Buying Guide

Best Engineered Wood Flooring for Your Home

Types of Engineered Wood

Plywood, OSB, particle board and MDF are some of the more common types of engineered wood.

Types of Engineered Wood
Description Feature/Benefits
sanded plywood Plywood Produced in large, standard sized sheets, in a dozen thicknesses and a wide variety of finishes and wood species Versatile; stronger and less costly than solid wood Resistant to shrinking, twisting, warping and cracking
mdf & composite boards Particle board Made with tiny pieces of wood, sawmill shavings or sawdust, glued together and pressed into sheets Most economical of all engineered wood Weakest engineered wood Ideal for utility shelves or inexpensive garage or workshop projects
oriented strand board - osb Oriented strand board (OSB) Stronger than particle board as it’s made with larger pieces of wood, the strands of which are reversed for each layer Can be used in all applications where you would use C-D grade plywood
mdf Medium density fiberboard (MDF) Made by breaking soft woods down into individual fibers, which are then glued and pressed together Denser than particle board Smooth finish that takes paint very well Ideal for interior projects such as built-ins, cabinets, raised panels or simple furniture
No Additional Features - MDF & Composite Boards Melamine Particle board with a plastic coating applied to each face Strong and easy to clean Ideal for cabinet interiors or any other surface that needs to be durable
hardwood plywood Hardwood plywood Veneer core with hardwood veneers on the face and back Widely available in Birch and Oak and as a special order in many other species Ideal for fine furniture projects or any interior application that will be stained, keeping in mind that exposed edges will need to be covered with solid wood
Planning Your Project

Construction Plywood/Sheathing 

Usage

  • Roofs
  • Walls
  • Subfloods


  • 1/8” - No
  • 1/4" - No
  • 11/23” (3/8”) - Yes
  • 7/16” - No
  • 15/32” (1/2”) - Yes
  • 19/32” (5/8”) - Yes
  • 23/32” (3/4”) - Yes


OSB

Usage

  • Roofs
  • Walls
  • Subfloors


  • 1/8” - No
  • 1/4" - No
  • 11/23” (3/8”) - Yes
  • 7/16” - Yes
  • 15/32” (1/2”) - Yes
  • 19/32” (5/8”) - Yes
  • 23/32” (3/4”) - Yes


Siding Panels

Usage

  • General Siding
  • Exterior Walls
  • Real Wood Finish


  • 1/8” - No
  • 1/4" - No
  • 11/23” (3/8”) - Yes
  • 7/16” - No
  • 15/32” (1/2”) - Yes
  • 19/32” (5/8”) - Yes
  • 23/32” (3/4”) - No


BC Sanded

Usage

  • Wood Working
  • Cabinets
  • Shelves
  • Crafts


  • 1/8” - No
  • 1/4" - Yes
  • 11/23” (3/8”) - Yes
  • 7/16” - No
  • 15/32” (1/2”) - Yes
  • 19/32” (5/8”) - Yes
  • 23/32” (3/4”) - Yes


Oak or Birch Hardwood

Usage

  • Cabinet Shelving
  • Storage
  • Furniture


  • 1/8” - No
  • 1/4" - Yes
  • 11/23” (3/8”) - No
  • 7/16” - No
  • 15/32” (1/2”) - Yes
  • 19/32” (5/8”) - No
  • 23/32” (3/4”) - Yes


Particleboard

Usage

  • Underlayment
  • Cabinet Construction
  • Crafts


  • 1/8” - No
  • 1/4" - No
  • 11/23” (3/8”) - Yes
  • 7/16” - No
  • 15/32” (1/2”) - No
  • 19/32” (5/8”) - Yes
  • 23/32” (3/4”) - Yes


MDF

Usage

  • Cabinet Construction
  • Crafts
  • Mouldings/Trim Shelving (Bookshelf Siding)


  • 1/8” - No
  • 1/4" - No
  • 11/23” (3/8”) - No
  • 7/16” - No
  • 15/32” (1/2”) - Yes
  • 19/32” (5/8”) - No
  • 23/32” (3/4”) - Yes


Hardboard/Pegboard

Usage

  • Garage
  • Basement
  • Tool Shed
  • Organization
  • Temporary Flooring Protection


  • 1/8” - Yes
  • 1/4" - Yes
  • 11/23” (3/8”) - Yes
  • 7/16” - Yes
  • 15/32” (1/2”) - Yes
  • 19/32” (5/8”) - Yes
  • 23/32” (3/4”) - Yes


Tip: If you plan to cut plywood yourself, avoid cutting full-size sheets on a table saw. For a safer method, place the sheet on top of sacrificial pieces of wood, such as 2 x 4s laid across two or more sawhorses. You can then use your circular saw to cut the sheet to size. To make repeatable, same-sized cuts, clamp a straight edge to your sheet or buy an attachment for your circular saw that rides along the edge of the plywood.

 

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