Plywood ceilings: advantages and disadvantages of structures

When the question arises of how to sheathe the ceiling, few people remember such a wonderful material as plywood. Meanwhile, the plywood ceiling is very rational and looks quite attractive. It is a material that is lightweight, practical, durable and inexpensive. For some reason, a myth has developed in our country that plywood is only suitable for finishing summer cottages..

Consider the advantages and disadvantages of ceiling structures made of this material..


Plywood as a finishing material for the ceiling is a very good option. In our time, wood remains one of the most demanded and versatile materials, while no synthetics can replace it..

Plywood advantages:

  • excellent sound insulation;
  • keeps warm well;
  • high strength;
  • moisture resistance with proper processing;
  • aesthetic appeal;
  • low price;
  • light weight;
  • functionality;
  • ease of installation.

Plywood consists of glued sheets, it should be noted that the number of layers must be at least 3-4. Outside surfaces, as a rule, are pasted over with veneer, the front side can consist of a layer of valuable wood.

Modern antiseptic primers effectively protect any wood. The material treated with similar substances is moisture resistant and confidently withstands both temperature changes and other adverse factors..

Plywood sheets can be rectangular or square and have different sizes:

  • 1220×1220 mm;
  • 1525×1220 mm;
  • 1525×1525 mm, etc..

    Plywood sheets are sanded without fail, without this the material cannot be taken into work.

    The plywood ceiling looks very impressive in classic interiors. Two-tier or three-tier structures are often made of this material.. This material is noticeably cheaper than drywall; during its installation, a minimum of fasteners is required. This is a completely safe finishing option, from an environmental point of view..

    Plywood or OSB ceilings can be found in business centers, catering establishments, and private households. Plywood does not have the same widespread popularity as drywall, but rather, it can be attributed to the problems of advertising and marketing technology..

    Types of material

    Before starting work, you should find quality material. It is not recommended to search for good plywood in retail outlets such as markets; it should be bought only in stores that have a positive reputation.

    Since the material is lightweight, this significantly reduces the load on the ceiling, which means that the supporting guides of the frame will work for a long time without any problems. Subject to all standards during construction and operation, of course.

    If the thickness of the plywood is about 4-5 mm, then this is the best option.. If the material is thicker, this will noticeably heavier the structure, which can adversely affect the quality of the coating, which can deform..

    Plywood sheets have certain markings:

    • FC – plywood, which is used in rooms with high humidity.
    • FKM – is not inferior in its qualities to the first option, a special melamine resin is added to this material. Possible release of toxins, working with it, you should take precautions.
    • FOF. Possesses high moisture resistance, is widely used in furniture production, in finishing it is used as a decor.
    • FSF. The letter “C” characterizes the average level of moisture resistance. In the production of such plywood, a special resin (phenol-formaldehyde) is used, which confidently resists the effects of both moisture and microorganisms. Often, a similar material is used even in external decoration..
    • FB. In such material, a special varnish (bakelite) is actively used, which makes it possible to operate it for a long time..

    Such an abbreviation should be present on all sheets, this will allow you to quickly navigate and make the right decision when choosing.

    By the type of grinding, the material is divided into 2 groups:

    • Ш-1 – grinding was performed on one side;
    • Ш-2 – grinding was performed on both sides.

    The more processing cycles the material has, the more expensive it costs. To sheathe the ceiling, sanding on one side will be enough. There are plywood and unpolished (NSh), it is the most inexpensive.

    The grade of the material depends on the number of defects present on it:

    • 1st grade contains no more than three defects (knots, dents);
    • 2nd grade – six defects;
    • 3rd grade – 8 defects.

    The worst quality material is grade 4 plywood..

    Typically, marking is done in this way: I / I or II / III – this means that the grade is determined on both sides of the sheet. Second and third grade material can only be used in utility rooms.


    To decorate a plywood ceiling, staining is most often used. Ceiling painting consists of several stages. This applies both to the carved ceiling with a special decor and to simple inexpensive 2nd grade sheets..

    Before starting work, it is recommended to be well defined with the final result..

    If only decorative cosmetic painting is needed, then the surface is slightly moistened, and then covered with a coloring composition.

