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Interior finishes - Plywood

When can plywood be used as an interior finish?

Any examples are for illustrative purposes only.

The requirements for interior finish in Health Care Occupancies may be found in NFPA 101 (2012 edition) Life Safety Code at Section 18/19.3.3 and are amended by Section for sprinkled facilities.

In non-sprinkled Health Care facilities, the requirement for ASTM E 84 Class A or B wall finishes applies:  
  • Existing Health Care Occupancy may be either Class A or Class B
  • Facilities are classified as "existing" if final plans for construction, additions, renovations, or changes in occupancy were approved by the local authority having jurisdiction before July 5, 2016
  • New Health Care Occupancy requires Class A with two exceptions:
    • In individual rooms with a capacity up to 4 people, Class A or B is permitted
    • Corridor wall finish up to a height of 48" above the floor may be either Class A or B
Class A requires a flame spread index of 0-25, Class B 26-75.  For plywood applied to the walls (such as in IT closets or electrical rooms), either a visible "fire-treated" stamp or a coating of intumescent paint is required. If the intumescent paint option is used, then keep on record specifications that show the flame spread rating of the product.  Untreated or unpainted (intumescent paint) plywood is considered a Class C finish.

For sprinkled Health Care facilities, Section allows Class C in any location where Class B is required as described above, or Class B in any location where Class A is required as described above.

For Ambulatory Health Care occupancies, the code points to Chapters 38 & 39 (Business Occupancy) for interior finish requirements.  Both existing and New Ambulatory Health Care occupancies require Class A or B wall finishes in exits and exit access corridors and Class A, B, or C everywhere else.  Similar to Health Care occupancy, the requirements are amended for sprinkled facilities by Section
Manual: Ambulatory
Chapter: Life Safety LS
First published date: April 11, 2016 This Standards FAQ was first published on this date.
This page was last updated on June 28, 2024 with update notes of: Editorial changes only Types of changes and an explanation of change type: Editorial changes only: Format changes only. No changes to content. | Review only, FAQ is current: Periodic review completed, no changes to content. | Reflects new or updated requirements: Changes represent new or revised requirements.
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