Frequently Asked Questions
What are sheet materials?
Sheet materials are vital to many construction tasks, like joinery, interior design and structural projects. You can use them in flooring applications, wall-sheathing, furniture making and even roofing!
Sheet wood is manufactured with different properties to suit specific standards and needs, so there are many types on the market. Here at Beesley & Fildes, we stock everything from MDF, Plywood, OSB and Hardwood.
Which product you choose depends on each project's specifications. Are you making a cabinet as an at-home DIY project? Use chipboard, and you’ll create a sturdy piece of furniture that will last for years.
What if you need supplies for a roof-sheathing project? Choose our OSB boards, and your build will have excellent sheer strength. Timber sheet material has countless benefits: it is strong, durable, breathable and cost-effective.
So if you’re a national developer or budding DIYer, sheet building material will be a valuable part of your arsenal.
What is the strongest sheet material?
Plywood is the strongest sheet material because of its lengthy manufacturing process.
Layers of wood chips are placed adjacently and bonded together with glue. This process is repeated over and over again, with each layer alternating the direction of the grain. Over time, the material becomes virtually split-proof.
The more layers the plywood has, the stronger it becomes, and this resiliency is essential in projects like wall and hard boarding, roofing and flooring.
Traces of plywood have even been found in Ancient Egyptian tombs, leading archaeologists to believe that plywood is not only the strongest but the oldest type of sheet wood! At Beesley & Fildes, we stock marine, hardwood, softwood and 8x4 plywood sheets.
Hardwood plywood is suitable for indoor and outdoor use and has extra high-density hardwood at its core for increased durability.
Softwood plywood, however, is more flexible than hardwood but still incredibly strong. It can be easily manipulated and is perfect for carpentry and general joinery.
What is the best sheet material for external use?
The best sheet material for external use is plywood. There are four main types of plywood: marine, structural, exterior and interior. Marine plywood is designed mainly for exterior construction, such as boat-building and lake platforms.
It is excellent for withstanding harsh weather conditions and does not require much maintenance. If you use Beesley & Fildes’ Marine sheet wood, your project will have guaranteed long-lasting durability.
Exterior plywood, like our sheathing sheet wood, is excellent for general-purpose building applications. Sheathing plywood can be used for roofing and sheds if sealed with a waterproof sealer.
As a sheet building material, sheathing plywood can reinforce structures as a form of structural or non-structural support. It will perform well externally, so long as it is treated to be fully waterproof.
What is the best sheet material for flooring?
Plywood and OSB are the best sheet material for flooring. Plywood is durable in all weather conditions, hot or cold, and is resistant to expansion. Plywood comes in many different designs and can be altered with paint or stain if you feel like a change.
It is affordable compared to other flooring options, like natural stone or mosaic tiles. You can use plywood for most of the flooring in your home, although it is best to avoid using it in rooms where water is likely to be split: this may make the wood swell.
OSB, otherwise known as Oriented Strand Boards, are an engineered form of wood product: the boards are composed of layers of wood flakes compressed with resin.
OSB is suitable for use as sub-flooring because it provides support for heavy foot traffic. When covered with a more aesthetically pleasing flooring cover, it is ideal for use in sheds, attics, workshops and sheds.