A kitchen cabinet,
Which can handle,
All kinds of queer curries
With their vapour flying by
Also needing moisture resistance
As the kitchen don`t move
Here goes. I am setting the ball rolling…..
There are two main types of Plywood that can be used. One is the MR Grade and the other is the BWR grade.MR is moisture resistant and meant for use inside the house. It is also called Commercial plywood. It is `mind you` not waterproof but can handle a bit of moisture and humidity.
BWR Grade. This is Boiling water resistant. It is primarily an outdoor grade plywood. It is made from plastic resins specifically phenolic and synthetic resins. It is majorly waterproof and is most suitable for kitchen cabinets.
In a document labeled IS: 303 the Indian quality standard of MR and BWR grades of plywood are specified.
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The quality test of BWR is done by immersing the BWR sample in water for 2 hours. Then its taken out and its strength and other features are checked.
If the plywood from a manufacturer meets the quality norms set by BIS as in IS: 303 then its given the prestigious ISI mark and is ready for sale.
So in kitchen cabinets, mostly BWR is used and its further layered with a laminate to give it the polish such as sunmica or formica which is glued over the surface and is waterproof so very little moisture will seep into the plywood. The thicker this layer, the better it is.
There happens to be another plywood called marine grade plywood following the IS:710. This is very much better and is mostly used in marine applications such as, for making boats and inside woodwork for ships as their resistance to water is great.
Retailers of plywood might tell you that they are giving you marine plywood just check the IS number. If it is IS:710 it’s marine plywood else if it’s IS:303 it is BWR. Check for BWR markings on an IS:303 marked piece.
Check also for a CM/L number. This is below the ISI mark. This mark indicates the name of a particular plywood company which that plywood has come from. If the CM/L number is missing the ISI mark could be fake.
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Note: Commercial MR is good for all sorts of furniture but not so much for the kitchen stuff. Like the cabinets. When you need lengthy pieces of wood its better to use block board as it won’t bend.
Additionally: BWR plywood is made with a 10%melamine UF resin and is also layered with a mixture which is water resistant and gives it a slight brownish greenish color. The melamine resin makes sure that the ply resists water soaking for at least 8 hours. If your cabinet is near the gas range it is best to use BWP or marine grade plywood which can withstand 72 hours in boiling water. All this makes sure your kitchen cabinets are durable, hardy and tough.
So this was a run through of various kinds of plywood and how you should be careful that you are buying the authentic stuff.