Core Types

Columbia specializes in making all-wood veneer core hardwood plywood, but we can also apply our faces and backs to a variety of other cores and core types we purchase from outside sources.

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Veneer Core

Veneer Core is produced by placing the “lines” of core veneers into the panel “sandwich” so that adjacent plies having a grain direction oriented at approximate right angles to each other. Veneer core panels are relatively light in comparison with composite core panels, typically weighing about 70 pounds per 3/4″ panel.

veneer core plywood

Veneer core offers superior physical properties than either PBC and MDF, but they may exhibit a bit more thickness variation.

Due to ever decreasing face veneer thicknesses, slight imperfections on a veneer core surface may show through or “telegraph.”

Veneer core may be manufactured with fir, aspen or yellow poplar, or a combination of these.



MPX core is Columbia’s newest core innovation using extremely smooth poplar hardwood cross bands under the face and back. These poplar crossbands are peeled on state-of-the-art Meinan® lathes producing the smoothest domestic all-wood core in North America.





Multi-layered core is a specialty all hardwood “European style,” high ply-count birch veneer core blank. This core is often used for decorative applications where the panel edge is revealed. Europly PLUS® and DesignEdge™ are NAUF panels. A 3/4″ Europly PLUS® panel weighs about 85 lbs. A 3/4″ DesignEdge™ panel weighs about 63 lbs.





Particleboard Core (PBC) is composed of wood particles bonded together with adhesive. It’s the least expensive core option, with a smooth, void-free surface. PBC is very uniform in thickness and density, but is heavy weighing about 100 lbs per 3/4″ panel.





Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) is composed of wood fiber bundles bonded with adhesive. It offers a very smooth, void-free surface. MDF has greater strength and screw holding properties than particleboard and weighs around 100 lbs per 3/4″ panel. MDF is a good choice for very thin panel applications.




core_combiCombi-Core is constructed of veneer core inner plies with MDF cross bands next to the face and back. Offers similar strength and stability to veneer core but has the void-free surface quality of MDF. This visibly reduces core veneer telegraphing.