The Types of Plywood for Board and Batten

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There are a variety of plywood types to choose for a board and batten project.
There are a variety of plywood types to choose for a board and batten project. (Image: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

The board and batten method for finishing walls is a common theme in rustic homes. The first layer of boards is installed, butting up against each other, while a thin strip is installed on top of the gaps between the boards to hide the seams and create a contrast. The board and batten method can be used for interior and exterior installations, with the type of plywood chosen depending on where you are installing the wood.

Interior Plywoods

Interior plywoods are those that are sold specifically for use indoors. While they can be made from either hard or soft woods, the difference between indoor and outdoor types of plywood is that those for indoor use are designed for dry areas where moisture is not an issue. Using an indoor type of plywood for a board and batten skirt around your living room walls would be a good example of this. The wood is sold in various grades, depending on your chosen finish.

Exterior Plywoods

Exterior plywoods are designed to withstand the environmental factors of a typical outdoor setting where rain and seasonal weather will affect them. Similar to the indoor type, exterior plywoods can be sold in many different wood varieties and finishes, depending on how rough or smooth of a finish look you are going for. They are ideal for siding houses, barns or other structures.

Structural Plywoods

While structural plywood is generally reserved for building forms in the construction field, it can also be used for those buildings or areas where a rugged, rustic look is desired. Rarely found in polished grades with a smooth finish, structural plywoods rely on different resins to bond the sheets of plywood together, with structural integrity of more importance than the beauty of the wood.

Marine Plywoods

Marine plywood is useful in areas where heavy moisture is a constant concern, such as tropical environments or areas where heavy rainfall is year-round. Manufactured in a range of finishes and from a variety of wood types, marine plywood can be used in both indoor and outdoor applications, depending on the type of finish and wood chosen.

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