Choosing the perfect wood for a home construction project is crucial. It is because the type of wood we pick for our home building project can impact performance, durability, and long-term maintenance. Without any doubt, wood has been the major raw material for mankind for many centuries and it has allowed us to construct outstanding architecture and buildings. Its contemporary counterpart plywood is quite new in the market but nowadays, it has started gaining popularity for commercial and residential usage. Different types of plywood offer different pros and cons. However, CDX plywood is the perfect pick for one who wants to opt for a DIY project.
Maybe you have heard a lot about CDX plywood or heard someone talk of CDX as the best exterior plywood but you do not have much idea about what CDX actually means, what the letters C, D, X stands for, its qualities, and usage. If it is true then this article is for you. This article will shed light on everything that you need to know about CDX plywood.
So, without further ado, let us get started by finding out what is CDX exterior grade plywood.
What is CDX Plywood?
CDX plywood is the most popular choice among homeowners for roof sheathing due to its quality of withstanding moisture and water for a long time. It is a type of plywood that is made up of thin veneer sheets and glued and held together with linking piles. This kind of plywood is well-known for its strong resistance to cracking, breaking, or twisting.
How is CDX Plywood Made?
You can easily get an idea of how CDX plywood is made simply by its name. The ‘CDX’ is a combination of ratings that gives information regarding the quality and construction of the plywood. Actually, the grading system for plywood is quite an easy puzzle to solve. All credit goes to its simple A to D letter system which is used to indicate the quality of the panel. The letter A, B, C, D typically refers to the veneer or face of the material.
A and B Grade Plywood – It is the highest quality and most expensive types of plywood
C and D Grade Plywood – C and D grade plywood are the most economical types of plywood. This kind of plywood is the perfect pick for projects where you will ultimately conceal the plywood with some other type of cover material.
The quality of plywood can be evaluated based on color, durability, knots, splinters, and more. After assessing these features, ratings will be assigned to plywood either A, B, C, or D just like in the school. A is the highest rating that represents top quality whereas D is the lowest rating that denotes a lower level of quality.
The letter “X” in CDX refers to the type of glue that is used in the factory to bond the plywood veneers. Some people think that “X” stands for the exterior but it is not true. The letter “X” actually stands for exposure which means the plywood is tough enough to withstand a little moisture but it is only for a short time. If you want the plywood to withstand moisture for a long time then the panel must be covered by something more weather resistant such as bricks, sidings, or shingles.
Usage of CDX Plywood
There are mainly two types in which you can make use of CDX plywood.
A. Exterior uses
It is one of the most general exterior uses of CDX. Generally, this plywood is passed through numerous processes that make it very tough and water-resistant. So, this plywood is the best fit as far as exterior applications are concerned. Usually, exterior grade plywood – CDX will dry fast and lose the water over time and get back to its original size.
2.Construction of Crates and Boxes
When it comes to the construction of crates and boxes aesthetic value is not a big deal. Therefore, CDX exterior plywood is more preferable options as far as crates are concerned. This CDX plywood has good dimensional stability, solid-tough nature, and high resistance to water damage.
B. Interior uses
Due to this plywood’s appearance, it is not the best choice of materials for shelves making. However, when it comes to the making of garage or workshop shelves, appearance is not the concern. So, here you can make use of CDX.
When you want to reduce bowing and flexing, CDX plywood is the best pick. This plywood is mostly used as a sub-floor to ceramic floor finishing such as in kitchens and bathrooms. This CDX plywood is economic so one can easily get it and that also in enough quantities.
CDX Plywood Size, Thickness, and Availability
If you have decided to use CDX plywood for your next home building project then now you must be wondering about its size, thickness, and availability options. Here, the good news is that this plywood is easily available at most home and garden stores because it is the most common material used for home DIY and construction projects.
Generally, when it comes to its size this CDX plywood is typically available in sizes 3, 5, 7, and 9. Also, there are a variety of thicknesses available which range from ¼ inch to 1 ¼ inch. Besides, 3/8, ½, 5/8, and ¾ thicknesses are generally available at most stores. When you consider CDX plywood thicknesses, you should remember that these are normal sizes.
Pros of CDX Plywood
Let us check out a few advantages of CDX Plywood.
- It is highly durable and strong as it is made up of intentionally glued sheets at alternating right angles.
- Its cross-graining reduces the chances of wood splitting during edge nailing and makes this plywood resistant to wrapping, cracking, and twisting.
- It is less expensive as compared to other similar boards that are made up of wood species.
- It has ecological importance.
- It increases the strength of the material.
- It helps to contribute to the economy.
- The furniture made from plywood is comparatively lighter to transfer than solid wood.
Cons of CDX Plywood
Though CDX plywood’s layered property has many advantages, it also has a few disadvantages. Let us go through it one by one.
- If this plywood is exposed to the wood again and again then it will make it porous and susceptible to water damage.
- This CDX plywood becomes heavy when it gets wet. So, it needs to be covered if left outside. If you do so it will reduce the risk of water absorption.
- If the surface of the plywood left unpainted or not well painted then it can be peeled off easily.
- If any special resistance method is not used then after long-term it can get attacked by insects.
In a nutshell, as per the above discussion, you can observe that CDX offers a lot of advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, you need to take into consideration of your project’s specific needs to determine if CDX plywood is the best fit for your project or not. If you have any doubts regarding it then you should consult with a professional and plan your construction according to it. Remember, CDX is an excellent choice for homeowners and contractors who are in search of an inexpensive and highly durable covering solution.
If you are still confused or have any queries regarding CDX plywood then feel free to connect with us in a comment section below. We would love to hear it from you and try our best to solve your all doubts.
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