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International Wood - Plywood: More Than Just a Pretty Face

To “ply” is to work at diligently, or to apply something repeatedly. Imported plywood made from species such as Baltic birch (Betula spp.), meranti/lauan (Shorea spp.), and other tropical species are workhorse materials that perform consistently across a broad range of applications. Generally available from 3-ply thickness up to 13-ply, they are used extensively as framing, interiors and core materials. For people who design and build, exotic plywood is easy to love. It is strong, lightweight, flexible, has a very smooth surface for laminating and is dimensionally stable.

More than Just a Pretty Face


In many applications, imported plywood serves as a substrate or interior material in products that showcase exotic lumber and decorative veneer. This common interplay of materials improves the stability and reduces construction costs for U.S. manufacturers of furniture, cabinetry and flooring. It also promotes the responsible use of renewable materials, which is increasingly important to consumers.

Showplace Wood Products, Inc. manufactures a premium kitchen cabinet line with Lyptus®, a rapidly replenishable eucalyptus hybrid grown on plantations in South America. “When you offer customers a solid environmental product with beautiful characteristics, you are going to see an increase in sales,” says Scott Korsten, marketing director, Showplace Wood Products. The cabinets feature solid Lyptus® face frames, panel doors, drawer fronts and moldings. Lyptus® veneer plywood is used for the exposed end panels and box frame construction.

“We’ve seen an overall decrease in sales as customers put home building or remodeling projects on hold, but Lyptus® sales have held strong,” adds Korsten. “At Showplace, this indicates a paradigm shift in customer purchasing. Cabinetry can no longer be only beautiful or only sustainable to attract customers; it needs to be both.” Using exotic plywood, lumber and veneer creates real value in consumer products and commercial applications.

Where to Buy Imported Wood: Search IWPA's Directory for wood suppliers, species, products or service providers.
Wood Species Library: Technical data sheets on domestic, imported, and lesser-known wood species from the U.S. Forest Products Lab.

Copyright© 2010 by the International Wood Products Association. Published by Bedford Falls Communications, Inc. and circulated to an audience of 20,000 architects, designers, distributors, manufacturers, and users of imported wood products in North America.

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IWPA would like to thank the advertisers who provided the financial support that made the 2011 edition of International Wood possible:

Prime Placements
  • American Pacific Inc.
  • Bridgewell Resources LLC
  • Clarke Veneers & Plywood
  • Dean Hardwoods
  • Elof Hansson USA Inc.
  • Liberty Woods International
  • Medley Hardwoods Inc.
  • Pollmeier Inc.
  • Romea Legnami S.p.A.
  • Tradelink USA
2011 Advertisers
  • AHC Craig Imports
  • American Hardwood Export Council
  • American Lumber Company
  • American Pacific Inc.
  • American Pacific Plywood
  • Argo Fine Imports Inc.
  • Baillie Lumber Company
  • Bozovich USA
  • Bridgewell Resources LLC
  • Brookside Veneers Ltd.
  • Cikel America LLC
  • Clarke Veneers & Plywood
  • Columbia Forest Products
  • Dean Hardwoods
  • Del Valle, Kahman & Company Inc.
  • Delaware River Stevedores Inc.
  • Diamond Hardwoods Inc.
  • DLH Nordisk, Inc.
  • East Teak Fine Hardwoods, Inc. 
  • Elof Hansson Inc.
  • Georgia Ports Authority
  • Ghana Forestry Commission
  • Global Forest Lumber Company 
  • Interholco AG
  • International Specialties, Inc.
  • InterSomma LLC
  • Liberty Woods International
  • M.P. Veneers Pvt. Ltd.
  • Malaysian Timber Council
  • Alan McIlvain Company
  • J. Gibson McIlvain Company
  • Medley Hardwoods Inc.
  • Newman Lumber Company
  • Pollmeier Inc.
  • Port of Baltimore
  • Port of Port Arthur
  • Premiere Finishing & Coating
  • Rex Lumber Company
  • Robinson Lumber Company
  • Romea Legnami S.p.A.
  • Shorepoint Insurance Services
  • South Jersey Port Corporation 
  • Swaner Hardwood Company
  • Timber Products Company
  • Timberwolff Tropical Hardwoods
  • TradeLeaf LLC
  • Tradelink Wood Products Inc.
  • U*C Coatings
  • UCS Forest Group
  • Wood Brokerage International

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