Comparing Hoop Pine and Birch Plywood

There are a lot of properties to consider before purchasing plywood suitable for your application, and sometimes that can be more complicated than anticipated. We strongly believe that our customers deserve the highest quality of plywood out there on the market, and therefore should be aware of why we always recommend birch plywood as the best out of our range when it comes to applications and structural properties.

Hoop pine plywood is the most common form of structural plywood found on the Australian market, and often can be more accessible than birch plywood. But what are the differences in quality, structure and application of birch and hoop pine plywood? Here is a guide from Ply Online on the differences between hoop pine and birch plywood before choosing your next plywood purchase.


APPEARANCE:

Hoop pine plywood tends to have large grain compared to birch, with a little less consistency in grain pattern but with an authentic wood look. Due to hoop pine plywood’s low density, and its porous nature with lots of sap, plywood processed from this material with little to no defects is hard to come by. 

Hoop pine plywood is more prone to having defects such as:

  • Worm Holes
  • Knots
  • Ripples
  • Fluff
  • Cracks
  • Voids
  • Delamination
  • Discolouration

In terms of preparation with coats or paint, the porous nature of hoop pine plywood makes it difficult to work with, demanding more layers and surface preparation. 

Birch plywood is not as porous as pine and has finer grain. The high density of birch ensures little to no cracks, wormholes, voids, knots, fluffiness or ripples occur and makes it perfect for treatment with paint and/or other coating options including staining. But even without any additional coating, high grade birch plywood can offer a clean, light and neat look to your furnishing or room.


APPLICATIONS

Both birch and hoop pine plywood have a wide range of applications, including exterior and interior applications:

Birch

  • Interior/Exterior Walls
  • Floors
  • Ceilings
  • Furnishing
  • Shopfitting
  • Sound Insulation
  • Laser Cutting
  • Caravan Floors
  • Decking (film faced plywood)
  • Truck Floors

Hoop Pine

  • Interior Walls
  • Floors
  • Ceilings
  • Furnishing
  • Shopfitting
  • Sound Insulation
  • Laser Cutting
  • Door skin (interior)


AFFORDABILITY

Birch and hoop pine plywood prices frequently fluctuate due to demand, but generally you’ll find birch plywood a bit more expensive due to availability in the market.

Birch 

2440*1220*18mm BB/BB - $279.00

Hoop Pine

2440*1220*18mm BB - $233.96

 

 

STRUCTURAL STRENGTH

The strength of plywood products (also known as the structural integrity) is graded using the F grade system. An F grade is a measure of the bending strength of a piece of wood, measured in megapascals (MPa), that the wood can withstand before it goes beyond the safe working stress zone. So, if cross grain birch plywood is graded F34, this means that this plywood can withstand up to 34 MPa (1 newton/millimeter² [N/mm²]) (equivalent of 346.704 kg) and stay in the safe working stress zone without breaking. The grain of plywood can affect that value, upon which you can then decide which plywood type is more suitable for your application.

Plywood Type

Structural Integrity 

Density

Birch Plywood (Cross Grain) 2440*1220*18mm

F34

720 kg/m3

Birch Plywood (Long Grain) 2440*1220*18mm

F27

720 kg/m3

Hoop Pine Plywood (Cross Grain) 2400*1200*18mm

F17

600 kg/m3

Hoop Pine Plywood (Long Grain) 2400*1200*18mm

F14

600 kg/m3

 

 

WEIGHT

Birch plywood’s high density naturally makes it a heavy material, thus hoop pine plywood is the more lightweight alternative. By standard size:

Plywood Type

Density (kg/m3)

Weight (kg)

Birch Plywood 

2440*1220*18mm

720 kg/m3

37.5 kg

Hoop Pine Plywood

2400*1200*18mm

600 kg/m3

32.1 kg

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