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johnism 10-18-2009 10:25 AM

Ply wood for wall and celines?
I have a a space that was built out in the 50 but never finished and was wondering what would be wrong with using plywood instead of dry wall?
The space is in an attic and one side of the wall is next to the garage ( just for back ground on the space). Of course I would use insulation and the a barrier the the ply wood .
Thanks for any input and help ,

Cork-Guy 10-18-2009 11:19 AM

Well, besides it look rather ugly there isn't much of a problem... however it might wrap from moisture and rapid temperature changes.

johnism 10-18-2009 06:05 PM

why would the wall warp when floors don't ? Not arguing just curious ?

Nestor_Kelebay 10-18-2009 11:49 PM


When you install plywood subflooring or underlayment, the directions will normally tell you to leave a 1/8 inch gap between panels to accomodate any expansion of the panels.

You see, lumber is shipped from the mills in what's called a "kiln dried" condition, which means that it's supposed to have a 19 percent moisture content or lower. Typically the lumber will have a higher moisture content than 19 percent, and the equilibrium moisture content of wood indoors will typically be about 16 percent. As the wood dries, it shrinks, and it's that shrinkage that causes both floor squeeks and nail pops in drywall. That is, as a 2X4 wall stud or 2X10 floor joist shrink, a gap develops between the stud and the drywall or between the floor joist and the subfloor nailed to it. The floor squeek you hear is actually caused by both the subfloor and the nail vibrating as they rub against one another.

Plywood is the opposite. In order to glue the thin plies of wood securely together, they have to be dry. So, when plywood leaves the factory, it typically has a moisture content of only 4 percent. So, when plywood goes into service in a house, and it's moisture content gradually rises to about 16 percent, the plywood panel will expand a bit. It's that expansion that the prescribed 1/8 inch gap between plywood panels in a plywood subfloor are intended to accomodate.

So, the gaps between plywood panels are intended to prevent any buckling of the floor in the event there's not enough room allowed for expansion. Would you want to leave 1/8 inch gaps between the plywood panels on your walls? Prolly not.

Also, you won't like the look of plywood on your walls. I once saw a picture of a house with stained and varnished plywood on all the walls, and it was just too dark. The walls were dark and it was dark inside the house. The white or off white paint typically used indoors very much helps brighten interior space.

But, I agree that you can hang plywood on walls just like drywall. If you ever replace that plywood with drywall, then you'll need to accomodate the difference in the thickness of the two kinds of materials. For example, electrical boxes for light switches and duplex receptacles will have to be built out cuz of the thicker drywall. Similarily, the door jambs around doors would have to be built out cuz of the thicker drywall.

Dan K 10-19-2009 03:22 AM

drywall would be cheaper and offer a fire retardant factor as well.

FLGarageDoors 10-24-2009 01:08 AM

Plywood is fine as long it is protected against termites and are insulated.

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