Finding the number of sheets of plywood needed for a floor, wall, ceiling, or cabinet begins with finding the area that needs to be covered. Area can be found by multiplying the length and width of the space in feet. Find the square footage of each space and add together to find the total square footage needed.

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Divide by the total square footage by the square footage of a sheet of plywood to find the number of sheets required to cover the space. A 4×8 sheet of plywood is 32 ft2.

For example, if the area to be covered in plywood is 800 ft2 then 25 sheets of plywood will be needed to cover it.800 ÷ 32 = 25 sheets

Ordering extra sheets of plywood will allow for project waste and scrap pieces that can’t be used.

## Common Types of Plywood

### Multi-ply

Plywood is actually composed of several layers of wood glued together. Plywood is commonly composed of 3 or 5 layers.

### OSB

Oriented strand board (OSB) is composed of wood strands or flakes compressed with glue. OSB commonly used in framing to sheath roofs, floors, and walls.

### MDF

Medium density fiberboard (MDF) is composed of small wood fibers compressed with glue. The smaller fibers offer neat edges and a smooth surface. MDF is commonly used in cabinetry.

### Particle Board

Particle Board is composed of small wood particles compressed with glue. The particles are bigger than the fibers used in MDF but smaller than the flakes used in OSB. Particle board is often used for floor sheathing, shelving, and furniture.

### Block Board

Block board is a panel composed of boards glued edge to edge and then sandwiched between sheets of veneer. It is very strong and rigid and is often used in furniture.

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## Common Plywood Thickness

Plywood is often sold in 1/4″, 1/2″, and 3/4″ thicknesses, though other sizes are also available. The thickness needed will depend on the purpose and use-case. Thicker panels are more rigid and durable but are also heavier and more expensive. Keep in mind that the actual thickness of plywood is often slightly thinner than the nominal thickness, learn more about the actual thickness of plywood. In most cases this will not be an issue, but it is important to keep in mind for projects that require more precision such as fine carpentry.

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