3 Ply vs 4 Ply Plywood – What’s The Difference?

3 ply plywood is 1 sheet thinner than 4 ply plywood. Used in construction, 3 ply is made for less tensile resistance compared to thicker 4 ply. Both 4 ply and 5 ply plywood are considerably more epensive than 3 ply plywood.

Additional ply is considered a layer. This is why a 3-ply plywood has 3 layers while 4-ply plywood has 4 layers. The thicker plywood is the more strength it has and the more demanding use can be purposed for it.

Largely popular for walls and roofs, plywood is also a great idea as garage wall covering. You can consider plywood for a wide range of do-it-yourself projects.

3 ply vs 4 ply plywood

3 ply plywood is typically around 3/8” thick while 4 play plywood has an extra ply which makes it at least 0.4” thick. Made out of wood such as pine, both 3 ply and 4 play come with a lifetime warranty even if they have different pressure or load resistance.

3 Ply vs 4 Ply Plywood – The Differences

3 ply plywood is easier to find than 4 ply plywood. However, the differences are vast and you should know what to expect.

  • Thickness

Thickness is obviously the first main difference. You need longer screws for 4 ply plywood. On the other hand, it’s more difficult installation is worth it when it comes to durability.

  • Structural resistance

One of the main differences between 3 ply and 4 ply plywood is structural resistance. When used on roofs, 4 ply plywood holds your weight a lot better than a more fragile 3 ply alternative. You’d need to add 4 ply plywood on your roof if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow or on a building you plan to walk on or get up on in the evening to relax.

  • Warranty

Plywood should get a lifetime warranty at retailers such as Home Depot or Lowe’s. Physical damage is likelier on 3 ply given its thin profile.

You can ask about the life expectancy of 3 ply plywood and 4 ply plywood in stores. They come in different classes and this can be an issue to consider if you live in a humid environment.

Final words

Strength, durability, thickness, and pricing differentiate thinner 3 ply plywood from thicker 4 ply plywood. The 4 ply version costs more but it also withstands weight better, particularly when used on roofing.


Can I use 4 ply plywood instead of 3 ply?

Yes, you can use 4 ply plywood instead of 3 ply. However, you need to ensure both of these comply with building regulation in your state as things can be different from one region to another.