Exterior Plywood Options for Your Outdoor Living Areas

The floors in outdoor spaces generally receive the highest amount of traffic and weather elements that might cause premature deterioration. It is essential to make the right choices for them. Wood is one of your best material alternatives when looking for a warm and rustic look for your exteriors. Property owners are, however, apprehensive about how well wood will withstand most of the outdoor elements which other materials can.

In most cases, people will opt for a patio or a pool deck overlay to repair their decks and protect them from the harsh effects of de-icing products. The overlay can also be used on new decks as a protective measure against their premature breakdown. Even so, you can guarantee the durability of your outdoor floors by picking the right wood for them. Plywood is one of the best materials for outdoor floors. There exist two types of plywood: interior and exterior plywood. Interior plywood is primarily moisture resistant, while exterior plywood is designed to withstand a range of harsh elements. Here are the types of exterior plywood that can suffice for your property.


All plywood designed for exterior use will have an X to denote its ability to withstand most elements. CDX is the common choice among these and is made of grades C and D, the lowest among plywood. It is available in 5/8, half, and three-quarter-inch boards. Though inexpensive, CDX might not be the best choice for those intent on a high aesthetic appeal. For appearances, the best options are BCX, ACX, and ABX.

Pressure-Treated Wood

This plywood variety has a somewhat green color and an oily surface. Its production process involves the infusion of chemicals into plywood. These include borate, ammoniacal copper quart, copper arsenate, and copper azole. Though primarily designed to withstand weather elements, some chemicals like borate also boost the plywood’s pest resistance.

Oriented Strand Boards

These comprise plywood panels that are held together with a type of waterproof glue. Oriented strand board is an engineered plywood type that is cheaper compared to plywood variants made of hard and softwoods. It can be used for your roof sheathing and decking as well as exposed outdoor furniture. This makes it among the best choices for your outdoor floors.

T-11 Plywood

Exterior Plywood Options

This is generally used for the construction of siding but will also hold up well to light foot traffic when used on floors. T-11 plywood has a ridged look that can also be sawn to get vertical floorboards. You can generate countless designs by changing the layouts of the boards.

The use of waterproofing methods can further enhance the suitability of the above plywood types for your outdoor floors. These can be in the form of waterproof sealants, stains, and paints on the top layer of the plywood. Two to three layers of these products will generally protect the underlying wood from the effects of different elements. Even so, the number of protective layers you will need is dependent on your environment and the type of wood used.

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