The Pros and Cons of Different Types of Roof Sheathing Materials

March 2, 2022

When it comes to roofing materials, many homeowners focus on the shingles or tiles that will cover their roof. However, the roof sheathing material is just as important, as it provides the structural support needed to hold up the roof. There are several types of roof sheathing materials available on the market and each has its own pros and cons. Here we’ll explore the different options to help you choose the right one for your home.


Plywood is one of the most popular types of roof sheathing materials because it’s affordable, strong, and easy to install. Plywood sheets are usually made from layers of wood veneer that have been glued together. The thickness of plywood sheets varies, but ½-inch and 5/8-inch thicknesses are the most commonly used for roofing.

Pros: Plywood is strong and resists warping, cracking, and splitting. It’s also readily available, making it easy to find and purchase. Plywood is a great choice for houses located in regions with high winds, as it offers good resistance to uplift.

Cons: One of the biggest drawbacks of plywood is that it’s prone to water damage. If exposed to moisture over time, plywood can warp, rot, or mold. This can compromise the structural integrity of the roof and require expensive repairs.


OSB, or oriented strand board, is another popular roof sheathing material. It is made by compressing layers of wood flakes or chips with resin and wax. OSB is often used in place of plywood because it’s cheaper and more uniform in strength.

Pros: OSB is strong and stiff, making it ideal for supporting heavy roofing materials like tile or slate. It’s also more affordable than plywood, which make it a cost-effective option for homeowners on a budget.

Cons: OSB can be easily damaged by water, which can cause it to swell and weaken over time. It also does not offer the same level of resistance to uplift as plywood.


Metal roof sheathing is an increasingly popular choice for both residential and commercial buildings. It’s lightweight, durable, and easy to install, which has made it a top choice in many new construction projects.

Pros: Metal roof sheathing is strong and durable, making it ideal for areas that experience high winds or extreme weather conditions. It’s also lightweight, which can help reduce Roof sheathing the overall weight of the roof structure.

Cons: Metal roof sheathing is more expensive than traditional wood products, which may not be feasible for some homeowners. Additionally, metal can be noisy when it rains, which can be a problem for some homeowners.


Selecting the right roof sheathing material is an important decision that will impact the longevity and durability of your roof. Each material has its own pros and cons, and the right choice for your home will depend on a number of factors. If you live in an area with high winds and extreme weather conditions, then plywood or metal may be the best choice. On the other hand, if you’re on a budget, then OSB may be the better option.

Ultimately, the best way to determine the right material for your roof sheathing is to consult with a roofing professional. They can assess your unique situation and recommend the best material for your specific needs. No matter what material you choose, proper installation and maintenance will ensure that your roof sheathing will last for many years to come.