    Before processing the plane, it must be primed with a special primer. The paint will need to be put in several layers, each of which must dry completely.

    Usually the surface is covered in three layers. To preserve the original color of plywood, varnish is often used; after coating, the surface is treated with a stain.

    The paints used to decorate the plywood ceiling can be of two types according to the type of coating formed:

    • glossy;
    • matte.

    Glossy paints reveal surface defects, if any. Before starting sheet processing, this factor should be taken into account.. Matte paints can “hide” quite significant irregularities or damage to the surface.

    The composition of the paint can be:

    • silicate, guarantee the maximum adhesion coefficient;
    • latex, protect plywood from moisture by almost 100%;
    • water-based, lightweight and practical, allow you to get a beautiful decorative coating.

    If the room is residential, small children are often present in it, then it is difficult to find something better than water-based paint.

      Separately, it is worth highlighting alkyd enamel, which makes the surface especially protected. In the case when the ceiling surface has a large number of chips and cracks, it is recommended to use a silicone coating, in this case, the layer should not be thicker than three millimeters.

      Various types of enamels can be used to paint plywood, imitating shades of natural oak, cedar, alder, birch, precious woods, etc..

      It takes a certain time for the paint to dry (it is best to cut it out with a margin), this is the type of work when haste can only do harm. The better the lower layers of paint dry, the more reliable, stronger and more durable the finished coating will be..

      Consider other popular design options:

      • Openwork carved ceiling, most often found in bedrooms and guest rooms.
      • To make the ceiling more decorative, all kinds of spotlights are often used. With their help it is possible to make a covering, which is called “volumetric honeycomb”. Prerequisite: the ceiling must be more than 3.5 meters high for the desired effect to appear.
      • Often, an original, spectacular plinth is selected to the plywood ceiling..
      • Often, plywood sheets are combined with wood or metal strips..

      How to do it yourself?

      Plywood finishing is a slow, thorough process. It is possible to decorate the ceiling beautifully and correctly only when all technological standards are observed. Before starting cladding, it is recommended to opt for a certain material. Plywood sheets can be made from coniferous (larch, pine, fir, spruce), deciduous (birch) wood species and even poplar.

      Sewing the ceiling with birch plywood sheets is a very rational solution. Birch is a very durable material, it is often used in rooms where there is excessive moisture in the 7/24 time mode. To hem the ceiling with such material means to ensure the decoration of the room for many years..

      When working, you must be able to handle stain and varnish, only in this case the material will reveal all its best sides. If plywood is properly fastened, then the filing can hide utilities, curvature of walls, etc..

      Consider the stages of work:

      • Preparation. The working plane must be cleaned of plaster and paint, the cracks must be embroidered and repaired with a cement mixture, and the conspicuous joints must be removed. After that, the ceiling is covered with a primer, which should effectively counteract the occurrence of mold and mildew..
      • Before starting work, you should draw several rough sketches of the future product in order to have a more complete idea of ​​how the structure should look.
      • Work begins with marking with a level. You will also need the following tools:
      • screwdriver;
      • puncher;
      • electric drill;
      • hammer.
    • A crate is being made, it consists of a lag (wooden bars with a section of 30×30 mm, treated with a primer). The bars are mounted at a distance of 40-50 cm from each other. Then the sheets are laid.
    • Sheets can also be fixed with hangers. In this case, the coating should not bear any load. Suspensions are fixed to the ceiling, bars are screwed to them. Then we sew sheets of material to the bars themselves..
    • In the living quarters of a wooden house, sheets with a thickness of 5 mm are used, if you attach the sheets thinner, then there will be a risk of their deformation. If the thickness of the plywood is five millimeters or more, then the distance between the guide bars increases to 60-70 cm.

      Beautiful examples in the interior

                    The photographs below clearly show a wide range of applications of the material; they can sheathe ceilings both in the rooms of expensive premium hotels and in construction cabins..

                    • Such a ceiling is easy to make yourself..
                    • Plywood ceiling, lined with squares, looks very stylish and elegant.
                    • This version will perfectly fit into classic and modern interiors..
                    • Decorative plywood ceiling in the guest room.

                    In the video below you will see an option for finishing the ceiling with plywood decorations..

                    About the author