ACX Plywood: A Guide For Beginners

ACX plywood

Contemporary plywood has existed for less than 200 years, and only a few decades ago it became a popular choice of flooring and sheathing for household purposes and industrial applications. Nowadays, you can easily spot it decking of roof and covering of cabinets, and its usage has become diverse in nature. It is also used under exterior walls siding behind the insulation material to add stability to the foundational structure of the room. As a manufactured product, it is if offered in various types, such as CDX plywood and ACX plywood. The grading of the panels depends upon the appearance and functionality of the final product, which can affect its price range as well.

For woodworking projects – which require high level of precision – mostly cabinet-grade products are manufactured that have high standard of aesthetics and they usually comprise a greater number of sheets glued together. Each panel contains separate sheets combined together in odd numbers, which in turn ensures that the middle layer gets even and balanced pressure from both the side. This mechanism helps the wood retain its original state for a long period of time, and it doesn’t expand easily because of being tightly held together by high-quality adhesives. When surface imperfections don’t really matter, then customers usually purchase sheathing panels, which are not only highly affordable but they can also protect the inner layer for several months without triggering any deterioration effect. For aesthetically appealing hardwood face veneers, you might have to purchase plywood panels with higher grades, such as A and B, which ensures to add elegance to the living place or outdoor area they are installed in.

What is ACX Plywood?

This is a high grade plywood with virtually no blemishes or discoloration, and it proves to be a perfect option for outdoor projects that are executed to increase the value of a building or residential property. It is applied during cabinetry projects as its front side is sanded with A-grade plywood – which remains visible after it has been applied on the flooring or wall. The inner side has various defects and major knots, which are highly unsightly. Because of the fact that the plywood is only visible from the front face, this makes it easy for the manufacturers to direct their resources to the front side, so that they can utilize the limited resources in an effective manner.

What Does ACX Stand For?

The letter “A” is used to describe the front side of the plywood panel that is visible after it has been installed over a structure. This face veneer comprises of high-quality grains that don’t get easily dispersed after being subjected to pressure or force. All the voids present on the upper side of the panel are patched individually, so that the entire board appears smooth without any major defects.

The letter “C” refers to the inner side of the panel, which remains hidden to the eye after being attached over a surface. It has more number of seams and voids compared to the front face, and can have an uneven and bumpy surface. Because of the fact that it stays in the contact to the ground or wall, so the wood mill doesn’t use high-quality wood for this part of the panel as it doesn’t affect the appearance of the product.

Finally, the letter “X” represents the exterior adhesive that is waterproof in nature, so it can be used in areas which are likely to be exposed to raindrops during rainfall. Your shelves or decks would stay protected against the elements of weather, and you would not have to replace your plywood items after a storm season.

ACX Plywood Features

Each panel comprises of several fine wood grain sheets glued together to form a thick board, which gives it the illusion of being a single piece. Each layer is arranged in a manner so that its grains appear perpendicular to the grains of the adjacent layer. This irregular pattern of the wood grains allows the tiny gaps to be filled up by the fine edges of wood, and it prevents the grains from expanding in a forward direction.

In order to manufacture the interior solid wood piece, rough patched pine is used because it has high functionality rather than being appealing to the eyes. On the other hand, the exterior part is made from fine grains, which adds beauty to the entire structure from the external view. For the outdoor surface, waterproof adhesive is used so that the entire structure remains impervious to water throughout the lifespan of the product. They are mostly free from any possible defect, and you can use to add elegance to your bookshelf or other furniture items in the household.


ACX plywood is made to withstand moist ground – which becomes wet due to rain or other reasons – and it can retain its real shape and size without being affected by the external weather conditions. The substandard quality of plywood is highly susceptible to expand during the summer season when the air is not dry and the level of precipitation is substantially higher than other seasons. Before you go to your local hardware store to gather these expensive supplies, you should first evaluate whether you require high grade or low grade plywood. You don’t want to waste your money on smooth plywood panels, if you only want to use it below your wall sidings to increase the level of insulation of the room. The purpose of maintaining constant temperature within the indoor space can be maintained from low grade plywood, and you don’t need to spend a fortune on this sophisticated type of plywood. If you are a landlord, then you can expect to get desired rent amounts from potential tenants if you install high-grade material plywood panels in different parts of the house. For cabinet doors and jambs, this can be a great option as it doesn’t have any major inconsistencies in terms of its structure and overall outlook.

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