Flooring with plywood might be better than you think.
Picking out a flooring material can be tricky, as it is an essential part in home construction. There are currently a lot of flooring options out there, ranging from ceramic to granite and hardwood. But may I interest you in plywood, though rarely ever considered for use as a decorative finish layer, plywood has always been the top pick as a subflooring material due to its excellent strength and affordability. Recently, plywood has seen an increase in popularity as a flooring finish thanks to these exact characteristics (and some more). In this post, we’ll take a look at some flooring perks with plywood, and why you should choose it.
There are currently many ways you can use plywood in flooring. In the subfloor layer, which is the support layer under the top surface layer of your floor structure. This important layer needs to be structurally sound (and flat) to hold up the finish layer above, due to its sturdy properties, plywood has almost always been chosen for this job. Though OBS (oriented strand board) is also used, plywood’s ability to keep out water makes it the better option overall. Waterproof ability is an important criteria for a subfloor material, as the concrete layer below lets out a lot of moisture that was absorbed from the soil. Using plywood for subflooring can prevent water from soaking into the wood. Even if the plywood layer absorbs any water, its unique layered structure prevents it from ever expanding or swelling up like other wood materials.
For the finish floor layer, this is the top surface layer supported by the subfloor layer (and also the one you walk on) and is usually less dependent on the strength and integrity of the building material. Since people have always used low grade plywood with unattractive face veneers for subfloor construction, it’s rarely ever seen as a candidate for finish flooring. With the introduction of high end plywood with aesthetically pleasing face veneers like Birch, Poplar or film faced plywood, plywood panels are becoming more and more popular as a surface flooring alternative to ceramic tiles or hardwood. However, plywood does have a softer surface compared to those, which makes it more susceptible to chips and dents. Though you can just work around this by adding a hard coating layer like laminate to the surface. So on top of having a nice looking laminated floor, you’ll also have one that is hard and sturdy enough that can withstand physical damage.
Now, this is all good in theory, but there are some caveats you should take into consideration when working with flooring plywood. Although waterproof certified, few plywood can reliably keep out water 100% of the time, even the high end ones. For construction, plywood should be installed where it’s less likely to come into contact with water. High moisture environments such as kitchens or toilets should be avoided. Basements should also be a no no, since they tend to be quite damp. This shouldn’t be a problem for most waterproof plywood, but give it time and enough water will get through and cause some serious swelling. Remember, just because you could, doesn’t mean you should.
We’ve recently discussed Birch plywood and its strong suits in a previous post. Aside from being an amazing furnishing wood, Birch plywood can also be used in flooring. Although brandishing an entire house floor with pure Birch plywood might set you back a fortune (not really though), it’s well worth the price. To know more about it, check out this article: https://amcvietnam.com.vn/what-is-birch-plywood/