Lightweight Poplar Plywood

High-quality lightweight plywood:

Lightweight Plywood: Grade I poplar veneer

Poplar plywood is A lightweight plywood manufactured using black poplar (populus nigra) veneers that are typically laid with each layer perpendicular to the previous. This construction offers a panel that is stable and very strong, but with the added benefit of being extremely lightweight.

Plywood of this type is used by manufacturers of caravans, RVs and other vehicles, doors, toys, boats & yachts, decorative panels, furniture & joinery, and packaging, shopfitters & exhibition/display companies.

This wood is also available as poplar fineline plywood, and as the core of lightweight veneered plywood


Winwood Products is a lightweight poplar plywood supplier offering the following configurations/options:

Lightweight poplar throughout plywood:

Lightweight Plywood: Poplar Plywood

The use of poplar veneer throughout the construction of this plywood results in a stable & strong panel that is extremely light in weight with a clean, creamy-white face and core. Poplar plywood is regularly used where a clean-faced, consistent, lightweight panel is required. It is also available in large size & thickness.

Lightweight poplar plywood is used in the manufacture of decorative panel products, for instance laminated & veneered plywoods. It is the perfect material for such applications as it offers a strong & stable panel with a uniform, reliable surface that is highly suitable for overlaying.

Lightweight poplar core plywood:

Lightweight Plywood: Ceiba Faced Poplar Plywood

While the lightweight characteristics of poplar plywood are often viewed as an advantage on their own, other face options can be supplied to offer improved performance for specific end-uses. Poplar plywood faced with exotic veneers, MDF and chipboard are examples of this type of composite product.

Exotic veneers & MDF are often used for overlaying with very thin decorative coverings - avoiding the risk of any grain telegraphing through them - and to achieve a superior painted finish, while MDF & chipboard faced poplar plywoods are used when overlaying thin surface coverings such as melamine papers.

Unidirectional poplar drawerside plywood:

Poplar plywood can be supplied with all the veneers making up the core laid with their grain in the same general direction. This construction can be engineered to allow easier bending across the grain, or to give a more uniform colour & pattern to the edge - avoiding end-grain showing along the edge of the panel. This construction is often called 'poplar drawerside plywood'. Typically the layer directly below the face veneer is crossbanded at 90 degrees to minimise the risk of small splits & cracks appearing on the face due to movements caused by varying moisture conditions.


Poplar plywood face options:

You can order lightweight veneered plywood faced with one of our decorative veneers - or lightweight laminated plywood faced with a range of laminates, but this lightweight plywood is most commonly requested with one of the face options shown below.

Poplar veneer - EN 635-2 Class I (AB - UNI 6471):

  • Faces that may remain visible - ideal for any type of finishing, i.e. clear coatings such as varnishes & lacquer, or pigmented finishes such as paints & laminates.
  • May contain a few pin knots or healthy & live knots without cracks, small, well-done putty repair work that blends well with the rest of the surface, and very light discolouration

Standard sizes - Poplar throughout plywood
2220/2440/2500/2520/3120x1220/1250mm  -  2220/2520x1720mm
2220/2520/3120x1850mm  -  3120x1530/2120mm
1250x2500/3120mm  -  1300x3050mm  -  1850x3120/3660/4100/5150mm
2120x3120/3660mm
(other sizes, e.g. 1830x1830mm by arrangement)

Poplar veneer - EN 635-2 Class II (B - UNI 6471):

  • Natural face with colour variations and healthy knots, suitable for coating with laminates, paints or varnishes.
  • May contain healthy, live knots up to 35mm diameter and small knotholes or cracks, so long as good repairs have been made.
  • May also contain light discolouration and some limited glue stains and good repairs

Standard sizes - Poplar throughout plywood
2220/2440/2500/2520/3120x1220/1250mm  -  2220/2520x1720mm
2220/2520/3120x1850mm  -  3120x1530/2120mm
1250x2500/3120mm  -  1300x3050mm  -  1850x3120/3660/4100/5150mm
2120x3120/3660mm
(other sizes, e.g. 1830x1830mm by arrangement)

Poplar veneer - EN 635-2 Class IIII (BB - UNI 6471):

  • Commercial face with putty work performed - ideal for non-visible uses and overlaying with laminates and veneers.
  • May contain healthy knots up to 50mm diameter, small loose knots, cracks, bark and overlapping.
  • May also include natural discolouration, glue stains, repairs and any form of putty work and repairs.

Standard sizes - Poplar throughout plywood
2220/2440/2500/2520/3120x1220/1250mm  -  2220/2520x1720mm
2220/2520/3120x1850mm  -  3120x1530/2120mm
1250x2500/3120mm  -  1300x3050mm  -  1850x3120/3660/4100/5150mm
2120x3120/3660mm
(other sizes, e.g. 1830x1830mm by arrangement)

Poplar veneer - EN 635-2 Class IV (C - UNI 6471):

  • Plywood face designed for packaging and similar uses.
  • May contain all the natural wood characteristics and various processing defects, provided these do not compromise the functions of the plywood. (NB: The presence of fungi and metal parts is not allowed)

Standard sizes - Poplar throughout plywood
2220/2440/2500/2520/3120x1220/1250mm  -  2220/2520x1720mm
2220/2520/3120x1850mm  -  3120x1530/2120mm
1250x2500/3120mm  -  1300x3050mm  -  1850x3120/3660/4100/5150mm
2120x3120/3660mm
(other sizes, e.g. 1830x1830mm by arrangement)

Ceiba/Fromager veneer- EN 635-2 Class I (AB - UNI 6471):

  • This veneer is used to achieve a surface that is uniform in colour and can be more cost-effective than Class III poplar. Its uniform, pinky red colour avoids any show-through of knots when light coloured coverings are applied, which can sometimes prove to be an issue when using class III poplar faces.

