Specifier's Library - Wood & Plastics

Plywood Structural Panels
Why does the code require trademarks to distinguish the various plywood types? All plywood is not the same. Panels may be suitable for specific applications. The trademarks give basic information about expected performance and allowable use. Know and specify the requirements. Check the trademarks for compliance.

Preservative Treated Wood
What are those Commodity Specifications referenced by the building codes? The AWPA U1 specifies wood preservative treatments by application, exposure, and type of wood product. Know what the terms mean to be sure you get the intended results.

Wood Preservative Treatment
Drawing Note Says: Treated wood sill plate. What type - Preservative? Fire Retardant? Both are wood treatments. Know the building code to understand when the use of wood preservative treatment is required. Avoiding the requirement for preservative treatment simplifies fastener and connector selections and helps avoid the need for stainless steel. Learn where preservative treatment is required and what fastener and connector materials to use.

Naturally Decay Resistant Wood
Wood's natural decay resistance is dependent on species selection and the part of the tree that is used. Tropical rainforest species are not required for durable wood in exterior applications. Learn what US native species are sustainable alternatives and how to specify exterior wood for maximum decay resistance.

Quarter and Rift Wood Cuts
Are you expecting straight grained wood for your project? Use the right terms to get what you want. Quarter Cut and Rift Cut wood produces similar results. However, there are differences and limitations. Learn how to distinguish between the two cuts so you are able to select the right look for your next project. Remember to verify the cut is available in the species you select!

Interior Woodwork - Wood vs. MDF
Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) products are plentiful and manufacturers are constantly developing adaptations to current building trends. This article compares solid wood standing and running trim to similar products made of MDF, and explores the implications for using both materials.

Architectural Woodwork Plywood
I Want Plywood! Is this your reaction when you see cabinets or paneling constructed with particleboard or MDF panels? Do you know what you are demanding?

Is your definition of plywood and the woodworker's definition the same? Why is it MDF or particleboard? The term plywood does not define a panel construction and performance. It is critical to understand the available cores and specify the right one to achieve your design intent.