LumberJocks

What Size Plywood for Walls?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Focus on the Workspace forum

Forum topic by Kayakerjim posted 10-06-2021 03:32 PM 834 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Kayakerjim's profile

Kayakerjim

5 posts in 2560 days


10-06-2021 03:32 PM

I’m currently building out my new shop. I was going to use plywood for the walls so I will be able to hang things where I want & not worry about finding studs. Can I use 1/2” plywood or should I go with 3/4”? I would prefer 1/2” because it’s cheaper & lighter but I don’t want issues later.
Thanks, Jim


28 replies so far

View Dutchy's profile

Dutchy

4215 posts in 3450 days


#1 posted 10-06-2021 03:40 PM

I used 3/4, it also makes the construction more riged. With using 3/4 plywood you need less studs! The distance was 60 cm (24”) for me.
https://www.lumberjocks.com/Dutchy/blog/130474

-- https://dutchypatterns.com/

View DS's profile

DS

3985 posts in 3702 days


#2 posted 10-06-2021 03:43 PM

I’d be more concerned with the number of plies in the plywood.
More plies is usually more rigid.

Cheap plywood has few plies and will be more flimsy.
I would take a 9 ply 1/2” sheet over a 5 ply 3/4” sheet, for example.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS

View Mike 's profile

Mike

15 posts in 1724 days


#3 posted 10-06-2021 04:27 PM

I would use the 1/2” plywood vertically. However, I would rip up a few sheets into 2” wide strips and strap the walls horizontally first. Now you don’t have to break the corners of your sheets trying to hit a stud that may be misaligned, twisted etc. You can chamfer the edges of your sheets to celebrate the joint and place your screws further away from the mating edges of the sheets. If you need to hang something heavy, you can fasten through both the plywood and the strapping. You can choose heights for your strapping that would lend itself to the “french cleat” approach that many use in their shops. FWIW!

View Woodnmetal's profile

Woodnmetal

200 posts in 127 days


#4 posted 10-06-2021 04:36 PM

I used the 4 layer 4X8 1/2 ply (IIRC) for the walls when I built my woodworking hobby shed. Horizontally on 24” center. Nothing flimsy, It works for me. I have many 2×4’s in between the 24” centers holding my clamps, drill bit boxes etc.
No french cleat wall, just kept everything simple and on the cheap for the amount of time I spend inside the shed.

On the plus side of this type of construction. Now this is probably due to my age haha.

If I get sick of looking at it all 1 day and my focus shifts to something else other than my wood hobby. I could drywall over the whole shootin’ match while leaving everything in place. Then, start boxing equipment in. Build a cool train set to have around when the grandkids come as an example..

I will always have the option to pull the drywall down and go back to the original wood working hobby set up that is still in place behind the drywall while my machines are boxed up being used as tables.

IMO. During these economic times, unless you have enough extra cash to move around and play with… build it on the cheap. Then you have the option to change things up if need be.

Good luck with your decision.
Gary

-- I haven't changed... but I know I'm not the same.

View pottz's profile

pottz

21281 posts in 2266 days


#5 posted 10-06-2021 04:38 PM

i used 1/2 osb in mine and it works fine,3/4 is over kill imho.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

3046 posts in 883 days


#6 posted 10-06-2021 04:49 PM

I think I used 1/2” maybe 5/8”, or what ever that close fractional is, on my walls. I followed up with 3/4” plywood French cleats on all walls to about 2’ above the floor because I had no idea what I wanted. Everything is solid and holding well, if I want to move a shelf or tool rack I just pick it up and move it.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

9208 posts in 1856 days


#7 posted 10-06-2021 05:13 PM

For sheathing you are working off the strength the stud wall gives you at 16OC, or whatever span you use.

What you are talking about could need more than 3/4” if the object to be hung was heavyyyyy. For most shop type items 3/4” should suffice, just don’t hang a portable TS off just the plywood, hit at least one stud, 2 would be better. For smalls like simple wrenches and stuff you should do ok, unless you have 60 wrenches between 2 studs, then you would be better to put some crossing solid wood between 3 studs or so, and use that to hang from.


