If you’re wondering what kind of wood flooring you should put in your bathroom or kitchen, plywood is the best option. This type of flooring has several layers of varnish coating. That thick cover makes this lumber a compact piece. The market offers plywood boards of varying thicknesses. And even offers a collection of different grades.
Plywood is excellent because it adds a pleasant atmosphere to the room. It makes it more visually appealing and creates a lovely and elegant touch. This is why it stands out from other flooring types. This wood is among the most long-lasting options. It is ideal for homes and other residential infrastructures.
Plywood offers an extensive range of benefits. It is resistant to high and low levels of moisture than typical flooring. This is what makes it great for basements and bathrooms. Depending on the country region you’re in, maybe your local store sells more plywood products than other wood products. This is because of the said reason. But, how long does plywood flooring last?
What are Engineered Wood Floors
Image source: Amber Flooring
We can define plywood products as wood products that have been engineered. What this means is that during the product development stage, they’re chemically treated. Manufacturers coat the wood with several layers of ply. Some products have only three layers and some 12 or more.
The coatings are cross layered. Then they’re pressed together, so they’re glued shut.
The inside of the core layers is built from different types of plywood. Generally, they have material made from soft plywood or hardwood. The material makes the tongue and groove fastening system incorporated into the board edges.
How plywood subfloor is made
The floor underneath the core is made of plywood sheets. The sheet’s thickness ranges from half an inch to three-quarters of an inch. The sheets are made of a rough and smooth side. The softer side is always the one that faces up.
They come in different sizes as well. Generally speaking, their dimensions can be 4×8 or 4×12 feet. Their size makes their use widespread. The plywood itself is made out of thin layers of solid wood. The layers are glued together at 90 degrees angle. Once the glue is completely dry, it creates an excellent wood that is impermeable.
Advantage of plywood floor
Image source: Gayler Design Build
We’ve mentioned that plywood comes with many benefits. And, here are some:
- It is stable. The wood is made of many layers that make it stronger than average flooring. The layer pack makes it durable as well. The plywood can be used in many climates. It is flexible, and the weather conditions can’t affect it at all. However, it would be best if you use it in areas that are prone to rain. Plywood is waterproof and doesn’t soak in water or any fluid.
- Plywood is also cheap, and almost anyone can afford it. You can, too, DIY the whole plywood application process. You don’t have to hire a professional to do it. Saving money couldn’t be easier. First, when you buy plywood, you help preserve real wood. You can cut down on costs as well. For example, you can buy four sq feet of plywood instead of 1 sq foot of natural wood for the same price.
Plywood Floor Lifespan
Image source: RR Builders, LLC
How long does plywood flooring last? Although plywood itself is very durable, many other factors come into play when it comes to durability. The plywood can last up to twenty years, sometimes even more. But, if you regularly expose it to water (let alone leave it in the rain), the lifespan can drastically shorten.
The thickness of the board also plays a crucial role in life preservation. For example, if the flooring is made out of multiple layers, each 4mm thick, then the plywood can last around sixty to eighty years. It is closely durable, like real wood. The average wood that has a thickness of ¾ lasts for approximately one hundred years.
Image source: M+A Architecture Studio
Where plywood is used is very important for maintaining and extending the wood’s durability. This type of wood is most often used in pet houses, garages, storage rooms, and sheds. These infrastructures are regularly exposed to many weather elements. If you want those buildings and your effort to stand still, you have to make sure you properly take care of them.
We’ve mentioned multiple times that plywood can absorb water better than most flooring, but at the same time, it dries way faster. This makes it resistant to permanent swelling.
On the other hand, MRF and OSB have an expected life of around ranging from under 30 up to 60 years. But those products are not intended for constant exposure to water. Marine-grade plywood has a life expectancy of 15 to 25 years.
Factors affecting the lifespan of plywood floors
When it comes to maintaining the plywood itself, many factors affect the lifespan. Here is a list of some factors that can affect how long plywood flooring last.
How and with what the wood is treated during the development process determines how long the plywood will last. Not only that, but it also determines the characteristics and the qualities the wood will have.
Many manufacturers add a 6 mm coating layer. The layer is open for many recoating, but you can’t sand it out. You can’t even add another finish to it once it gets worn out. how long does plywood flooring last depending on wear layers? The wear layers have twenty to thirty years of lifespan on average.
Moisture plays the most significant role in how long the plywood will last. For example, if you expose the flooring or product to high humidity levels and more extended periods, then, of course, it won’t last as long. Plywood that is used in high-moisture areas erodes more quickly. One problem that arises with low-grade wood is from the holes in the internal veneers. Those empty holes point that there are some places where the plywood will begin to delaminate.
Those holes or voids occur in any plywood product. And they are the initial place where the plank will start to delaminate. They are also prone to moisture. That is why you can happen to find mold. The mold attacks and abrades the glue. This will result in more delamination.
Because plywood has a softer surface, that side of the plank board will be most exposed to chips, scratches, and dent. That is why it is essential to add a finish coating. Another thing to know is that the knots are the weakest point of the wood. Depending on the type of wood you’re dealing with, the remainder will fall out when you cut the knot.
If you use plywood flooring for smaller projects, you’re guaranteed that the flooring will last forever. It would be best if you use plywood for children’s furniture. The room’s traffic and how space is used play a huge role in the wood’s life expectancy. Children’s rooms are the ideal type of room plywood flooring should be placed. That is because children don’t have the strength to damage the product.
Factors to consider for determining how long does plywood flooring last
Many manufacturers will offer you plywood made out of various materials. If you want to ensure that you are buying flooring high-quality, make sure to cherry oak or walnut species. These tree species are among the most durable ones and will guarantee you a lifetime of plywood.
Just like for any other product, the varnish is essential. If you use plywood for furniture, flooring, or bars, you have to protect it from spills and further damage. If you leave it without a finish, it will result in a shorter lifespan. If you happen to erode the finish itself, make sure to reapply a coat or two.
Image source: Aneka Interiors Inc.
Even after exposure to moisture, sometimes subfloors can be dried out using fans and dehumidifiers and do not need replacing. Another possibility is that the floors were dried out properly, but the water/moisture exposure source has not been fully addressed. If this is the case, you may want to chat with a plumbing professional to identify the source.
Where you buy your product is also essential. For example, if you buy the flooring from someone with a well-known brand, you will know that you’re paying that high price in exchange for good quality. Many amateurs make a mistake and buy from cheaper suppliers. Just because you see the product as a great bargain doesn’t mean that it will last long. Typically these cheap floors aren’t made of ply and can crack during the installment process.
You can secure plywood with nails, screws, and adhesives. The plywood flooring is flexible, and you can paint it or stain it with another color. You can also add your design to it. This is the perfect flooring option if you want something affordable yet of excellent quality. This article is to tell you how long plywood flooring last.
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