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Plywood vs. HDHMR: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on May 23, 2024
Plywood is a versatile building material made from thin layers of wood veneer glued together, while HDHMR (High Density High Moisture Resistance) is a type of engineered wood product known for its high moisture resistance and density.

Key Differences

Plywood, created from multiple layers of wood veneer bonded together, offers versatility in construction and furniture-making. HDHMR, distinguishing itself with enhanced moisture resistance and density, is tailored for environments prone to moisture exposure.
In terms of durability, Plywood provides a balance of strength and flexibility due to its cross-grained structure. HDHMR stands out with its robustness against moisture and humidity, making it a preferred choice in wet conditions.
Plywood's ease of cutting and shaping lends it well to a variety of applications, from furniture to wall paneling. HDHMR, on the other hand, excels in areas where moisture resistance is paramount, such as in kitchen cabinets or bathroom fixtures.
When considering cost, Plywood generally offers a more economical option for general construction needs. HDHMR, though potentially higher in cost, provides value through its specialized high-density composition and moisture resistance.
Environmental impact is another aspect; Plywood, depending on the source of wood, can be sustainable. HDHMR's manufacturing process, which includes the use of resins and chemicals for moisture resistance, may have different environmental considerations.

Comparison Chart


Layers of wood veneer
High-density fiberboard

Moisture Resistance



Good, varies with wood quality
Excellent in humid conditions

Common Applications

Furniture, construction
Moisture-prone areas like kitchens

Environmental Considerations

Sustainable sourcing possible
Involves chemicals for resistance

Plywood and HDHMR Definitions


Plywood can be made from various types of wood, each offering different properties.
Birch plywood was selected for its smooth finish and strength.


HDHMR's composition includes wood fibers, resin, and wax for enhanced properties.
HDHMR's unique composition contributed to its superior performance in the steamy spa area.


Plywood is known for its strength and resistance to cracking, shrinkage, and warping.
Plywood panels were chosen for the flooring due to their dimensional stability.


HDHMR provides an effective solution for interior applications in moisture-rich environments.
For the poolside changing rooms, HDHMR was used to prevent damage from constant wet conditions.


Plywood is used in a wide range of applications, from furniture to structural components.
Plywood sheets were used to construct the framework of the house.


HDHMR is ideal for applications requiring durability and resistance to humid conditions.
The kitchen countertops were made from HDHMR to withstand daily exposure to moisture.


Plywood's layered construction gives it a unique aesthetic and practical advantage.
The plywood's layered edges added a modern look to the custom-made desk.


HDHMR is often used in furniture and cabinetry where strength and longevity are needed.
The heavy-duty shelves were crafted from HDHMR to ensure they could bear substantial weight.


Plywood is a material made of thin layers of wood veneer glued together.
The carpenter used plywood to build a durable bookshelf.


HDHMR is an engineered wood product known for its high density and moisture resistance.
HDHMR boards were the preferred choice for bathroom cabinets due to their moisture resistance.


A structural material made of layers of wood glued together, usually with the grains of adjoining layers at right angles to each other.


(uncountable) Construction material supplied in sheets, and made of three or more layers of wood veneer glued together, laid up with alternating layers having their grain perpendicular to each other.
After the hurricane there was a severe regional shortage of plywood, especially exterior plywood.


(countable) A specific grade or type of this construction material.
We stock exterior plywoods, interior plywoods, and furniture plywoods.


(transitive) To fit or block up with plywood.


A laminate made of thin layers of wood


What is Plywood primarily used for?

Plywood is widely used in construction, furniture making, and interior decoration due to its strength and flexibility.

How is Plywood made?

Plywood is made by gluing together thin layers of wood veneer, with the grain of each layer at right angles to the next for added strength.

Can HDHMR be used for flooring?

While possible, HDHMR is not commonly used for flooring; it's better suited for cabinetry and interior paneling.

Is Plywood eco-friendly?

Plywood can be eco-friendly if sourced from sustainable forests and manufactured with low-emission processes.

How do you care for HDHMR products?

Care for HDHMR products involves regular cleaning, avoiding excessive moisture, and using gentle, non-abrasive cleaners.

Can Plywood be used outdoors?

Plywood can be used outdoors if it's specifically designed for exterior use and treated for moisture resistance.

How do you maintain Plywood surfaces?

Plywood surfaces can be maintained by regular cleaning, avoiding prolonged moisture exposure, and applying protective finishes.

Is HDHMR suitable for kitchen cabinets?

Yes, HDHMR is highly suitable for kitchen cabinets due to its high moisture resistance and durability.

What thicknesses does Plywood come in?

Plywood comes in various thicknesses, typically ranging from 1/8 inch to 1 1/4 inches.

Is HDHMR heavier than Plywood?

Yes, HDHMR is generally heavier than Plywood due to its higher density.

What is HDHMR?

HDHMR (High Density High Moisture Resistance) is an engineered wood product known for its high density and superior moisture resistance.

What makes HDHMR different from regular MDF?

HDHMR is more moisture-resistant and denser than regular MDF, making it suitable for use in humid or wet environments.

Is Plywood waterproof?

Regular Plywood is not waterproof, but there are specific types of Plywood, like marine Plywood, that are designed to be water-resistant.

Can Plywood be painted or stained?

Yes, Plywood can be easily painted or stained to achieve the desired finish.

Can HDHMR be recycled?

HDHMR can be recycled, but the process is more complex than recycling natural wood due to its composite nature.

What are the environmental impacts of HDHMR?

The environmental impact of HDHMR depends on the manufacturing process and the chemicals used for bonding and moisture resistance.

Is HDHMR easy to work with in terms of cutting and shaping?

HDHMR can be cut and shaped using standard woodworking tools, though it may require tools with higher durability due to its density.

Can HDHMR be used for load-bearing structures?

HDHMR is not typically used for load-bearing structures; it's more suited for cabinetry and interior applications.

Does HDHMR swell or warp in moisture?

HDHMR is designed to resist swelling and warping in moist conditions, making it more stable than many wood products.

How does Plywood react to changes in temperature and humidity?

Plywood can expand and contract with changes in temperature and humidity, though cross-graining reduces this effect.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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