Standard sizes - Ceiba faced poplar plywood
2500x1220mm -  3050x1310mm  -  3120x1850mm
1850x3120/3660/4100/5150mm  -  2070x2820mm 
(other sizes by arrangement)

Ilomba/Otie veneer- EN 635-2 Class I (AB - UNI 6471):

  • Ilomba is used for covering with very thin papers & foils that require a very exacting and high surface quality, as it has improved resistance to surface impact or bruising of the fibres.
  • This face veneer is regularly requested on poplar core plywood for use with very thin papers (regularly used with papers of 60g/m2) in standard size 2500x1220mm.

Standard sizes - Ilomba faced poplar plywood
2500x1220mm
(other sizes such as 3050/3100x1220/1525mm by arrangement)

Okoume/Gaboon veneer- EN 635-2 Class I (AB - UNI 6471):

  • Often called 'gaboon' in the UK, okoume is a pinky red veneer offering a surface that takes a primer or paint covering well.
  • This veneer is typically used for the faces of plywoods that are required for use in exterior applications.

Standard sizes - Okoume faced poplar plywood
2500x1220mm  -  3100x1530/1700/1830mm
(other sizes by arrangement)

MDF - EN 635-2 Class I (AB - UNI 6471):

  • 3mm thick MDF faces offer the uniformity of an MDF surface, while still retaining all of the advantages of a lightweight plywood construction.
  • This composite product offers the ability to bond melamine papers and other coverings to the surfaces of plywood, whilst avoiding the problems regularly experienced with blowout due to variable amounts of moisture held in the face veneers.

Standard sizes - MDF faced poplar plywood
2520/3660/5150x1850mm  -  2820x2070mm  -  3120/3660x2120mm
(other sizes by arrangement)

Chipboard - EN 635-2 Class I (AB - UNI 6471):

  • Chipboard faces offer the uniformity of a chipboard surface, while still retaining all of the advantages of a lightweight plywood construction.
  • This is a composite product offering the ability to bond high pressure laminates and other coverings to the surfaces of plywood, whilst avoiding the problems regularly experienced with blowout due to variable amounts of moisture held in the face veneers.

Standard sizes - Chipboard faced poplar plywood
2520/3660x1850mm  -  3120/3660x2120mm
(other sizes by arrangement)

Eyong veneer:

  • Eyong veneer is used to achieve a face that is much harder than the other veneers regularly used with poplar core, where a uniform surface suitable for overlaying with coverings is not required.
  • It is commonly used for the manufacture of caravan floors, where a face veneer that is more resistant to impact damage is desired.

Standard sizes - Eyong faced poplar plywood
2080x1250mm  -  2200x1250mm  -  2380x1250mm
(other sizes by arrangement)

Other surface finishes can be supplied to special order, including peeled exotic veneers such as ayous (obeche) & kapokier.

How to describe the product you want:

The plywoods are typically described by means of the combination of the grades of face / back veneers (EN 635-2) and the performance required (EN 636-1 = interior applications, EN 636-2 = covered exteriors, EN 636-3 = exposed exterior areas).

For example: 'II/III ilomba faced lightweight poplar plywood - EN 314-2 Class 1'

NB: The glueline according to EN 314-2 is implied from the EN 636 rating as Class 1, 2 or 3 respectively


Decorative Veneer Faced Poplar Plywood:

Any of our wide range of decorative real wood veneers can be bonded onto poplar plywood core.


Technical Details:


Lightweight plywood:

Poplar plywood is regularly used for lightweight applications, as it is approximately 40-45% lighter than normal commercial plywood panels, such as birch plywood.

The following are approximate average weights of our poplar throughout plywood panels, along with typical packing quantities:


Environmentally friendly:

Poplar is a quick-growing tree, planted mainly along Italian rivers in order to reinforce dikes and lands with its roots. It lives approximately 10 years, can be easily grown and when cut can be easily substituted by agricultural crops on the same land.

Since it is grown in place of agricultural crops and is quick-growing, the use of poplar as a raw material does not affect the environment in the same way as some other lumbers can, and poplar plywood is therefore a very environmentally friendly product.

Additionally, any part of the log that is not used for plywood veneers is utilised in the manufacture of lightweight chipboard or burned for fuel, in order to reduce wastage to an absolute minimum.


PEFC & FSC Certification:

Winwood Products is a supplier of FSC certified poplar plywood and/or PEFC certified poplar plywood.

These certification systems allow you to purchase wood-based products safe in the knowledge that they have been sensibly and sustainably managed all along the supply path from when the tree was cut down from the forest, right to the point they arrive with you.

To find out more go to our FAQS


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