Plywood – Specifications

This standard was originally in three parts, but was reissued in 2003 in a single part as follows:

The 2003 edition of EN 636 retains the designations -1, -2 and -3 from the previous three part standard to represent dry, humid or exterior conditions of use.

The environmental conditions for which each of these types of plywood are considered suitable are defined according to the parameters laid down for use classes in BS EN 335 durability of wood and wood-based products. Use classes: definitions applicable to solid wood and wood-based products.

Dry Conditions:
For interior applications with no risk of wetting, defined in Use Class 1, with a moisture content corresponding to environmental conditions of 20°C and 65% relative humidity.

Humid Conditions:
For use in protected exterior applications as defined in Use Class 2, with a moisture content corresponding to environmental conditions of 20°C and 85% relative humidity.

Exterior Conditions:
For use in unprotected external applications, as defined in Use Class 3, where the moisture content will frequently be above 20%.

EN 636 also introduces bending strength and modulus classes based on bending tests to EN 310. These give a designated strength (F) and modulus (E) parallel and perpendicular to the face grain. An example designation would therefore be F10/20, E30/40.

EN 636 gives minimum values for each of the classes and EN 12369-2 gives corresponding characteristic values for use with each of these classes.

Plywood for use in construction must demonstrate compliance with the Construction Products Directive (CPD). The most straightforward route to achieving this is by demonstrating compliance with EN 13986, and therefore must carry a CE mark.

Dry 20°C with R/H 65% Interior application no risk of wetting Humid 20°C with R/H 85% Protected exterior applications or humid environments Exterior Moisture content higher than 20% Unprotected exterior applications
Bonding Quality
Mechanical Properties
Formaldehyde Emission *
Dimensional Tolerance
  • Characteristics values
  • Bending Strength
  • Bending Strength
EN 314-2
EN 335
EN 12369 -1
EN 789/EN 1058
/EN310 EN310
EN 13986
EN 636/DD
ENV 717-1
EN 712-2
Bonding Class 1
Use Class 1
E1 or E2
E1 or E2
Bonding Class 2
Use Class 2
E1 or E2
E1 or E2
Bonding Class 3
Use Class 3
E1 or E2
E1 or E2
Decision Making Guidance

Please see a list of considerations to take into account when specifying a product from our Plywood range:


  • Consider the performance required of the component and duration of service life.


  • Determine the Use Class of the situation in which the wood-component will be used and the biological agencies that threaten it.


  • Assess whether the durability of the plywood to be used is sufficient. If not, select for the component a more durable type of panel or choose another solution such as design or preservative protection.


  • The specification and application of plywood for Use Class 3 should take into account the importance of sealing the edges of panels in order to achieve optimum levels of performance. 


  • Where a project has specific requirements in terms of face grade, grain and colour please contact us directly to discuss details.