Weights of Building Materials — Pounds per Square Foot (PSF)

Introduction: The weight of building materials is a crucial factor in construction, influencing the structural integrity, efficiency, and sustainability of a project. Understanding the pounds per square foot (PSF) of various materials can aid architects, builders, and homeowners in making informed decisions.

Plywood and OSB: A Comparative Analysis: Plywood and Oriented Strand Board (OSB) are two of the most commonly used engineered woods in construction. Typically, they have a density ranging from 560-640 kg/m^3 (35-40 lb/cu ft). For instance, a 9.5 mm (3⁄8 in) plywood or OSB sheathing usually has a surface density of 4.9-5.9 kg/m^2 (1-1.2 lb/sq ft). These materials are favored for their strength, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness.

Other Engineered Woods and Their Densities: While plywood and OSB are popular choices, many other engineered woods offer unique properties. Some of these woods have densities much higher than OSB, making them suitable for specific applications where added strength or resistance is required.

Factors Influencing the Weight of Building Materials: Several factors can influence the weight of building materials:

  1. Material Composition: The raw materials used and their proportions can significantly affect the weight.
  2. Manufacturing Process: The methods employed in the production of engineered woods can alter their densities.
  3. Moisture Content: The water content in the material can add to its weight, especially in materials like wood that can absorb moisture.

Conclusion: Understanding the weights of building materials is essential for ensuring the safety, longevity, and efficiency of construction projects. As the construction industry evolves, so does the range of materials available, each with its unique properties and applications.


  1. DoorStain’s Guide to Construction Materials
  2. Innovations in Engineered Wood