Choosing the right sheet material can make all the difference when undertaking a DIY project. But what exactly are these materials? Sheet materials, essentially, are flat, broad pieces of construction material made from various substances. They come in many forms – from Medium-Density Fibreboard (MDF) to Oriented Strand Board (OSB), and each has unique properties.
MDF is dense, strong and flat. MDF is an engineered wood made by compressing various wood fibres and resin under high pressure. It is available in a range of grades and thicknesses, and is a stronger alternative to chipboard. It has no visible grain and does not warp due to humidity, making it a great choice for indoor projects.
Uses of MDF in DIY
MDF shines in projects such as building bookshelves, cabinet doors, storage unit shelves, or even crafting detailed mouldings.
Exterior Plywood, as the name suggests, is more suited to outdoor projects.
With layers of wood veneers bonded together, exterior plywood is sturdy, resistant to warping and moisture, perfect for withstanding the elements.
Uses of Exterior Plywood in DIY
Think garden furniture, dog houses, or exterior decorative panels – that’s where exterior plywood comes into play.
OSB or Oriented Strand Board is another sheet material offering unique benefits. OSB is a composite of adhesively bound wood strands. It is tough, dense, and more affordable than many other materials.
Uses of OSB in DIY
You can use OSB for wall sheathing, flooring, or even roof decking. Its strength and cost-effectiveness make it a go-to for larger projects.
Next on our list is Shuttering Plywood, a godsend for temporary structures. Shuttering plywood is moisture-resistant and offers excellent strength-to-weight ratios. It is not typically used for aesthetic purposes.
Uses of Shuttering Plywood in DIY
This material finds its use mainly in moulds for concrete (shuttering), hence the name.
Tongue & Groove Flooring-Grade Chipboard
Last but not least, we have the Tongue & Groove Flooring-Grade Chipboard. It is known for its strength, stability, and unique interlocking edges which make for easy installation.
Uses of Tongue & Groove Flooring-Grade Chipboard in DIY
This chipboard is perfect when it comes to flooring applications, be it for your loft or the entire house.
Sheet Materials & Timber Suppliers
At Leominster Building Supplies, we can supply timber & sheet materials cut to size. Unlike other retailers, you don’t have to buy the whole sheet if you only need a small amount. We can also sell timber by the metre to compliment your projects.
Can MDF be used outdoors?
Generally, it’s not advisable as MDF doesn’t handle moisture well. Consider using Exterior Plywood or OSB for outdoor projects.
What is the most durable sheet material?
Durability often depends on the specific use case. However, in terms of general robustness and resistance to wear and tear, OSB and Exterior Plywood are typically quite durable.
Is Shuttering Plywood good for furniture?
It can be used, but it’s not usually the first choice due to its aesthetic qualities. It’s best suited for concrete moulds or temporary structures.
Can Tongue & Groove Flooring-Grade Chipboard be used for walls?
While it’s primarily designed for flooring, it can be used for walls in certain situations, but it’s not generally recommended.
Which sheet material is the most cost-effective?
Typically, OSB is one of the more cost-effective options, offering a great balance of strength and affordability.