What is the Best Plywood For Roofing?

Plywood is most often used for roofing. Plywood is used almost in exterior and interior construction applications. Builders like to use plywood, due to its structure stability, water resistance, and low cost, and other excellent properties.

There are many different types of roofing materials that are available in markets such as Metal roofing, Stone-coated steel, Rubber slate, Solar tiles, Asphalt shingles, Green roofs, and more.

1. Plywood Used for Roofing

Plywood Used for Roofing
Plywood Used for Roofing

Exterior Plywood is the preferred material for roofing. It also performs well when exposed to moisture over long periods of time. The price is low compared to other roofing materials and the installations are also easy.

Some types of plywood are used for roofing, Construction structural, and general plywood, and CDX plywood. 

  1. Construction structural plywood has good strength, performance and durability. It is used frequently in building applications for multi-purpose. This is a special type of structural plywood called Marine Grade Plywood. Marine-grade plywood used for marine applications such as boats and boat parts.

Structural plywood is of two types A and B-Bond. A is more durable and stronger than B-bond. But B-Bond Structural plywood is also used for use of exterior applications

  1. CDX Grade Plywood is a popular choice for roofing work.CDX stands for 
  • C – the grade of the front of the plywood sheet.
  • D – the grade of the back of the plywood sheet.
  • X – the type of glue used to bond the wood layer.
  1. General Plywood does not have good strength performance like construction structural plywood. It is used for general applications. General plywood is mainly used for interior applications such as doors, windows, and tables. This plywood is also used for roofing but needs to maintained regularly.

2. Plywood Thickness for Roofing

The thickness of the plywood for the roof should be a minimum of 1/2 inch, but 3/8 inch is the standard size. Most roofs will be sheathed in plywood at least 3/8 inch thick. Bigger is better. The thickness of the plywood should depend on many things such as country, The expected load, How the roof is designed? and the weather.

Bad weather where snow is the most falling area, The plywood was chosen for roofing should be thicker for such an area.

If your roof is flatter, then it’s expected to have a heavier load. In such a situation, you should use more thick plywood.

3. What Size Plywood for Roofing

The most common rafter spacing is 24 inches. You can get plywood sheets with a length of up to 4 x 10 feet and OSB comes up to 16 feet long in length. 

Do Most people ask how many sheets of plywood do I need for my roof?

Most people want to know how much square-fit plywood is needed in the roofing. Obviously, you don’t want to buy extra plywood. Which is of no use to you and a waste of money.

Standard plywood comes in 4×8 feet size. So how many square feet are there in 4×8 feet of plywood? To calculate it, you multiply the length by the width. So 4×8 feet plywood has 32 square feet.

To calculate how many plywoods are required for your roof. Calculate your roof as if you calculated plywood square feet (multiply the length by the width of the roof).

For example, suppose some area of ​​your roof is 1000 square feet. So divide by 32 (the square footage of each 4×8 plywood sheet) into 1000. The number you’ll get is the number of plywood that you need. In case you need 32 plywood. Always buy one or two extra pieces of plywood for mistakes and wastage.

4. OSB vs Plywood for Roofing

OSB vs Plywood for Roofing

Oriented strand board (OSB) is made by gluing small pieces of wood together and compressing them. OSB panels come up to 16 feet (or sometimes more) in length. OSB is easily identifiable by its characteristic wood strands.

Plywood is made from multiple thin sheets of veneer (thin slices of wood) that are cross-laminated and glued together with a hot press. The finished plywood is made from an odd number of veneer sheets, So that makes the balance of cross-lamination techniques.

#Oriented Strand Board (OSB)Plywood
Price Less expensiveMore Expensive
Available in sizeLarger panels available (Available in up to 16 feet)Panels are not as large (limited to 8 to 10 feet)
Water testOSB plywood absorbs water from contact with moisture. ( ½  inch OSB can increase up to 1/4 inch overnight.)Good plywood remained stable.
FormaldehydeContains formaldehyde (Formaldehyde may cause occupational asthma).Contains less formaldehyde.
Market shareOriented Strand Board holds 70 to 75 % market share.While plywood accounts for about 25%.
Wood contains
95% of wood and 5% wax and resin.100% solid wood veneers.
GradesMany grades are available such as OSB/1, OSB/2, OSB/3, and OSB/4.There are four main grades of plywood veneer or ‘sheets’: A, B, C, and D
Strength OSB has a greater shear strength than plywood panels.Plywood has less shear strength than OSB.
OSB vs Plywood for Roofing

5. Should you hire a roofer?

Should you hire a roofer?
Should you hire a roofer?

If you are doing roofing installation for the first time, then you are probably thinking that you should hire a roofer or do it Yourself?

To get a solution you should pay attention to certain points. Installation of roofing sheets can be a difficult task. In some cases, turning this into your own roofing project may have more benefits than hiring a professional roofer.

1. The experience

“Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced.” John Keats

Depends on what work you have experience. If you do not have any knowledge of roofing then, Maybe it is possible you cannot do this job well. Because you don’t know the best techniques. An experienced roofer knows all the best techniques that make work better. 

Experience cannot be made by reading youtube videos and books. It takes months and years for experience. You will not want to do any kind of experiment with your home. Small Mistakes can cause heavy damage.

2. Safety

Every day around the world, thousands of people get injured in construction incidents and some even die. For a non-experience person, It is more likely to be a mistake.

Roofing is not easy work, it requires more attention. If you want to do this work yourself, then make sure that you have someone who is with you to help you. Before starting work, pay attention to your safety like wearing gloves for your hands and glasses for your eyes. Keep yourself with the help of rope.

3. Time

If you have enough time, you can do the roofing yourself. But an experienced roofer will always take less time to do the same work. 

The roofing company takes responsibility for its work. If there is a mistake in the work, the roofing company fixes the work for the same money.

4. Material expenses

If you do not have enough knowledge of roofing, then you may take the wrong material and also be expensive. An experienced roofer is aware of all materials. So that he never cheated while buying material.

5. Quality

No one wants to compromise roofing. Quality definitely makes a difference between an expert and a fresher roofer. An export always delivers quality work. if you are confident that you will do quality work. Then try to do it yourself.


The conclusion of Plywood For Roofing is “Roofing plywood is used because it has good strength and durability in plywood. It also stays moisturized. Plywood is available in many grades. Plywood of grades A and B are considered to be the best for roofing.”

Choose the right plywood according to the season of your country. And if you want perfect work at the right time, always hire a professional roofer.

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