Weight of Plywood and OSB
And Other Engineered Wood Panels
Roof Online Staff
Scroll to the end for the size and weight tables.
Plywood and OSB Weight Factors
The weight of plywood and OSB depends partly on the amount and the type of the adhesives, primers, and sealants used to make it. Different types of plywood will use different amounts of these substances, and they are very heavy relative to wood.
Another weight factor is the wood species used to make the panel. Different wood species have naturally different densities, and this can make a big difference in the weight of the finished product.
These variations can result in weight differences of up to 20% for plywood and OSB panels with the exact same dimensions and product description from one manufacturer to the next, or even for different batches of the same product from the same manufacturer.
About Our Plywood Weight Charts
The following tables provide typical weights (dead load, self-weight) for plywood, OSB, and other engineered wood panels.
We provide metric and US standard weights for standard engineered wood panels of all thicknesses, weights per square foot, and weights per square meter.
The weights we give were calculated using the product data sheets or manufacturer specifications of actual, specific wood panel products, and in most cases our weights are the average of product weights from more than one manufacturer.
What is Plywood Made of?
Plywood is composed of approximately 92% - 97% wood, with the remainder made up by primers, sealants, and adhesives such as phenol formaldehyde resin.
Other engineered wood panel types, such as particle board or OSB, contain a much higher percentage of adhesive resin, and since these resins are heavier than wood, these panels tend to be significantly heavier than plywood.
Weights of Different Types of Plywood
What is the APA Standard Weight for Plywood?
APA Plywood Standard: The Engineered Wood Association (formerly the American Plywood Association) provides standard notional plywood weights for use in determining expected dead loads when performing structural engineering calculations.
Softwood plywood is typically used as structural plywood (roof decking, sheathing, flooring).
The APA Standard weights are not the weights of actual products and tend to be somewhat heavier than the weights of any real softwood plywood you will find.
A 4’ x 8’ sheet of 1/2-inch APA Standard Plywood would weigh 48 lbs.
How Much Does Baltic Birch Plywood Weigh?
Baltic Birch Plywood: This is a high-quality plywood produced in Russia and other areas around the Baltic Sea.
It is made up entirely of birch wood, so unlike some other hardwood plywood, it does not use softwood for the inner plies, and the inner plies are void-free, increasing its stability. Used mostly for furniture-making and cabinetry.
A typical 4’ x 8’ sheet of 1/2-inch Baltic Birch Plywood weighs around 55 lbs.
How Much Does Hardwood Plywood Weigh?
Hardwood Plywood: At least the front and back veneers (outer plies) of this plywood will be made of a hardwood species such as maple or oak.
Although the inner plies may also be hardwood, more often they will be made of a cheaper softwood species. The hardwood veneers improve strength, stability, and impact-resistance, and it’s commonly used in applications where these qualities are desired, like flooring or wall paneling.
A typical 4’ x 8’ sheet of 1/2-inch Hardwood Plywood weighs around 48 lbs.
How Much Does Marine Plywood Weigh?
Marine Plywood: Despite its name, this is not a waterproof plywood. It is manufactured using water-resistant adhesive and very high quality outer plies which help prevent moisture from penetrating the panel.
It is designed to be used where the material will be subjected to higher-than-normal amounts of moisture, such as in coastal environments.
A typical 4’ x 8’ sheet of 1/2-inch Marine Plywood weighs around 51 lbs.
How Much Does Pressure-Treated Plywood Weigh?
Pressure-Treated Plywood: This is generally a softwood plywood that has been pressure-treated to help it resist decay caused by fungus, insects, and other organisms.
Southern yellow pine is particularly well-suited for pressure treating, and most pressure-treated plywood will be pine. Special waterproof adhesives are used so that the plywood can withstand the pressure-treating process without falling apart.
Because of the adhesive and the fact that southern yellow pine is much heavier than other wood species used in construction, pressure-treated plywood tends to be a heavy plywood, even after drying out. Before drying out, of course, it can be much, much heavier.
A typical 4’ x 8’ sheet of 1/2-inch Pressure-Treated Plywood weighs around 60 lbs.
How Much Does Softwood Plywood Weigh?
Softwood Plywood: This is the type of plywood most commonly used in construction.
Structural plywood is usually softwood plywood. It is used for wall sheathing, roof decks, subfloors, and more.
Softwood plywood comes from coniferous trees, primarily fir, pine, or spruce. It is generally the lightest type of wood panel, due to the light weight of the wood species used, the (relatively) low amount of adhesive used in the manufacturing process, and the presence of unfilled voids within the inner plies.
It is normally the cheapest plywood. CDX plywood is a grade of softwood plywood.
A typical 4’ x 8’ sheet of 1/2-inch Softwood Plywood weighs around 43 lbs.
How Much Does MDF Weigh?
MDF: Medium Density Fiberboard is produced from wood scraps left over from other wood product manufacturing activities.
This waste wood can be either hardwood or softwood. The scraps are broken down into very small wood fibers, which are combined with wax and adhesive resin to form the MDF panels.
MDF does not handle moisture well, and is normally only used for interior applications, such as flooring or furniture.
Because of the high resin content, it tends to be one of the heaviest engineered wood panels.
A typical 4’ x 8’ sheet of 1/2-inch MDF weighs around 69 lbs.
How Much does MDO Weigh?
MDO: Medium Density Overlay is a type of exterior plywood specifically designed to be painted easily, holding the paint better, and looking better after painting, than other types of engineered wood panels.
The wood plies are typically softwood, and a thick, smooth layer (the overlay) of a highly water-resistant resin is applied to one or both sides of the panel.
A typical 4’ x 8’ sheet of 1/2-inch MDO weighs around 48 lbs.
How Much Does Particle Board Weigh?
Particle Board: The product generally known as “particle board” is similar to MDF.
It is made with similar manufacturing techniques, but the end product is cheaper, weaker, and of lower density. It is also called LDF (low density fiberboard).
A typical 4’ x 8’ sheet of 1/2-inch Particle Board weighs around 66 lbs.
How Much Does OSB Weigh?
OSB: Oriented Strand Board is plywood’s biggest competitor as a structural wood panel in North America.
In large-scale commercial construction, it has largely replaced softwood plywood in wall sheathing, roof sheathing, and subflooring applications. This, of course, is due to the fact that a sheet of OSB costs about 20% less than the equivalent sheet of plywood.
OSB is made by breaking down wood into small strips, or “strands”, up to 6 inches long, combining these strands with wax and adhesive resin under pressure and heat to form layers.
The strands in each layer are all generally “oriented” in the same direction. These layers are combined to form OSB panels of the desired panel thickness.
The wood strands in the outer layers are oriented one way, and the strands in the interior layers are oriented the other way. This increases the strength of the panel.
OSB is manufactured in a slightly different range of thicknesses than plywood (see the chart below).
A typical 4’ x 8’ sheet of 1/2-inch OSB weighs around 54 lbs.
Ask the Lumber Company!
The values given in the following tables are meant to provide a general idea of typical engineered wood panel weights, and should not be used if precise values are needed for critical engineering calculations.
When precision is necessary, always refer to the specification sheet for the actual, specific product you intend to use, or contact the technical department of the panel manufacturer.