By Abhijit Phadke
This article lists the price of plywood sheets in the Indian retail market, and also dwells on the factors that are worth considering while buying plywood for our furniture requirements. The rates listed are an average approximation, that are arrived at by checking the actual quoted prices at various retail shops in Mumbai that sell plywood.
To start with, plywood is sold in the form of rectangular sheets. The most commonly sold size of these boards is 8' x 4' (8 feet x 4 feet), and the most common thickness is either 18 mm or 12 mm. Having said that, differently sized boards such as 7'x4', or 8'x3', or those that have a smaller thickness such as 6 mm sheets are also available in the market.
Plywood prices in Mumbai retail shops, as on Oct-2015 are listed in the chart below. Other cities in India, such as Pune, Bangalore, or Delhi would have the same trends more or less.
|Plywood thickness in mm||Commercial grade. Cost in Rs. per sq.ft||Waterproof grade. Cost in Rs. per sq.ft.|
The price listed in the table above is the per sq.ft. rate. Based on this rate and the size of the sheet, we can calculate the total cost of the plywood sheet that we are purchasing.
For example, consider a locally manufactured 18 mm Commercial MR grade plywood sheet of size 8'x4' (which makes it a total of 32 sq.ft.). If you buy it at the retail price of Rs. 55, the total amount that you would be spending is Rs.55 x 32 = Rs. 1760.
Check about the delivery cost too: In addition to the material cost, as a customer you would also need to check with the shopkeeper whether he will be providing free delivery of the material to the place you specify. Depending on the transport distance, the shopkeeper may charge an additional fee for the delivery in some cases.
Listed below are various factors that determine the price of plywood sheets.
1. Size: The bigger the plywood sheet is, the more it will cost. Though the most common size is 8'x4', plywood sheets are available in other sizes such as 7'x4' as well.
2. Thickness: The thicker the plywood is, the higher its cost will be. e.g. 18 mm plywood is costlier than 12 mm plywood.
3. Plywood Grade: The two commonly sold varieties are MR Grade (Moisture resistant) which is called Commercial plywood, and BWR grade (Boiling water resistant) which is called Waterproof plywood. Note*: Shopkeepers in India, often refer to BWR grade plywood as 'Marine ply', though technically this is incorrect. Waterproof plywood costs more compared to Commercial MR grade plywood.
4. Quality of wood used Plywood is made by joining together several layers of wood veneers (wood slices) obtained from trees. There are two kinds of wood obtained from trees. Wood obtained from trees such as 'teak' or 'gurjan' are a source of hardwood, whereas 'mango wood' is a source of softwood. Hardwood plywood is costlier compared to softwood plywood because of its superior quality.
5. Local or branded Branded plywood that is manufactured and marketed by reputed plywood companies costs more in comparison to the locally made plywood products.
6. The place from where you buy: These days plywood sheets can be purchased not only from the local retail shops, but from several online stores as well. There are pros and cons of each type. Consider what the local shops can provide you with; buying asistance, price negotiation, quicker delivery, and a person you can immediately talk to in case of any post-purchase problems.
On the other hand, online stores can probably offer you the same kind of plywood at cheaper rates, since they are not a typical brick-and-mortar business, and so have lesser overheads. So, the place from where you decide to buy, also affects the price that you will have to pay.