Furniture is still predominantly made of wood despite the advent of various materials. There are different categories of decorative hardwood plywood used for furniture nowadays. Plywood typically consists of at least three thin hardwood plies laid one atop another with grains running perpendicularly.
The common hardwoods used for decorative plywood are birch, rosewood, teak, mahogany, oak and maple. Birch plywood has a uniform grain, light colour, superior screw holding, clean joinery, exceptional durability and smooth texture.
The plywood is graded based on the look of its back and face veneers. The face is the better side of the two with the back being the inferior one. Here are the grades of birch plywood.
This birch plywood has a single piece of back and face veneer. The face veneers are defect-free, clear and have a light uniform colour. The back veneer has 3–6 colour matched patches that are egg-sized and oval-shaped. The inner core of a B/BB plywood grade is a solid single piece birch veneer.
This plywood has a single piece back and face veneer. Both the back and face veneers allow an average of 3–6 small patches of the same colour and a few mineral streaks. A BB/BB birch plywood grade might have some tight pin knots present. Its inner cores consist of one solid piece veneer.
This grade of birch plywood has a single piece back and face. The CP back veneer of the plywood is downgraded from a BB grade veneer, and this allows unlimited sound knots and patches but not open defects. The inner cores of a BB/CP birch plywood are a solid single piece veneer.
The B/BB grade is the highest one for Baltic birch. The grades of Baltic birch plywood mentioned above are widely used in buildings, cabinet making and other specialised applications. They typically come in 3, 6,9,12 and 18mm sheets.