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Does Plywood Make Good Flooring? 

Deciding on the type of flooring that will be used for a house that is under construction should be made at the earliest possible time. There are various types of flooring options that are being sold in the industry. Sometimes, this is the cause of construction delays, which can add to the expenses to the homeowner. One of the options that is getting increased popularity in the past years is plywood flooring. People have wondered what cases would make plywood a good choice of material for the flooring of a house. This article will show various reasons and cases that would make plywood flooring a good choice for you.

Plywood And Its Place In The Flooring Industry

Wood flooring is a mainstay in the flooring industry. The durability and strength of wood are very important aspects in the manufacturing of flooring tiles, panels, and panels. Traditionally, hardwood has been one of the most chosen types of flooring materials in the industry. However, there are people who find it hard to go with this option since it is known to be one of the costlier choices. With the technological advancements within the flooring industry, an alternative to hardwood flooring has been made possible with the use of plywood as the flooring material.

This type of flooring is made by bonding together multiple plies of wood veneer. The adhesive used to bond these layers of wood veneer is usually made from urea formaldehyde, which is one of the strongest adhesives that may be used on wood. Plywood is manufactured into panels, which usually have a size of 8’x4’. To make these plywood panels stronger and more durable, the wood veneers are stacked by having their grains run in the opposite direction. A plywood panel that can be used as flooring for a house should have a minimum thickness of 5/8”. This type of material is one of the flexible types that can work well as the subfloor or finished flooring of the house.

Subflooring is the structure that is attached to the floor joists. This serves as support to the finished flooring that will be installed in the house. A sturdy subfloor is necessary to ensure that the finished flooring will be strong enough to hold the force and weight that are applied on the flooring such as foot traffic and the dead weight of furniture and appliances. For finished flowing, you can make plywood flooring look like authentic hardwood floors, or even let your floor imitate the look and feel of marble floors with the application of stains or paints.

Plywood Grades

Two of the crucial things that people look at wood flooring is its physical appearance and texture. People would naturally choose material that would be aesthetically pleasing in rooms where people can easily notice their flooring. The living room is where guests would usually stay, which means homeowners will do their best to ensure that their living rooms look as beautiful as possible. In relation to plywood flooring, there are grades that would indicate if a specific plywood panel would be a good choice for a specific room inside the house. Plywood panels actually have 2 grades that are both rated with the letters A, B, C, and D. The first letter indicates the visual quality of the front surface of the plywood panel. The second letter, on the other hand, designates the quality rating of the appearance of the surface on the back of the plywood panel. There is also the X-grade, which is used to indicate if the plywood is designed to be used for outdoor use. The X is only added to the two grades as needed. You may refer to the following for information about these grades:

  •       A-grade

o   This is the highest rating of visual quality of a plywood panel. A-grade plywood indicates that the surface is smooth, and it does not have any signs of knots and repairs. This also means that the surface of the side with the A-grade can be easily painted or coated with stains and different tints.

  •       B-grade

o   A B-grade indicates that the surface of the plywood panel has a very limited number of knots available. To be considered B-grade plywood, the knots should have a diameter that must not exceed 1”.

  •       C-grade

o   This grade indicates that there knots that have a diameter that reaches up to 1.5”. The knotholes may reach up to 1”. The plywood panel may also show some signs of discoloration.

  •       D-grade

o   This is the lowest grade plywood panels can receive. Knots in these panels have diameters that may reach up to 2.5”. These are not used for their visual appearance, but they are used as structural support.

plywood grade

Types Of Plywood For Flooring Use

There are various areas and rooms inside a house that may need to use certain types of plywood. This is due to the fact that plywood can be manufactured using different types of wood and some other materials. Plywood can also be used as an option to be installed on the flooring outside your house. There are specific types of plywood that would make them better options as compared to their other counterparts. The following list will show you some of the common types of plywood that can be used for your flooring and subflooring needs:

  •       CDX plywood

o   This type of plywood means that it has a grade of C on the front surface of the plywood panel and a grade of D on the back surface of the panel. The X indicates that it can be used for exterior projects. Having a CDX grade would indicate that this is a type of plywood that should be used as bracing or structural support. This makes it a good option for the subfloor of the house. With its many imperfections, this type is one of the cheapest plywood panels available.

  •       Hardwood plywood

o   This type of plywood can be made from birch, oak, or mahogany. Hardwood plywood is usually used as flooring for rooms with heavy foot traffic. This is due to the fact that it has the durability and strength from the hardwood tree it came from. In addition, the natural look of hardwood plywood is already aesthetically pleasing and does not need to have its design altered with paint or stains.

  •       Softwood plywood

o   This is the most common type of plywood that is used for the finished flooring of a house. It can be manufactured using spruce, pine, fir or cedar. It can be painted or stained to make it appear like hardwood. This type is a great option for your bedroom floor since it will not be exposed to heavy traffic. You may opt to leave its natural look so that you do not have to incur additional expenses.

  •       Marine plywood

o   This may be one of the most expensive types of plywood in the market, but it boasts of its quality to withstand different types of weather conditions. Marine plywood can be used on the flooring outside of your house, like your patio or garden deck. It can also be a good choice for your kitchen and bathroom floors.

Plywood Is A Good Material For Your Flooring

For those who may not be fortunate enough to afford using hardwood as the material for their flooring needs, using plywood will be a fine alternative for them. There are some cases where plywood can be a better option than unfinished or prefinished hardwood flooring. These two types of hardwood flooring are manufactured by using only the solid wood that comes from hardwood trees. The solid timber is shaped into flooring panels and may be applied with multiple layers of protective coatings to add resistance against external factors that may cause damages to the panels.

However, since they are made of solid wood material, they may not be perfect options for locations that are exposed to extreme climate changes. Air is known to negatively affect wood. The flooring panels may shrink or expand, depending on the temperature, which may cause the floor to rise or form gaps. Plywood flooring is known to be protected from the effects of air. The strong adhesive added to bond together the multiple layers of wood veneer creates a protective film over these veneers. Air will not be able to come in contact with the inner parts of the plywood panel, and this will prevent it from warping.

Use The Correct Type Of Plywood For Each Room

It is highly advised that you inquire from flooring experts with regards to the types of plywood you would need to use on different rooms of your house. Plywood flooring can last up to 20 years before they may need to be fixed or changed. But using the wrong type of plywood can cause inconvenience on your part since you might need to change your flooring at an earlier time. If you need help deciding and installing plywood flooring for your home, do not hesitate to contact Three Trees Flooring at (416) 665-2624.

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