When it comes to plywood pricing, costs vary immensely. This wide range of confusing prices is partly due to a poor grading system. In short, this complicated issue ends up allowing various tiers of products to be graded as if they were on the same level, when in reality, they’re very different. If you like to gamble with your business money, then perhaps you like playing this kind of game, but otherwise, you need a strategy for ensuring that you’ll receive the right quality of plywood every single time.
Strategic move #1: Understand the grading system.
If you’re familiar with the much more reliable grading system used for solid wood, you need to realize that the HPVA (Hardwood Plywood Veneer Association) has a completely different type of grading system in place. Basically, the alphanumeric code uses a letter to describe the front face and a number for the back.
For example, plywood with an A-1 grading would have an “A” front face and a “1” back face, making it the top level of quality available. Each imperfection leads to a lower grade for both the front and the back.
Of course, this system is nice for considering various applications: When the back side won’t be visible, perhaps you could go with an A-3 or A-4 graded material, which will clearly save you money over buying an A-1 product.
Strategic move #2: Realize the limitations of the grading system.
A noticeable downside to this otherwise helpful grading system is that it reflects only the quality of faces and absolutely nothing about the core or construction of the plywood.
Since this is where some manufacturers tend to skimp in order to save money, this issue is a huge one. From various cores to saw faces, there can understandably be a great disparity among prices among sheets of plywood that all carry the same grading designation.
Strategic move #3: Let prices be your guide.
So if sheets of plywood of clearly different quality levels are graded the same, what can you go by to determine their quality? Price.
This may not be a very popular way to determine quality, but if you truly desire high-end products, you must realize and accept the fact that such items do come with a price.
In order to offer their inferior (but same-grade) plywood at lower prices, manufacturers often skip important steps in production. When their cost is lowered by eliminating parts of the process, so is yours, as the customer. However, you will pay for your bargain in the form of a lower quality product that simply will not last.
Strategic move #4: Use the same consistent supplier.
As the market shifts, pricing may not be as reliable a guide as you would hope. Between the grading issues and market fluctuations, finding a single supplier to meet your plywood needs could be the best way to ensure that you receive the same quality products, every single time. Since J. Gibson McIlvain has been known for high and consistent quality hardwood lumber for centuries, it makes good sense to give us a try at meeting your plywood needs as well.
For over 200 years, McIlvain has been a leader in supplying domestic and exotic hardwoods and softwoods to discerning customers all over the country. With their enormous inventory that ensures the lumber you need will always be in stock, their dedicated order specialists who assist you with your order from start to finish, and their expert staff’s unmatched ability to answer your lumber questions, it’s no wonder that McIlvain is one of America’s top lumber wholesalers. For more information on why McIlvain Lumber Company is an industry leader, to learn more about their inventory and other services offered, or to request a no-obligations quote on your lumber order, visit them online today. And for insider tips and lumber project tricks, check out these selections from their blog: