April 28, 2023 0 Comments General

5 Things to Consider When Buying Film Faced Plywood

Plywood with film coating is popular for furniture, cabinets, and other woodworking projects. The film provides a smooth, durable surface that can withstand wear and tear. However, not all plywood is created equal. Here are five things to consider when buying film faced plywood.

Type of Film Coating

The type of film used on plywood can significantly impact its performance and appearance. The two most common types are melamine and phenolic. Melamine is a type of plastic applied to the plywood using heat and pressure. It is available in various colours and textures, providing a smooth and durable finish. On the other hand, the phenolic film is made from a resin that is applied to the plywood under high pressure and temperature. It is typically black or brown and provides a waterproof and abrasion-resistant surface.

When selecting plywood with coating, it’s important to consider the material’s intended use. Melamine coating is ideal for indoor applications, such as cabinetry and furniture, while phenolic coating is better suited for outdoor and industrial applications.

Quality of the Plywood

The quality of the plywood used for the project is also an important consideration. Plywood is graded based on its appearance and durability. The higher the grade, the more uniform and durable the plywood. Plywood with a film layer can be made from different grades of plywood, so choosing a high-quality product is essential to ensure the best performance and longevity.

When buying plywood with coating, look for a product with a consistent thickness and smooth surface. Check for defects, such as knots, cracks, or splits, which can weaken the plywood and affect its performance. The edges of the plywood should be straight and free from splinters.

The thickness of the Plywood

The thickness of the plywood is another important factor to consider. Plywood with a film-faced coating is available in various thicknesses, ranging from 1/8 inch to 1 inch. The thickness of the plywood will determine its strength and durability. Thicker plywood is stronger and more durable, but it’s also heavier and more expensive.

When selecting the thickness of the plywood, consider the weight and stress that the material will need to bear. Thicker plywood is ideal for projects that require additional strength and support, such as flooring and decking. Thinner plywood is suitable for flexible applications, such as curved furniture and decorative panelling.

Environmental Considerations

The environmental impact of coated plywood is another important consideration. Look for plywood made from sustainably harvested wood and certified by environmental protection organisations. These certificates guarantee that the material used in the plywood is from sustainably managed forests that safeguard local communities, wildlife, and water resources. It’s also important to consider the manufacturing process of plywood. Look for products that use low-emission adhesives and coatings to reduce the release of harmful chemicals into the environment. Some manufacturers use water-based adhesives and coatings, which are less harmful than solvent-based products.

Price and Availability

The price and availability of the plywood is also an important consideration. Plywood with a coating is generally more expensive than regular plywood, but the cost can vary depending on the type of coating, quality of the plywood, and thickness. Before finalising the purchase, compare prices from different suppliers to ensure you’re getting a fair price.

In addition to price, consider the availability. Some types may be more difficult to find than others, so planning and ordering the materials in advance is important. Check with local suppliers and online retailers to find the best options for your project.


For various woodworking jobs, film faced plywood is a strong and versatile material. When buying this plywood, consider the type of film coating, quality of the plywood, thickness, environmental impact, price, and availability. By considering these factors, you can ensure that you select the right product for your needs and achieve a high-quality result.