Which type of plywood do you use?

Dear community,

Thank you for helping me with the final configuration of the cnc router, your feedback was precious. The machine is currently being manufactured and is expected to arrive during spring.

We are planning to cut the first pieces and create the first Wikihouse here in Portugal next summer. According to the outcome the ideal will be to have a total of 10 wikihouses and a large common area as the start towards building our community.

While I am waiting for the machine to arrive I have already started contacting local suppliers to have an estimate of costs,types,grades and dimensions.

The current area that we are temporarily installed is surrounded by furniture factories and they have many and various types of plywood. One common type is marine plywood.

I would like to ask from the ones who already built their wikihouse what type of plywood do you use? Do you recommend the material for building habitable structures? Which types of plywood do you recommend rthat don’t have odor or health issues?


Hi there!

Plywood is split up into a few different categories that you need to take note of:

Wood type (Pine, Spruce, Birch, Poplar, etc)
Wood thickness (you are looking for 18mm)
Structural/Non-Structural Grading (You are looking for structural)
Treated/Untreated (I think Untreated is the standard in Europe)
Appearance (DD, CC, BB, AA, where the higher the letter the better the face, each side can be different, so CD or BC for example, you are likely looking for DD or CD depending on availability)

Furniture manufacturers will likely have much higher quality appearance, and non structural, so it might not be particularly useful to use their suppliers.

Spruce is very common in the UK, as well as some versions of OSB. I would ask your local suppliers for 18mm, untreated, structural plywood (DD or CD appearance grade) or structural OSB when doing some research.

@melhof is in Spain, not Portugal, but he might have a better idea of what is available/preferable in the region.


Great to hear from you @Embaixada_Juventude - please share more about your plans to use WikiHouse in Portugal when you can - we’d love to know more.

ps. I think @christiaan is based in Portugal too.


Thank you @lachlan for your suggestion and recommentations. I had the chance to visit @melhof, a very kind guy with a lot of knowledge in the area to collaborate with. A attach a picture below from the official visit :sunglasses: :sunglasses:

Sure @Mel, we are preparing a presentation about the project to start with the digital storytelling. Updates are coming up this spring, we will share with the community our progress. We had a community of volunteers, entrepreneurs and trainees running for 2 years during covid near Porto. The high costs of renting and lack of flexibility on what we could do with the space made as take the decision to purchase a land in the interior of Portugal where we will continue our projects.


This is great to hear! Where in the interior of Portugal did you decide for your project? I think you might be the first WikiHouse in the country!

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It will be in Vale de Prazeres, a village in Fundao in the district of Castelo Branco. A place to host the Wikihouse community :slight_smile:


This sounds like a great project! I was a couple hours drive from there. But sods law I’ve moved to New Zealand for now!

Good luck with it all, I look forward to hearing of your progress. I’m really interested how you get on with choice and supply of materials etc.