Plywood Floors Pros and Cons

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We make plywood by combining multiple layers of wood veneer and gluing these layers to form boards. You get plywood in different grades and thicknesses, so you can make a suitable choice for your purposes. If you use plywood for flooring, you will find that it costs relatively less than if you were to use solid hardwood.

You may need to build a wooden floor in a home or office. Wherever you want to use it, there is always a suitable choice for you. If you are aware of the pros and cons of plywood flooring, you can get the best out of your flooring project.

Oftentimes, plywood is used to make the sub-floor that is covered in some other kind of flooring whether it’s hardwood flooring, bamboo or simply covered with a layer of linoleum or carpet.

Plywood Floors Pros and Cons

board chipboard cut parts

Like any other type of wooden flooring, there are advantages to using plywood but downsides also exist. Here are a few of the pros and cons of using plywood for flooring:


Here are some of the benefits you can get from using plywood for the flooring of your home or office:

Strong and Durable

Plywood falls under the category of engineered wood. Due to its many layers, plywood is a tough material. Flooring made of plywood is strong, stable, and suitable. It is also reasonably weatherproof, making it an ideal choice for floorings in regions with extreme climates. Plywood will not split under any circumstances due to the arrangement of the veneer grain direction between the different layers.

Resistance to Water

Plywood exhibits a high degree of water resistance as compared to other types of wood like hardwood or even bamboo. The reason for its good level of water resistance is because the layers are so tightly packed and bonded with adhesive. It makes it difficult for water to seep in between these layers. However, you should always keep in mind that since it’s wood, it may be water-resistant but it is not waterproof.

Easy Workability

Plywood is an easy wood to work with. You can secure it easily with various nails, screws, staples, and glues. It is also possible to apply a stain or paint it. You can even cover the plywood with real wood veneer and if you polish the surface, you can make it look like almost any type of wood with natural-looking wood grains. That way, you can impart a classy look to your floors at a fraction of the cost of solid wood.

Affordability Factor

Plywood is very affordable. There are different grades of plywood, so you can choose your plywood to choose your budget. In the case of flooring, there is no other type of wood that can beat plywood in terms of price.

You can refurbish your home and not worry about overshooting your budget with plywood flooring. The amount of adhesive required for installing plywood floors is comparatively less than for hardwood floors, which also keeps the cost down. You can install plywood floors yourself without having to hire a professional which also reduces the expense.

Plywood Flooring is Flexible

You will experience flexibility in plywood flooring in the following ways:

  • It is easy to patch up plywood flooring by replacing damaged sections periodically.
  • There is no limit to the number of times you can touch up plywood.
  • Plywood can be made to look extremely classy by staining it to resemble expensive varieties of wood.
  • You can change the shape of the sections of flooring whenever you want.
  • If you want to replace your existing plywood flooring with new plywood flooring, you can install the new plywood over the old layer.

Easy to Install

If you want to install plywood flooring yourself, you can. Just cut the plywood into the required shapes and sizes. You can also get your local plywood store to cut the plywood to the required sizes. Next, you need to make them smooth and then position them on the ground. Now, nail the pieces onto the ground or use glue. Your plywood floors are ready for use!


set of plywood, industrial illustration

Everything is not perfect with plywood flooring. Plywood can never come up to the level of traditional hardwood floors. However much you add a finish to plywood flooring, it will not look as regal as hardwood flooring. Here are a few downsides of plywood floors:

Less Durable

In longer sections, plywood tends to be weak and needs reinforcement from below. It is also prone to scratches, gouges and dents. If you have pets, then there is a high possibility of the surface getting damaged by the claws of your furry companions. Therefore, you should avoid installing plywood flooring in high-traffic areas or if you have pets.

Devaluates Your Property

Due to its low durability issues, homes with plywood flooring tend to be valued less than those having traditional hardwood floors. As long as you live in your home it does not matter much. But for any reason, if you need to sell your property, you may find that your plywood floors go against you vs hardwood.

Plywood FAQs

Plywood sheets . The view from the top.

Now that we have gone over several aspects of plywood flooring, you may have a few questions. Below, you will find the most commonly-asked questions regarding plywood flooring:

Q: Is Plywood real wood?

A: Plywood is genuine, natural wood. It consists of layers of wood veneer glued together to form sheets, boards, and planks of various thicknesses.

Q: Are plywood floors durable?

A: The multiple layers of plywood along with the glue that binds them together make it extremely tough and durable.

Q: What is the thickness of plywood flooring?

A: The thickness of plywood can differ according to the grade of plywood. Typically, 1/2-inch-thick panels for joists spaced 16 inches on center or 3/4-inch-thick panels for wider spacing.

Q: Is plywood waterproof?

A: No, plywood is only water-resistant but not waterproof. With an adequate coating, plywood can be made waterproof but on its own, plywood will deteriorate with extended exposure to water.

Q: For installing plywood floors should we use glue or nails?

A: You will be best off using nails to install plywood flooring, which will prevent the sections from shifting about.

As you have seen here, plywood flooring has its positive and negative aspects. It is an affordable option, especially for sheds, cabins, or for other budget flooring projects. Knowing a bit about this type of flooring from our discussions in this post should bring you up to level and you can make the correct decision about the way you would like to use plywood flooring in your home.