Finding Quality Cabinet Plywood


From original questioner:

We are about to start work on a kitchen project that will be using birch ply wood for the boxes. Until now we have only really used melamine
my question is how do you select the best quality ply and where to source it ?
I purchased some recently that was less than ideal and it has really left me wondering if there really is any good cabinet grade plywood.

From contributor Du

Beware of the Chinese import birch ply products. It's about as flat as a potato chip, which makes it hard to cut, bore, assemble, ect. Domestic birch plywood is usually substantially better, but at twice the price. I'd try to get a look at what your suppliers offer before you buy a bunch of it.

From contributor Ji

I've been using a China birch the last few months from a past supplier, after discussing with some other local shop owner that are also friends. I build frameless and this is a very nice product, virtually void free, and stays flat if you put a cover sheet on it at night.
Also has one clear face.
I had previously used a Chinese birch that warped in every imaginable direction when you cut it.
There are different grades and I would not lump them all together. Do your homework and exercise due diligence and you'll find the right product.

From contributor Mi

I'm using import as well. Certain sheets do warp, others don't. I considered paying the extra for domestic but my rep said it didn't look any better than the import. I went and looked at it myself and it looked worse, at a higher price. I do use domestic for my finished sides, usually maple, and I strategically cut it to make it work but I'm not impressed with the quality of it.

From contributor Az

China is not cheap ENOUGH for me but if push came to shove a moisture meter would be applied BEFORE any came off the delivery truck, in addition to a visual inspection.

From contributor Da

AZ Fred
I do usually check the moisture of my solid but not the ply what level should we be checking for ?
we are based in saskatchewan Canada so we are limited with suppliers.

From contributor Az

I'm not sure about Saskatchewan but probably in the 6 to 10% range, same as lumber. I have seen 22% in China birch straight off the docks in LA that became a pretzel within the week.

From contributor Da

AzFred - where you at in SK?

From contributor Ro

We use the import prefinished at $36 a sheet because it cost $24 less a sheet for close to the same quality. It's stamped California Carb compliant and on the several units of domestic maple I've used it performs pretty much on par. Maybe one or two bad units out of hundreds in the last ten years...even they were useable.