In recent years, the construction industry has witnessed the advent of many new building materials. The significant among these is plywood, which has made a huge difference to the wood industry. Plywood is a wooden sheet made by assembling thin layers of wooden veneer. This material is resistant to cracking, splitting, shrinkage, twisting, and thereby provides high strength. Besides, it is flexible, inexpensive, workable and usable in comparison to other wood materials. The benefits of plywood are many, prompting a huge increase in the production of soft, hard, tropical and decorative plywood.

The plywood is an extremely versatile product and can be employed in a wide range of structural, interior and exterior applications. This material finds its application in almost every kind of furniture such as sofa, cupboards, kitchen cabinets, drawers, and so on. As a result, it is important to learn about the details and characteristics of different grades of plywood available in the market. With knowledge of these grades, one can determine the quality of the plywood as well as its functionality.


There are several plywood grades and types sold in the market. There are two different grades of waterproof plywood — BWP and BWR Plywood, besides the MR (Moisture Resistant) plywood, also known as ‘commercial plywood’, which is usually used in interior framework, There is a lot of confusion around these grades of plywood as retailers and dealers use them interchangeably and therefore, the consumers tend to lose out on the required product.

In simple terms, BWP and BWR are plywood standards. These standards are usually set by the government. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has laid down policies for manufacturers to follow to achieve certification. The strength of the core material, types of glue used, resistance to moisture, termite-proof, and so on are all part of the standards considered.


It is also called the ‘Marine Plywood’ when it conforms to IS 710 specifications. This plywood is usually used in places where there is prolonged exposure to extreme and adverse weather conditions. It can be used in marine applications such as woodwork for ships and boats. It can also be used in spaces such as kitchen, washroom, bathroom, and so on. The ‘Boiling Water Proof ’ grade plywood is designed to withstand up to 72 hours in boiling water. It is superior to both ‘Moisture Resistant’ and ‘ Boiling Water Resistant’ plywoods, both in terms of strength and quality. What makes BWP plywood so strong and water-resistant is the use of excellent quality of wood veneers and the unextended (undiluted) synthetic plastic resin i.e, Phenol-Formaldehyde, which greatly increases its waterproofing capacity.


Boiling Water Resistant (BWR) is waterproof plywood. Its water resistance capacity is superior to MR plywood but inferior to BWP. The BWR plywood conforms to IS 303 of the standards set by the government. It can be used in both the interior and exterior settings. Though this plywood has the same phenol-formaldehyde formula as BWP, it is in a diluted state, thereby not 100% waterproof.

Key Differences Between BWP and BWR

BWP Grade BWR Grade
IS Code 710 303
Quality Stronger and provides better water resistance. Lesser strength and quality.
Price Rs. 52 to Rs. 300 per sq.ft Rs. 50 to Rs. 267 per sq.ft
Glue composition Undiluted phenol formaldehyde Diluted phenol formaldehyde
Setting Interior and exterior, suitable for extreme weather conditions Interior and exteriors

A Suitable Choice

Both the BWP and BWR grade plywoods are durable and resistant to regular wear and tear for many years, besides being unaffected by water and moisture content. BWP Plywood is the better choice in case of prolonged water exposure. In addition, BWP is also resistant to termites. The key difference between the two grades of plywood is the composition of glue used in their manufacturing. The BWP plywood is of better quality than the BWR plywood because of the undiluted use of phenol-formaldehyde, whose phenolic resins add more water-proofing qualities to the plywood.

The other factors include the superior quality of the product, applications of the plywood and so on. Not to forget comparing BWP plywood price vs. BWR plywood price. Waterproof plywoods’ functionality can be best used in places where there is continued or prolonged exposure to water and extreme weather conditions. Ideally, these would be the kitchen area, the wash area, the bathroom or even a roof of a patio at one’s house.