Versatile, durable, sustainable, cost effective and really, really useful, sheet materials are great for getting stuck into your next flooring, walls or roofing project. There are loads of different kinds, and uses for sheet material, all with their own plus points. As your online project partner, we thought we’d share some top tips to give you a better idea of what you need.
All DIYers know Plywood sheet. The most popular sheet material has been around for ages, even being used in ancient Egypt for furniture, and is still widely used thanks to all its handy properties. It’s incredibly tough so can support a lot of weight. But unlike natural wood, doesn’t expand and contract depending on the weather thanks to the interlocking effect of the layers. It’s also lighter and more flexible. Plus, it has a lower cost compared to solid wood materials. Plywood can be used for a variety of jobs, including exterior and interior walls, cabinets and furniture and pretty much any project that needs wood. We offer a range of different types of plywood, various sizes and thickness to suit every job.
Medium density fibreboard sheets, or MDF sheets, are denser than plywood (and usually cheaper too) with a smooth surface which makes it ideal for painting. The smooth surface also makes it effectively absorb all sound frequencies making it ideal for studios or speaker boxes. It also has a consistent texture making it easier to create neat cuts. It’s become the go to for a lot of DIYers because it’s so versatile, and advances in tech mean it can be just as durable as natural wood these days to the point of earning the title ‘super wood.’ The fact that Ikea are the biggest users of MDF in the world tells you how useful it is for furniture! You can also get moisture resistant MDF which is perfect for wet or humid areas, like bathrooms, where you’d normally avoid using MDF.
Oriented strand board is manufactured in wide mats from cross-oriented layers of thin, rectangular wooden strips roughly 8 to 15 centimetres long. The way it’s made is designed to maximise its strength, making OSB material tougher than plywood. It uses the whole tree and makes use of crooked, knotty and deformed trees that would otherwise go unused. This is compressed and bonded together with wax and synthetic resin adhesives. Plus, it can be manufactured in massive sheets. This makes OSB board a good choice for supportive jobs like roof sheathing, walls and especially flooring. It also has a longer lifespan, with 30 to 60 years of dependable performance. Which makes it a really cost-effective choice, as it won’t need replacing as often as other types of materials.
Made from wood pulp, more often than not, this versatile sheet material is cheaper than other forms of board, so it goes further on your big projects. Chipboard uses are multiple, from kitchen worktops, furniture, and building insulation when it’s higher in density, to things like wardrobe backs, sound deadening and mouldings around windows or doors when it’s lower-density. It’s also easy to work with to create chipboard flooring. Along with being great for nails, screws and glues, it has grooved sides, which means that each sheet can interlock easily and securely.
Whatever sheet building materials you choose for your next chunky project, don’t forget to check out what our hand picked local trade merchants have in stock.