The Ability of Plywood All Around the Home

Before we begin talking about plywood, it can help to know what plywood substituted. Though wood has been with us forever, contemporary plywood has existed for less than 200 decades, and its omnipresence is quite recent. Now we deck the roof, sheath the walls and build cabinets. It was not long ago, however, that all of these tasks were performed by linking individual boards side by side into a larger piece of timber, or simply by nailing them alongside one another. Though the nostalgia for salvaged timber has revived interest in these types of boards and techniques, there are many benefits to using plywood instead.

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Types of Plywood

There are many different kinds of plywood, but this ideabook focuses on the forms at your regional home center, and that you may use for DIY projects around the home.

Plywood is used for virtually everything now. For example, in this photo there’s likely plywood below the hardwood flooring (likely a tongue and groove subfloor plywood), and probably plywood below the exterior wall siding. The furniture piece pictured is made from solid wood planks, attached side by side where the boards are bigger. But most cabinets nowadays could be made from smooth hardwood plywood.

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If you think about plywood, you likely think about a sheet of CDX. CDX plywood includes a “C” side, a “D” side and an “X” side. “X” signifies the glue could be subjected to the elements for a little while until it falls apart. Plywood is made by gluing many thin layers of timber (veneers) together. The wood grain of each layer runs perpendicular to the past, which lessens the wood’s tendency to divide.

You’ll find four different levels of plywood: A, B,C and D. Remembering the gap between the grades is simple — it is just like school. When it has earned an A grade, it is free from imperfections. A D grade does not mean it is useless — it is fine to face in the home or cover with shingles.

Plywood can work for all kinds of tasks, and the grade makes a big difference. CDX plywood is good for demanding structure, but you wouldn’t wish to construct a cabinet with it. A nice piece of birch plywood with an A-grade face could work fine to sheath your shed, but it is expensive, and you would be paying for caliber that you do not need, because the sheet will probably be covered with siding.

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Structural Benefits

You can see three different sheet goods utilized in the construction of these new houses in Philadelphia. The yellow sheets are exterior gypsum, used to make a fire-resistant barrier between houses. The bays’ faces are sheathed in oriented strand board, or OSB (more about this later). CDX plywood is anywhere except to the faces of the bays. Return a hundred decades and the facade of the building might have been sheathed in 1-by-8 planks, or whatever width the lumberyard had that day.

Here’s a thought experiment: Take four parts of lumber and nail them in a square. Now push the square from 1 side. Will it stay square? No, it will change to a rhombus. Now cover this square with individual boards. Will this keep the square square? It is not much of the advancement. If you nail the planks diagonally this helps, but it is nothing like putting one sheet of wood within the whole square — it wouldn’t budge. In a nutshell, explains the structural benefit of being able to use a single piece of plywood.

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If you’ve ever pushed a screw to a plank without predrilling a pit first, you know that inserting a wedge into wood makes it split across the grain. All plywood accomplishes this, because the timber grain of each layer is different compared to past.

But what if, instead of gluing together massive sheets of wood at right angles, you glued together tiny pieces of timber at all different angles? You would get a similar effect whilst using small wood pieces which could otherwise become waste. The consequence of this process is either OSB plywood, or oriented strand board. OSB is less expensive than CDX, and under the right conditions performs well.

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I have seen CDX plywood and OSB get rained on if delays happen and roofs and siding are not installed. The CDX buckles in areas but usually holds up. The OSB turns to mush substantially faster. Once the glues begin to break down, you’re left with little pieces of timber.

The merchandise shown here is the Zip System from Huber; it has a weather-resistant barrier applied to OSB. Green is for the walls; brownish is for the roof. This saves you the step of stapling a barrier up such as Tyvek after installing the plywood. Once the seams are taped, you have a continuous air barrier. Compare it to the previous boards nailed up with a lot of openings for air to blow through, and you can see how the current building techniques can save you energy.

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recently focus has turned into the glues in plywood, and what fumes the item is off-gassing to our houses when used indoors. To decrease harmful VOCs, search for plywood with glues which have no added urea-formaldehyde.

The plywood used in the construction of the cabinets in this image goes one step farther. The doors, shelves and cabinet boxes are all made from bamboo plywood. Bamboo is a grass that grows quickly, also it is a sustainable substitute for timber from trees. Sustainability is all in the details, however, so do your homework to be sure the life-cycle costs of the product are really less than the product which you are replacing.

In addition, there are plywoods made from sorghum and wheat germ. The look of these alternate plywood products is part of the allure.

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Plywood is overly helpful to end up just cladding buildings and becoming covered up from other building materials. It has many uses indoors, also. This plywood is used to make a exceptional railing for the stairs. If you take into consideration the labor saved by employing large, strong, straight sheets of timber in building products, plywood is an economical solution to many issues. You are limited only by your imagination.

Hint: Make Certain to use the Ideal thickness. Plywood that is 3/4 inch is quite rigid and good for walking on shelving etc.. If you are applying a layer of plywood over another surface and you simply need a smooth surface — say that a luan plywood underlayment for flooring — 1/4 inch will do just fine.

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OK, so now you’re heading into the shop to purchase plywood for your next job. Here are a few suggestions:
When it is for beneath your floor or roof, it should be tongue and groove plywood, where the boards associate along with puzzle pieces for firmness at the seams. I told you to purchase 3/4 inch but you might show up to the lumber yard and see 23/32 inch. Bring a tape measure or calculator and get the closest to the dimensions you want. Contractors talk about 1/4 inch, 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch, but you’ll also see 7/16 inch, 15/32 inch and all types of different fractions.

If you are building something such as garage shelving that does not have to be ideal, but should be somewhat free of imperfections, get a 3/4-inch B or C plywood.

If you are planning to create cabinets or an interior project where the surface of the plywood will be seen, I suggest having a wood plywood, such as a birch plywood which has a smooth A-grade face. Hardwood plywood may be stained in addition to painted, and will end in a nice finished product.There are many beautiful forests which may be applied as the surface veneer into a plywood made primarily from less expensive woods. Let your imagination go crazy and make a statement. The Mesopotamians initially created plywood by gluing wood together if there was not enough about. In modern times we do not have to waste wood either, and plywood brings with it enough other benefits to make it a win-win situation.

Next: See what you can do with drywall

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