Plywood is undoubtedly a material that you can use for various purposes, whether for covering walls, floors, or ceilings. In this case, you can use plywood boards. The application of plywood is extremely wide. You can use it in the manufacture of furniture and interior design of your new home. 

You can use our Plywood Calculator to make accurate calculations. It gives you the exact values of the total size you need to cover and the cost you need to set aside for it. Below we will define the types of plywood and how you can use our calculator. If you are making concrete walls, use our Concrete Calculator for a more accurate calculation, but also check our Retaining Wall Calculator.

What is Plywood?

We will start by explaining the term plywood. It is a wood-based material. You can find it in the form of boards made of several layers of veneer, which are glued transversely or at an angle of 90 degrees to each other. Plywood usually contains an odd number of veneer sheets. The sheets you use bond with a resin that creates a solid board in contact with the wood fibers. The function of the core layering method is to increase the resistance to bending forces. It has a different intention following the quality of artistry or the number of layers of veneer.

You can use plywood panels for design, furniture production in the automotive and marine industries. Due to its strength, you can use it to ensure high stability, especially in the construction of tables or cabinets wall. And it is not uncommon to use it in the construction industry, whether you use it as an interior or exterior element. Treating this material chemically will give you additional resistance to decay, moisture, or fire.

When was Plywood Invented?

It is necessary to give a historical overview of the origin and use of this unique material. The first to bear the credit for patenting plywood was a British engineer Samuel Bentham. In 1797 he described gluing layers of veneer to form a thicker layer, which today is called plywood. If we go back a long time in history, some records show traces of laminated wood in the tombs of famous Egyptian pharaohs. It is also known that woodworking was done in the 17th and 18th centuries by the English and French. Plywood used today appeared only at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1929, over 15 plywood factories across the Pacific were recorded. The only drawback in that period was the lack of waterproof glue. In 1934, chemist James Nevin developed a waterproof adhesive that significantly contributed to the creation of plywood. 

Further progress was made in 1938 when trademark registration was allowed in all industries. In that way, it was possible to promote plywood as a standard product. This has led to the opening of new paths to more successful promotions of the benefits of plywood in various industries, especially construction. Today, its purpose is far more widespread than before.

Types of Plywood

It is necessary first to understand what size, layer, and other factors you need when choosing plywood. Each of the available types is adapted and intended for different projects. If your choice is wrong, it can lead to job destruction. Some of the most famous types of plywood used to come in three layers, five layers, or more layers.

If it is a 3-layer board, it gives strength, durability, and a decorative look to the plywood. If you choose plywood with 5 layers, it is far more potent than the board with 3 layers. You can use it for external works, such as roof constructions. Types of plywood are hardwood plywood, softwood plywood, aircraft plywood, decorative, marine, laminated, and many others.

CDX or OSB for Roofing Plywood

This type of material gained strength from the layers of veneers that are interconnected. The granular structure of the wooden parts changes as the layers are added, which significantly increases the power of the plywood. “CDX” stands for a particular type of plywood. The letters C and D refer to the front and back of the plywood rating, while the letter X indicates the adhesive you can use to glue the layers. You can use this type of plywood to cover roofs. Two types of this plywood are known. You can find CDX plywood in the size of 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch. The first type is a traditional choice for most artisans, while the second type of board is better because it can withstand higher roof loads.

OSB or oriented standard board is another special type of plywood. This type is much cheaper than CDX plywood and is made of resin, glue, and wood chips. It is very similar to CDX plywood, but there are apparent differences. The main differences between these two types of plywood are water resistance, dimensional stability, cost complexity, and application. By structure, two kinds of boards are equal and essential in construction. OSB types of plywood require much more drying time and retain moisture.

Plywood Calculator – How to Use?

You have decided to use plywood to cover the floor or wall, and you do not know how much material you need. Our plywood calculator can help you. You can get answers to these questions:

  • how much plywood you need to buy,
  • how much it will cost or
  • which material you need to buy.

It has specific fields that you need to fill with the required values. All you have to do is enter the values for the length and width of the surface you need to cover, and if you wish, you can also enter the price of the plywood board if you are familiar with it. Other values the calculator will calculate for you and display them within seconds.

Practical Example

If you still do not know how to use our Plywood Calculator correctly, we will show you this in one example below. For example, you want to cover your bedroom floor with plywood boards. The first thing you will do is enter the dimensions of the length and width of your bedroom. So let the dimensions be as follows:

  • bedroom length = 7 m
  • bedroom width = 5 m

After that, you can optionally enter arbitrary values of plywood length and width together with its price:

  • plywood length = 140 cm
  • plywood width = 25 cm
  • price per m2 = 15€
  • waste factor = 10%

By entering all the above values, we obtain the following results. The area you want to cover is 35 square meters at the cost of 350€ per m2, which requires 110 pieces.


How to calculate how much plywood I need?

To get an accurate calculation of how much plywood you need, just divide the value of the total square footage by the square of the plywood sheet.

How many square feet is a 4×8 sheet of plywood?

One standard sheet of 4×8 plywood covers an area of 32 square meters and weighs about 60 lbs.

What is the cheapest type of plywood?

Category D plywood is the cheapest type of plywood you can use. The sheets inside the board are not repaired, and size deviations may occur. Knots can move up to 2.5 inches.

How to calculate plywood price?

First, you need to measure the dimensions of the space you want to cover with plywood and round the value to the nearest figure. You can calculate the whole area estimation process as the length and width values product. The area you calculated should then be multiplied by the values from the first step. Divide the obtained value of plywood by squaring the space to get the number of plywood sheets. Then multiply the number of sheets by the price of one sheet.

How to Waterproof Plywood?

It is enough to use an epoxy sealant that comes in paint or spray, to make the plywood waterproof. By applying this material, you obtained the water resistance and strength of the plywood.