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If you’ve ever been shopping for plywood, you know that there are many different kinds to choose from. It’s very important to note that not all plywood is created equal; here, we’re going to take a look at BCX and CCX plywood, discussing their similarities as well as their differences.

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Dog assists carpenter in the garden, Wonderlane

Understanding Plywood Nomenclature

Many types of plywood have three-letter codes designed to tell you about the plywood’s quality and help you decide which type to use for different projects. The first letter of the code talks about the face, or front side of the plywood, the second letter of the code discusses the plywood’s back side, and the third letter tells you whether the plywood is suitable for interior or exterior use.

In the case of plywoods ending in “X,” such as ACX, BCX and CCX plywood, the “X” stands for exterior adhesive. Letters A through D refer to the quality of the finish on each side of the plywood, with A being of the best quality and D containing up to the maximum number of allowable blemishes. A and B grade plywoods are typically suitable for finish material, while C and D grade plywoods are considered to be best for construction projects.

BCX Plywood

BCX plywood has a handsome, well-sanded face and a less-finished back side. It typically contains C-grade inner layers and is bonded with exterior glue. BCX comes in a variety of thicknesses and can be made from soft or hard wood. These utility panels are best for work buildings, farm construction projects, truck and boxcar linings, and similar projects. They make an excellent base for the application of exterior coatings. You may find that these panels have been pressure treated.

CCX Plywood

CCX plywood is often made with pressure treated softwood, although some types are made with untreated hardwood. This type of plywood has more blemishes than BCX plywood, and both the face and the back have the same characteristics. Just like BCX, CCX plywood comes in a wide variety of thicknesses, normally contains C-grade inner plies, and is bonded with exterior glue. CCX Plywood is great for construction projects of all types, but keep in mind that the veneer will typically display lots of knots and other visual blemishes that detract from its appearance, and the sanding process it has been through is less intensive than that which higher-grade plywood undergoes.

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Wooden escalator, Kevan

Professional Recommendations for Use

Both BCX and CCX plywood are readily available, and both are suitable for exterior use. Be sure to consider appearance when making a decision about which of these plywoods to use, selecting BCX when looks are more important. Both types of plywood can be painted. Remember that hardwood cannot be pressure treated, and look for pressure-treated softwood if extra durability is important to you. Finally, ensure that you choose the right thickness for your project to ensure that it will be able to stand up to the elements while performing the way you need it to.

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