Due to its durability and strength, marine plywood is gaining popularity in the community of woodworkers and other associated fields. People call it ‘marine plywood’ because it is often used in the construction of boats. It stays as it is and does not easily even in the high-moisture areas. Its exceptional capacities to tolerate the moisture make it perfect and long-lasting for decking as well as other uses. There are different types and grades.
Because of all these qualities provided by the marine plywood, we can assume that it can be costly for the majority of the time. However, there are various alternatives and similar options available that are as ideal as marine plywood itself. Depending on your requirements, such alternatives have their own set of pros and cons. This article will give information about various boat floor plywood alternatives so that you can choose the best as per your needs.
Marine Plywood Alternatives
1. Ribbon Grain Plywood
The name of this plywood is Ribbon Grain because it looks like grains and has patterns like ribbons. It contains vertical stripes run along the length of the wood. It is incredibly smooth and does not need any betterment or changes after installation. As you don’t need to process it, later on, it can save a lot of time, effort, and money. It is strong wood and thus can become a great alternative to marine plywood. It is not as durable as marine plywood, but people still prefer to use it because of its low price and better quality. It is also less complicated to work with.
There are many benefits to the Ribbon Grain Plywood. Because of its unique texture, it looks great from the outside. It is plywood, but still, it will look as great as the real wood. If I say that plywood is quite more robust than the real wood, I would not be entirely wrong. Due to its cross-grained nature of the structure, its strength is evenly distributed, which makes it durable and gives the best results for a longer period of time.
2. Wax Resin Fiberboard
Fiberboard is yet another alternative to marine plywood that has gained many people’s interest. It does not have high density but still is capable enough to do wonders. It is strong and highly durable, with its medium density. Fiberboard is made in a different way. It is not one hundred percent wood as it also includes wax resin to gain more strength and power. There are two types of fibreboard – one is insulation and another is compressed.
At the time of making the wood piece, the workers mix wax resin with the softwood and other broken fibers. This combination creates a compelling product and can be used as a waterproof plywood alternative. Once it’s done, it will then be cut into sheets and treated with extremely high heat and pressure to make it even. This way, it becomes an ideal alternative to marine plywood.
Some woodworkers, on the other side, don’t use a resin adhesive in the manufacture of a fibreboard. They hold the boards together by physical forces and try to do the hydrogen bonding. This way, the wood allows the flow of the natural lignin present among the fibers and makes it unique to others. Sometimes you can also observe the interweaving of the fibers.
3. Fiber Cement Board
Apart from these two alternatives mentioned above, there is one more option known as Fiber Cement Board. As the name suggests, it is made from cement. When wood fibers are being mixed with cement, that mixture can make a Fiber Cement Board. There is no doubt that this product is sturdy and long-lasting. Woodworkers use it to serve many purposes, such as to make exterior walls or ceilings, etc.
It is highly versatile and can be used in various locations as an ideal alternative to boat floor plywood. It is a durable wooden boarding. The best advantage of this plywood is that even after mixing the cement and pulp, it remains lightweight if compared to solid wood. It works great for any curved surfaces and offers more value to your investment. Not only for the boats, but you can also try using this plywood in your home or office interiors.
All these three options work fantastic as a marine plywood alternative. However, you have to first decide your purpose and research a bit before any application of the plywood. For example, ordinary plywood cannot become a worthy substitute for marine plywood, even if it has plenty of other uses. If you want to work for the boat’s interior, then you may avoid using marine plywood as even the laminated plywood can be the ideal choice to go for! So, choose wisely.
The Bottom Line
Plywood – of any type – is one of the most eco-friendly options created by man. It is not very expensive and easy to handle. I may sound a bit ironic, but it will not be an exaggeration if I say that we should use plywood more than other standard woods. I do not deny the fact that plywood also uses wood, but manufacturing a sheet of any plywood requires lesser wood than any other reliable wood products. It surely helps in saving the environment without putting us, the humans, in any compromising position.
Coming back to alternatives, you may find other suitable options as well, as there are many! Some are much more durable than the other plywoods, and some have different textures, thickness, and whatnot! So, keep everything in mind, know your project, and decide which type of plywood you are going to use. Have a happy and safe experiment. 🙂