So, you know that you need plywood for your next project but you are unsure of which size you need. In fact, you might not even be aware of the sizes available. Here, we will discuss the difference sizes available, including the different thicknesses and lengths. The type of plywood you need will also help determine which sizes you should use.
Hopefully we will effectively answer the question ‘what size does plywood come in?’ so that you can continue working on your do-it-yourself project. When we are done, you will be able to move on to your purchase and begin effectively working on your project.
Plywood is a necessity when it comes to building just about anything. If you are in the cabinet-making trade or you just want to complete a do-it-yourself building project at home, you will likely need to purchase and use plywood. You want to make sure you do so in the right size. Of course, you also want to make sure you choose the right type of plywood for your project. This means that you need to know what size plywood comes in before you can continue working on your do-it-yourself chore.
The standard sheet of plywood measures 4 x 8 feet. However, it comes in a variety of different thicknesses. To complicate things a bit further, there are specialty sizes available as well.
Widths and Lengths
If building in the United States, the length and width of plywood is measured in standard units. As described, the most common size for a sheet of plywood is 4 x 8 feet.
Hardwood plywood is also available in sizes 2 x 2 feet, 2 x 4 feet, and 4 x 4 feet. Utility plywood is available in sheets that are longer, measuring 4 x 10 feet. Also available for utility plywood are sheets that measure 5 feet wide and come in lengths of 6, 8 and 10 feet.
Thickness — Nominal and Actual
There are several variations available when it comes to plywood thickness, which can have an effect on your project. Thickness of plywood ranges from 1/8 inch all the way to 1 ¼ inches. However, bear in mind that those numbers do not actually represent the actual thickness of the plywood.
Sanding of the wood, which takes place during manufacturing, can remove up to 1/32 inch of material from the plywood sheet. So, for example, a plywood sheet with a thickness of 3/8 inch really has a thickness of 11/32 inch.
The standard thicknesses for plywood are 1 ¼, 1 1/8, ¾, 5/8, ½, 3/8, ¼, and 1/8 inches. The corresponding actual thicknesses are 1 ¼, 1 1/8, 23/32, 19/32, 15/32, 11/32, 1/4, and ⅛, respectively. This takes into the effect of sanding throughout the process of manufacturing the plywood for each of these sizes.
Plywood is made from placing multiple layers of wood together and adhering them using glue. The wood grain of every individual layer is placed perpendicular to the next layer. The outside layers of every sheet determine the grade of the plywood. In some cases, this could mean that the outside layer also determines the use of the plywood. Sanded plywood, which is considered top grade, has an outer layer that is free of any kind of defects. It is made of high-quality softwood or hardwood.
Many top-level cabinetmakers and builders prefer this type of plywood for its high-quality and appearance. The size tolerances for this type of plywood, particularly for thickness, are smaller than those of plywood that is utility-grade. The tolerance for thickness that is utility-grade is 1/32 inch. The size tolerance for plywood that is cabinet-grade is 1/64 inch.
Purchasing the Right Plywood For Your Project
Your particular project will dictate the size and type of the plywood you need. For example, if you are building a doghouse or coating subfloors, you will want to use softwood plywood, which is made from cedar, redwood or pine and comes in sizes that range from 4 x 8 inches to 5 x 5 inches.
If you are looking to use lumber core plywood, say when making a cabinet or building a closet, the panels will likely be 18 mm thick. This plywood is made of three layers with hardwood on the outer layers and basswood on the inner layer.
If you still have questions regarding ‘what size does plywood come in?’ or you need specialized assistance, reach out to Curtis Lumber & Plywood. You might still need assistance in determining which type of plywood to use for your project or the thickness of the plywood you need. Not only can we assist in helping you find the right size and thickness for your project, but we have multiple kinds of plywood available. Contact us today to get the right type, size and thickness required for your project.