrasion. For concrete forms, cabinets, countertops, laboratory bench tops, signs, industrial tanks. Also available with skid-resistant screen grid surface suitable for pedestrian walkways.

PERFORMANCE CATEGORY THICKNESS REQUIREMENTS
Trademark denotation Min Thickness (IN) Max Thickness (IN) Recommended Thickness INCHES
3/8 0.344 0.406 0.354
1/2 0.469 0.531 0.483
5/8 0.594 0.656 0.609
3/4 0.719 0.781 0.734

APA Medium Density Overlay (MDO) – Exterior. Veneer grades: Face, B; Inner C; Back B or C

One or both surfaces coated with smooth, opaque resin-fibre overlay, ideal base for paint, indoors or outdoors. Suitable for shelving, factory work surfaces, panelling, signs, built-in storage units. Specially manufactured MDO panels may also be used for concrete forming. Also available as APA 303 Siding.

PERFORMANCE CATEGORY THICKNESS REQUIREMENTS
Trademark Notation Min Thickness (IN) Max Thickness (IN) Recommended Thickness INCHES
11/32 0.313 0.375 0.322
3/8 0.344 0.406 0.354
15/32 0.438 0.500 0.451
1/2 0.469 0.531 0.483
19/32 0.563 0.625 0.578
5/8 0.594 0.656 0.609
23/32 0.688 0.750 0.703
3/4 0.719 0.781 0.734