What is ACX Plywood?

“ACX” stands for “A” grade front face, “C” grade back face, and “X” stands for exterior glue. ACX plywood earns high regard for its ability to provide a high-quality appearance on one side (A) while offering a rougher finish on the other (C). Builders and woodworkers often choose it for projects demanding both aesthetics and durability.

Origins of ACX Plywood

In the mid-20th century, there was a growing need for high-quality plywood that could withstand exterior applications. This demand prompted manufacturers to make a specialized grade known as ACX plywood. They established precise standards to ensure its exceptional quality and durability, setting it apart from other plywood grades.

How is ACX Plywood Made?

Manufacturers create ACX plywood by bonding multiple layers of wood veneers together using high-quality adhesive, typically employing softwood species like pine or fir. An exterior-grade adhesive ensures it can withstand outdoor conditions. These features make it durable and strong, ideal for a range of applications in construction and carpentry.

Grading System

The “A” grade has a high-quality appearance, making it an ideal choice for visible surfaces, while the “C” grade may have more blemishes but maintains structural integrity. “X” grade adhesive is used to stick the boards together. This combination allows for strong and durable plywood which has a good aesthetic.

Common Applications

Builders and woodworkers utilize ACX plywood in cabinetry, furniture production, flooring installations, and sheathing for exterior walls. It offers an attractive finish for visible surfaces and is also a good choice for outdoor projects such as decks, fences, and roofing due to its exterior-grade adhesive and resistance to environmental factors.

Advantages and Disadvantages

ACX plywood’s strength and durability ensure long-lasting structures, and its affordability makes it a cost-effective choice for various projects. Applications directly exposed to water may cause issues. Proper sealing and finishing techniques can help with this downside.

Maintenance and Care

Regular inspections help detect wear, damage, or moisture issues early on, preventing more extensive problems. Gentle cleaning preserves its appearance over time. In cases of damage, repair options like patching and refinishing can help rejuvenate ACX plywood, ensuring it remains a reliable choice for various projects.

Where To Buy ACX Plywood

Your local Home Depot (Not all Home Depot’s carry ACX)

Your Local Menard’s (Online/Delivery Available in some areas for ACX)