Plywood, OSB and SCL in furniture manufacturing

Furniture FAQs

Why should I choose APA rated plywood and OSB panels over imported panels?

APA-trademarked plywood and OSB panels are manufactured to stringent product standards (such as Voluntary Product Standard PS 1, Structural Plywood and Voluntary Product Standard PS 2, Performance Standard for Wood Structural Panels) and are subject to APA's rigorous, state-of-the-art quality verification and testing programs.

Many imported plywood and OSB panels do not undergo comparable product qualification testing. Without such tests it is impossible to determine how the panel will perform for the intended use. As an internationally accredited testing laboratory, APA put imported hardwood plywood panels from China and Brazil up against domestic plywood certified to the U.S. Product Standard PS 1. The import test results indicated inferior mechanical and connection properties and severe failure for bond durability. Only one tested sample would have met the formaldehyde limits imposed by CARB.

Look for furniture panels bearing the APA trademark. It appears only on products manufactured by APA members committed to APA's rigorous program of quality inspection and testing.

Learn more about the Performance Panels performance standards.


Where do I find APA-trademarked products for furniture, cabinets and similar applications?

APA-member manufacturers are located throughout North America. Hundreds of distribution centers throughout the US and Canada inventory a wide selection of products for use in furniture, cabinet, display, architectural millwork, and other applications. Industrial users can rely on a consistent source of readily available, quality products. Find APA members that make products for the furniture applications.

Are custom sizes or panel configurations available?

Yes, many APA member firms can make custom products for in furniture, cabinet, display, architectural millwork, and other applications. Find APA members that make custom products.

What is the difference between “sanded” and “touch-sanded” panels?

Sanded plywood panels are structural panels with face and back plies that are sanded smooth in the manufacturing process.

Touch-sanded panels are plywood panels “sized” to uniform thickness by light surface sanding during manufacture. Sander skips are admissible.

What is the difference between a “layer” and a “ply”?

A ply is single veneer in a panel. In plywood, a layer consists of one or more adjacent plies having the wood grain in the same direction. For instance, four-ply panels always have three layers with both core plies at right angles to the faces. The two core plies are one layer and each face is a layer. In OSB panels, the reconstituted wood portion is one layer and each face is a layer.

I’m concerned about formaldehyde. Do APA products meet current US formaldehyde standards?

Yes, in fact APA member products have such low emission levels that they are exempt from the leading formaldehyde emission standards and regulations. APA Technical Note: Formaldehyde and Engineered Wood Products, Form J330, addresses the concerns about formaldehyde related to plywood and OSB wood structural panels and explains why plywood and OSB manufactured to U.S. Product Standards PS 1 and PS 2 are exempt.

Which is stronger, plywood or OSB?

In the applications for which they are manufactured, the two products are virtually interchangeable. Although different in composition and appearance, plywood and OSB are manufactured according to the same performance standard criteria. Which product you choose will depend on your requirements for a variety of characteristics including finished size, surface quality and panel density.

What is marine grade plywood?

Marine grade plywood is a specially designed panel made entirely of Douglas-fir or Western Larch. The grade of all plies of veneer is B or better, which means it may have knots, but no knotholes. The panels are sanded on both faces, and are also available with Medium Density Overlay (MDO) or High Density Overlay (HDO) faces. The maximum core-gap size permitted is 1/8 inch. Its exposure durability rating is Exterior and the glue used is a moisture-resistant structural adhesive. It is considered a “premium” panel grade for use in situations where these characteristics are required, i.e., for boat hulls and other marine applications where bending is involved. Marine-grade plywood is available in 4x8-foot sheets of 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 5/8 and 3/4-inch thickness. Sheets up to 5x12 feet are also available. Available grades are A-A, A-B, B-B (face-back), MDO and HDO. Marine-grade plywood is not treated with any chemicals to enhance its resistance to decay. If decay is a concern, it should be pressure-preservative treated to an appropriate standard. The detailed description of veneer grades and Marine grade plywood is contained in Voluntary Product Standard PS 1, Structural Plywood.