Hoop Pine Vs Birch Plywood: What Sets Them Apart?

Hoop Pine vs Birch Plywood: Which is Better?

So in the age-old debate of hoop pine vs birch plywood, which one would our team at Cabinet Timbers recommend to you? The answer to that question depends on the intended application of the plywood materials.

When purchasing plywood for a specific application, it’s imperative that you consider the unique properties of the materials you’re looking to invest in. Contrary to popular belief, not all plywood or wood composite materials offer the same level of sturdiness and rigidity. And the thickness of your plywood isn’t the only factor that dictates sturdiness either. 

We’ll be outlining the key characteristics of both hoop pine plywood and birch plywood today, as well as sharing some of the most suitable applications for both of these plywood materials.

Article Contents between hoop pine vs birch plywood:


No stress, we're here to help. Fill out the form below for a free quote and consultation with our experts.

Hoop Pine Plywood: Key Applications & Characteristics

Manufactured using hoop pine (a species of coniferous pine tree that’s native to Queensland and New South Wales), hoop pine plywood is amongst the most widely used types of plywood in Australia. Hoop pine is primarily characterised by its lighter tone, weight, and finer, porous texture. 

Alongside furniture production, other applications of hoop pine plywood include:

  • Laser cutting
  • Interior and exterior cladding
  • Interior wood panelling
  • Interior doorways
  • Flooring
  • Shopfitting 
  • Sound insulation

Hoop plywood can also be used for marine applications, however, this marine grade plywood needs to adhere to AS/NZS 2272 – 2006 and boast a permanent Type A Phenolic bond to be fit for shipwrighting, boat building, and boat repairs. Keep in mind, however, that hoop plywood is not waterproof, and if used for semi – external applications, it is essential to seal all exposed edges.

Hoop pine vs Birch plywood

What Type of Plywood is More Affordable?

At this point, you may be wondering whether hoop pine plywood is less cost-effective than birch plywood, given it requires more veneer layering in its construction to attain the same levels of thickness as birch. In short, the answer here is yes – but it depends on the grade of the plywood you’re looking to purchase.

Whilst hoop pine plywood can be cheaper than birch plywood at a B/B grade, hoop pine plywood that’s manufactured to boast an A/A grade (to suit marine applications) is naturally going to be more expensive than birch plywood at the same quantity and thickness. You can save money by thinking carefully about what grade of plywood you’ll likely need to complete your next woodworking or construction project.

Then there’s the matter of availability of your materials. Although developing hoop pine plywood can require a few extra steps, hoop pine sheets are readily available here in Australia, as the timber is harvested from local timber plants as opposed to being imported. As hoop pine plywood is readily available here in Australia, it’s recommended for woodworking projects and cutting plywood for the development of indoor furnishings and design elements, or for the construction of sheltered structural supports.

Birch Plywood: Key Applications & Characteristics

Contrastingly to hoop pine plywood, most birch plywood materials are imported from timber plants across the Northern Hemisphere. The majority of the birch plywood we stock here at Cabinet Timbers is actually imported to Melbourne from Russia, Finland, and Estonia. This is to ensure a standard of quality across all of our birch plywood.

Like hoop pine plywood, birch plywood is renowned for its smoother texture, and can easily be treated with paints, varnishes, and epoxy sealants with minimal concerns that treatment will impact the finish of your birch veneers. Its lower porosity in comparison to hoop plywood, also makes birch plywood less susceptible to experiencing wood defects. So in the debate of hoop plywood vs. birch plywood, comparing the two based on quality and finish alone will see birch take the throne as the ideal plywood type.

But what applications are suitable for birch plywood? As birch plywood is not waterproof, if used in semi-exposed applications, all edges must be sealed. Birch plywood has also been known to bow if left in direct sunlight, and so should only be used for semi-outdoor applications to boost the sustainability of birch plywood and to maintain the material’s full usable lifespan.

Here are some of the more common applications for birch plywood:

  • Interior and exterior cladding
  • Caravan internal applications
  • Indoor and outdoor furniture
  • Shopfitting
  • Sound insulation

Whilst birch plywood may also be used for marine applications, its heavier weight in comparison to hoop plywood makes it less practical for boat building. Being a hardwood, however, birch plywood is well suited to be used as a building material.

How Durable is Birch Plywood?

When compared to the structural integrity of Araucaria hoop plywood, birch is naturally expected to be more durable. After all, birch plywood is less porous, of a harder and more even texture, and is thus, able to be manufactured with less veneer layers than its hoop plywood counterparts. 

The same thickness of birch plywood in comparison to hoop plywood is able to deliver greater structural stability. As a result, wood products made using birch plywood can be thinner without having to sacrifice the longevity of that product.

Hoop pine vs Birch plywood

Hoop Pine Vs Birch Plywood: A Helpful Comparison

When comparing the attributes and differing applications of hoop pine plywood and birch plywood, it can be argued that birch plywood offers greater versatility and superior structural integrity. But these benefits of birch plywood will come with a caveat: the material’s higher price points.

For the purposes of settling the debate of hoop plywood vs. birch plywood, however, there’s no denying that the greater structural integrity, aesthetic qualities, and varying applications of birch plywood make this particular type of plywood a better choice for many woodworking projects.

If you’re looking to learn more about the comparison between the two materials or wish to know exactly what is plywood. Then, contact us today or speak to our experts today by calling (03) 8353 2222 or by completing the contact form. We would be more than happy to walk you through the differences and what particular material works for you. 

Want to read more about comparing different materials? Then, have a look at our comparative blogs to make an informed decision:


No stress, we're here to help. Fill out the form below for a free quote and consultation with our experts.

Questions? No problem!
Contact us today to speak with one of our building supplies experts
Google Rating