I think I used 1/2” maybe 5/8”, or what ever that close fractional is, on my walls. I followed up with 3/4” plywood French cleats on all walls to about 2 above the floor because I had no idea what I wanted. Everything is solid and holding well, if I want to move a shelf or tool rack I just pick it up and move it.

- controlfreak

CF in your case you could just go straight to studs with your French cleats, it’s them doing the lifting. That is a popular, and very good weight bearing mode for a shop.

-- Think safe, be safe

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

2679 posts in 4075 days


#8 posted 10-06-2021 09:27 PM

I used 7/16 osb covered with 1/2” drywall for some fireproofing. Painted light gray. Easy to patch holes if something gets moved. Run the screws thru the drywall into the osb and have never had a problem.

View Knockonit's profile

Knockonit

1015 posts in 1484 days


#9 posted 10-06-2021 10:05 PM

i used 5/8’’ cc ply, i bought a couple bunks of old stock from the big box store, they had on sale, used it every where,

i’d run it horizontally, screw it or nail it, what ever works for you, easy to add a block if stud off center, break vertical joints ,min of 24 to 32 inches, pending stud spacing, nail edges o screw then at 8’’ on edges and 12 to 8’’ in field.

i tacked my on with gun nails then went back and installed 1-5/8s screws.
if hanging and unsure if ply will hold make a cleat large enough to grab a couple studs., its amaze you the strength you will gain, even french cleat can work,
good luck nothing like a solid wall shop, with ply, can attach what you want where you want, my experience with osb is it sometimes won’t hold a screw well.
Rj in az]

-- Living the dream

View gdaveg's profile

gdaveg

391 posts in 484 days


#10 posted 10-06-2021 11:11 PM

I agree with Pottz, I would use OSB. It has no voids and just as strong as plywood. It does not like moisture but this is inside.

If you apply is long spanning left to right and not vertically might want to block the sheathing seam with a 2×4 between the studs at the horizontal joints. You will not have soft spots at the joints and the OSB edges will be pulled into alignment with the adjacent sheet of “ply”.

OSB is usually cheaper than plywood.

-- Dave, Vancouver, WA & Tucson, AZ

View pottz's profile

pottz

21281 posts in 2266 days


#11 posted 10-06-2021 11:44 PM

hell i even used ply under my drywall in my bathroom and kitchen.besides giving an easy way to mount anything it gives me some shear wall,which is very useful here in socal-lol.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

3872 posts in 4226 days


#12 posted 10-07-2021 05:11 AM

I’m betting even five ply is stronger than my rock walls.


I’d be more concerned with the number of plies in the plywood.
More plies is usually more rigid.

Cheap plywood has few plies and will be more flimsy.
I would take a 9 ply 1/2” sheet over a 5 ply 3/4” sheet, for example.

- DS


View Kelly's profile

Kelly

3872 posts in 4226 days


#13 posted 10-07-2021 05:14 AM

Keep in mind, you do not need plywood from the floor to the ceiling. After all, you’re not going to be hanging things below four feet. This would save you money and still give you great walls for mounting anything you want or need to mount.

I have 3/8” ply, because that’s the free stuff I had. I would have been happy with 1/2”. I like the plywood being over rock. Sealing seems between ply and rock to stop air movement in the gaps is a challenge. An elastomeric caulk might reduce the shrinking and resultant cracks that allow air transfer that equates to sound transfer.

View RClark's profile

RClark

186 posts in 3467 days


#14 posted 10-07-2021 12:54 PM

I have 7/16 OSB on my walls.

When I’m hanging heavy stuff, I still make sure that the anchoring fasteners go into the studs. That would be for french cleat systems, clamp racks, etc.

-- Ray

View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

3046 posts in 883 days


#15 posted 10-07-2021 02:05 PM


CF in your case you could just go straight to studs with your French cleats, it s them doing the lifting. That is a popular, and very good weight bearing mode for a shop.

- therealSteveN


In my case I needed something to cover the insulation anyway and I like the natural plywood color. 10’ X 16’ shop so it didn’t take much.

showing 1 through 15 of 28 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com