Sheet material

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Sheet Woods


  • Usually 3mm thick
  • Not fully rigid
  • Used to line damaged wood floors before carpeting
  • Also available with a semi-gloss white finish
  • Most popular as cupboard backs and drawer bottoms in cheap furniture


  • Hardboard with a matrix of prepunched holes.
  • Used for vending displays, long metal hooks go in the holes and products are hung on these.

Chipboard, Particleboard

  • Very widely used low cost sheet material
  • Made from wood chips & sawdust glued together.
  • Comes in many strength grades
  • Flooring grade chipboard is a higher density stronger board
  • - T&G, expand on


  • 2 sheets of veneer with wood strips glued between
  • Used for furniture panels


  • Oriented strand board
  • Used for boarding up broken windows
  • more info pls


  • Plastic coated chipboard
  • Available in white, brown wood patterns, and sometimes other plain colours


  • 'Medium Density Fibreboard'
  • Wood fibres glued together
  • Uniform, can be tooled in any direction
  • Vulnerable to water
  • Some concerns have been expressed about chemical outgassing


  • Strips of pine glued side by side to make sheet wood
  • Each strip is in alternating grain direction
  • Eliminates nearly all potential for warping & cupping
  • Finished to furniture standard
  • Used for pine furniture construction, shelves, etc



  • Sheets of wood veneer glued together
  • Each sheet has grain laid at 90 degrees to its neighbours
  • Excellent strength in both directions.
  • Available in grades: - Marine, WBP, fair faced, beech
  • Various thicknesses from 4mm to 2"
  • Flexible 4mm ply also available


  • Hardwood on chipboard generally
  • Used for flooring


  • Structural insulated wood panels

Non Wood Materials


  • Very popular walling sheet
  • Cheap
  • Not as strong as wood sheets
  • Cut with handsaw or knife
  • 2 sheets of paper with gypsum inbetween
  • 9.5mm and 12mm are the most common sizes
  • 12mm is significantly more robust
  • Available with various edge profiles:
  • Flexible PB is also available.
  • 2 layers gives better soundproofing and longer fire resistance


  • Used as plasterboard
  • Typically 1" thick
  • Construction as plasterboard, but using clay based plaster
  • Much heavier than plasterboard
  • Better sound absorption

Sheet plastic

  • Not widely used in DIY
  • High price & lacklustre performance for DIY purposes

Fibre cement

  • New fibre cement sheet is normally glass fibre reinforced cement. Other fibres may be used.
  • Old fibre cement sheet (until 1986) was normally asbestos fibre reinforced
  • Both have similar properties, except for the health issues surrounding asbestos
  • Totally weatherproof
  • Waterproof
  • Very robust
  • Fireproof
  • Long lasting
  • Ruins drill bits & saw blades
  • Not cheap
  • Possible to make non-compressed fibre cement sheet at home
  • Used for soffits, bargeboards, furniture, garages, bunkers, heatproofing, fireproofing, and sometimes found in place of plasterboard.
  • Breakage on outbuildings is largely due to the very thin elements used.


Sag can be an issue with sheet materials, especially the lower strength ones like chipboard.

The Sagulator calculates short and long term sag, given the dimensions, loading and material type.

See Also

Insulation sheet materials