Best known for their durability and strength, plywood garage walls have an endless number of applications in the home, even beyond their traditional use as roof and wall sheathing.
If you’re looking to build your own tiny house or remodel your current home with an industrial look, plywood walls can be used to give your home an awesome rustic vibe that looks great no matter where you live.
Plywood can be used to create custom storage solutions in your garage or basement as well as to cover interior walls in the style of popular trending decor trends such as shiplap and paneling.
Installing plywood walls does require some extra work and effort, but the results are well worth it if you want your home to stand out from others! Here are 5 ways to use plywood garage walls in your home.
5 Ways to Use Plywood Garage Walls in Your Home
1. Why we chose plywood walls
Not all plywood walls are created equal! Certain types of plywood and construction methods are best for certain applications. We wanted strong, durable, and easy-to-install walls for our garage conversion (read: no interior drywall) that could also be used as kitchen cabinets if we needed more space later.
To accomplish our goals, we decided on 1/2 inch marine grade birch plywood panels with 1×2 furring strips running vertically at 16 centers (to give room for cabinets or shelving inside). This meant that each panel would be slightly over 48 tall.
We bought them unfinished, but you can have them primed and painted before installation to speed up things even more.
2. How we framed our plywood walls
First, we framed our walls with a 2×4 wall setup. This is similar to how you would frame for drywall or any other standard material but there are a few things you should know about plywood and framing.
The big difference is that plywood is considered solid wood and as such, it warps when exposed to moisture. So if you’re using 2x4s, make sure they are pressure treated or at least kiln dried so they don’t rot while they’re holding up your house.
Make sure your studs are completely flush with one another and at right angles (90 degrees) with each other; otherwise there will be gaps along corners where moisture can get in. Then fill those gaps with extra nails and screws!
3. Cutting plywood for the exterior walls
Cutting plywood is pretty easy. You’ll want to use a circular saw, jigsaw, or utility knife with a masonry blade if you plan on cutting holes into your plywood for windows.
Always wear safety glasses when cutting and it’s a good idea to mark lines with a pencil before cutting with any power tool. Cutting through 2×4 studs: After cutting your pieces of plywood, they’ll need something sturdy behind them studs typically work best which means you need to cut them down so they fit tightly against each board.
A power miter saw works best for these cuts and will give you precise measurements every time.
4. Installing plywood panels on the garage wall
Whether you’re constructing a garage or simply repurposing an old shed, you might be tempted to slap on drywall.
It’s a common and logical approach: Drywall is easy and fast; it requires minimal skill and very few tools. It’s also heavy, hard on tools, relatively expensive (compared with plywood), and has more limited uses than plywood panels.
In fact, if you don’t have much storage space or if your walls get wet drywall might not be for you.
5. The ugly panel between our kitchen and garage
The space behind our kitchen wall has been a mess for a long time now. When we moved into our home there was an ugly panel with nails sticking out of it separating our living room from our kitchen and garage.
It’s one of those things that makes you wonder how many other parts of your house are similarly falling apart. Turns out, there were quite a few! But first things first: how do you hide an ugly plywood panel? By covering it with some plywood.
Painted plywood garage walls
You’ve seen them everywhere, but how do you actually install them? There are two options:
- paint your plywood garage walls and install regular drywall on top, or
- permanently install plywood garage walls. In most cases, it makes more sense to go with option 2 (if you can).
The only challenge is that it is not exactly a straightforward process. Below, we outline a step-by-step procedure for creating DIY plywood walls for any room in your home.
Best plywood for garage walls
Look for 100 percent grade A plywood; most of it will be made with spruce, which is strong and free of knots.
It’s less expensive than other hardwoods, but it still makes durable garage walls. You’ll also want to avoid ACQ-treated wood it can off-gas formaldehyde into your living space, which will make you sick.
If the garage walls are just one layer of plywood, they don’t need to adhere to building codes. If they’re two layers thick or more, they should comply with local building codes.
Plywood garage walls code
The first time I heard about plywood walls code I was doing my homework for a new job as a local inspector.
One of my primary responsibilities was inspecting houses and commercial buildings for residential building permits. There are several safety issues that must be addressed when installing drywall (gypsum wallboard) vs plywood if you want your house or building to comply with county, state, and federal codes.
The most important thing to remember is that a wall has two sides: interior and exterior.
Drywall or plywood garage walls
The garage walls are made of either drywall or plywood. Drywall is more popular for aesthetic reasons, but some people like plywood because it’s sturdier.
For an equally durable option, use a combination of both materials. Here are five tips on how you can utilize plywood and drywall when building a garage wall
Plywood walls in garage vertical or horizontal
If you’re thinking about installing plywood walls and have your heart set on a certain aesthetic, you can consider mounting them vertically or horizontally.
These walls are easy to hang and won’t require additional mounts because of their weight. To mount them vertically, simply attach wood studs at 16-inch increments.
The top of your wall will be a little less than 30 inches from floor level for every 8-foot section. What Are the Pros and Cons of Plywood Wall Paneling?
What Are the Pros and Cons of Plywood Wall Paneling?
If you’re considering adding plywood wall paneling to your garage, you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons first. On the plus side, plywood is inexpensive and easy to install. Plus, it can help insulate your garage against temperature extremes. On the downside, plywood is susceptible to water damage and may not be as durable as other materials.
Do You Need to Finish the Inside of Your Garage Doors?
You’ve decided to finish the inside of your garage and want to know if you should put the plywood walls up vertically or horizontally.
Well, there are a few things to consider. First, how will you be using the space? If you’re just using it for storage, then vertical walls may be fine.
But if you’re planning on working on projects in the garage, then horizontal walls will give you more space to work. Second, what is the height of your garage?
How Many Garages Have You Visited With Plywood Paneling?
I’m sure you’ve seen your fair share of garages with plywood walls. But have you ever stopped to think about whether the plywood is installed vertically or horizontally? It may not seem like a big deal, but it can actually make a big difference in the overall look and feel of the space.
What Types of Shelving Units Can be Used on Walls?
Wall-mounted shelving units are a great way to organize your garage and keep things off the floor. But which type of wall shelving unit is best for you? That depends on what you’re storing and how much space you have. Here’s a quick guide to help you decide
Is Drywall Necessary over the Wood Sheets
In most cases, drywall is not necessary over the wood sheets. You may want to add drywall if you are planning on painting the walls or if you need a smoother surface for wall hangings. If you do choose to add drywall, make sure to use screws and washers to secure it to the studs so that it doesn’t come loose during an earthquake.
How Will You Find Time to DIY This Project Before This Season Ends
Many people choose to add plywood walls to their garages for extra protection against the elements. But before you start this project, you need to ask yourself: do you want vertical or horizontal plywood walls?
How Will You Keep Track of Tools, Car Parts, and Other Things?
No matter how you organize your garage, you’ll need a way to keep track of all the tools, car parts, and other things that you store in there. That’s where labeling comes in. By labeling everything clearly, you’ll be able to find what you need quickly and easily.
Would This Type of Wall Paneling Work for Every Single One of Your Projects?
You may be wondering if horizontal or vertical plywood walls would work for every single one of your projects.
The answer is: probably not. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use plywood walls at all! Here are a few things to consider when deciding which type of plywood wall paneling for garage will work best for your garage:
-The size of your garage: If you have a small garage, you may want to consider using vertical panels to make the space feel larger.