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Plywood RTD: Advantages of Ready-to-Decorate Plywood

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In the construction industry, some materials are the mainstays in various projects. Plywood is one of them. It’s the most prevalent building material, whether it’s for sheds, pet houses, or garages. However, it gets more complicated after this, as some materials, like plywood, have many different types.

It’s standard for many builders to be overwhelmed by the plywood options. One of the many plywood types is RTD plywood, a newly formed plywood already gaining massive usage in construction. Plywood often comes in code-like names that may be difficult to decipher for non-builders.

Names like RTD need clarification before discussing their usefulness. Before you start using RTD plywood, you must know what it entails and its advantages. If you stick around with this piece, you’ll learn everything about RTD plywood, including its benefits.

Plywood Ratings

Plywood Ratings

Understanding how plywood is rated will provide a better platform to examine RTD plywood. It’s the first thing you should learn before choosing suitable plywood for your project or using RTD. We understand this importance, so we’ve included this section before discussing RTD plywood.

Generally, plywood is rated based on appearance, which includes the amount of defect on the surface and its level of smoothness. The primary grading system is from A to D, while some have N, A, B, C, and D plywood grades. However, we’ll focus on the most common type: the A, B, C, and D plywood grades.

Grade A plywoods have the best appearance with smooth surfaces and fewer defects, with the appearance depreciating to grade D. Grade D sports have the highest number of defects that may require more than wood fillers to fix and come with a rough face.

Typically, plywoods have three lettered names, with the first two letters representing the front and backboard grades. The last letter, on the other hand, represents the type of glue used to bind them together. The first letter represents the front board, while the second represents the backside.

While the plywood grade is vital, the type of glue used is just as important, especially for construction purposes. Some binders provide better water resistance and more durability to your projects than others. Keep this information in mind as we navigate RTD plywood.

What is RTD Plywood?

What is RTD Plywood?

Unlike many other plywood types, where the grade of the boards used codenames it, RTD follows a different route. RTD stands for Resistance Temperature Detector and is regarded as a modern generation plywood. It gets the “modern” tag as it was only recently invented and sports impressive modern features.

One of the many next-generation features is its temperature reading ability. This capacity is obtained from the detector used to manufacture the plywood, making it possible to read its temperature when layer bonding.

Now you may be wondering why the temperature during bonder matters. Paying attention and measuring the temperature during bonding makes this board one of the most high-quality plywood available. It’s because layers can bond properly since the process is in a controlled environment. Defects like delamination that expands the edges are eliminated.

Even though the name “RTD” does not reference plywood grades like the others, this plywood type is also graded based on appearance and defects. RTD is highly durable due to the Resistance Temperature Detector system used in its forming process.

When producing this plywood, the RTD tubes, equipped with Resistance Temperature Detector sensors, will inform the press system of the plywood and glue temperatures. With this information, the press system can calculate the optimal temperature to bind the pieces. It’s why delamination is prevented even when the RTD is exposed to heat or moisture.

RTD Plywood Grades and Uses

RTD Plywood Grades and Uses

By now, you know what RTD plywood is and may be curious to know its use cases; however, it is best to take a step back to understand the different types of RTD plywood. Yes, RTD plywoods come in two primary grades rated based on their water resistance levels: Exposure 1 and Exterior Panels. After learning about these two grades, you’ll be better positioned to select the one most suited to your needs.

1. Exposure 1

Exposure 1 RTD plywood is designed with good water resistance. However, it can only hold up on minimal exposure to moisture. Prolonged exposure will damage the wood. Exposure 1 will hold up to dampness but not to water over a long period. It will affect its uses since it can only be utilized in areas with minimal moisture. Exposure 1 RTD is also called CDX plywood.


Exposure 1 RTD is best used in areas with minimalistic levels as its qualities do not support heavy moisture exposure. Subflooring is one of the most common uses for exposure 1 RTD plywood, as the circulating air regulates the amount of moisture exposed to the wood.

2. Exterior Panels

Exterior panels RTD sports an impressive waterproof quality that makes it suitable for prolonged exposure to moisture. It can be used in wet areas without problems due to the waterproof glue that holds its layers. While many users are conversant with its water-resistance qualities, it may surprise you that exterior panels RTD are also fire-resistant.

The plywood is treated with particular chemicals that prevent the fire from spreading on the wood. Exterior panels are also referred to as RTD sheathing due to their impressive durability.


Since exterior panels have the most water resistance ability of the two and can withstand moisture without damage, their use cases are endless. However, roofs and outdoor spaces are among the most prevalent uses. You can install this plywood where leaks are common, as they’ll hold up well in such circumstances.

Pros and Cons of RTD Plywood

Pros and Cons of RTD Plywood

With the many different plywoods available, the question about the pros and cons of each new plywood will always arise. Builders want to know how this differs from others and what they should expect. If you’re in this category, this is the perfect section.


  • Resistance to delamination: It resists delamination, a widespread plywood problem where the layers separate. It is often caused by a poor manufacturing process, which does not exist in RTD plywood. Their manufacturing process is controlled to ensure proper binding.
  • Resistance to boiling water:
    While RTD is not the ultimate waterproof plywood, it has a good resistance level.
  • Pest resistance: Its layers prevent pest attacks and ultimately improve the durability of the plywood.
  • Due to its excellent structure, RTD can hold screws well and have impressive weight-bearing capacity.
  • Resistance to extreme weather conditions: RTD plywood’s binding process ensures it holds even in harsh weather conditions.


  • Despite claims from some manufacturers, RTD is only partially waterproof.
  • RTD is not the most affordable, but this is expected considering the precise manufacturing process it undergoes. It may be out of reach for people building under a strict budget.
  • Its physical appeal is low due to the plywood grades used to manufacture this plywood.


We’ve included an FAQ section to answer some common questions about RTD plywood. After careful observation, we have found the following to be the most common ones:

Q1. How does RTD plywood differ from CDX?

Ans: The significant difference between the two is the manufacturing process. While RTD uses Resistance Temperature Detector sensors to deliver quality binding, CDX utilizes exposure glue with decent moisture resistance qualities. In general, RTD is more durable than CDX.

Q2. Is RTD plywood waterproof?

Ans: While waterproof may be used in some instances describing RTD, it is not entirely waterproof. Instead, it has an impressive level of water resistance that allows it to be around moisture without damage.

Q3. Is RTD plywood fire-resistant?

Ans: Exterior panels RTD plywood is fire resistant as special chemicals block the spread of fire on its surface. Exposure 1 RTD plywood, conversely, is not immune to fire.

Q4. Can RTD plywood be used indoors?

Ans: RTD can be used indoors for furniture and cabinets other than roofing or flooring.


RTD means Resistance Temperature Detector and is the manufacturing process used to make plywood. It involves the creation of the plywood in a controlled environment where temperature is measured. RTD plywood is durable and has high longevity as it is free from delamination – a common plywood problem.

This type of plywood exhibits good water resistance qualities while a specific grade also adds fire resistance to its many advantages. It can be used for roofing, flooring, outdoor projects, and furniture making.