HDO plywood

What Is HDO Plywood And How To Use It? Big Review From Largest Plywood Supplier In The USA

When it comes to building cabinets in the laundry room or a pavilion in the backyard, plywood is extremely useful for many projects However, it’s equally necessary to know about any specific plywood before purchasing it to ensure the highest quality.

HDO or High-Density Overlay plywood (HDO) is also known as a signboard because it was originally designed for sign makers. With each passing day, HDO plywood is gaining popularity for other purposes as well. These engineered woods can be seen as cabinetmakers because of excellent quality. Moreover, for jigs and cement forms, these are exceptional products.

What are the types of ply?

Plywood. What are the types of ply?

Layers the manufacturers use to create the board refer to the term “ply” and these are of various thicknesses. With the help of ply, the right depth and strength can be achieved out of the wood. For instance, some projects may not need a thick board while others will.

Have you heard about wood veneer before?

It refers to each layer of a wood that you can glue together in order to create a different number of plies. It is actually a thin piece of wood, when they get glued together, the finished product is known as plywood.

Moreover, veneers can also vary in terms of the thickness, but it depends on your location. There are standards that manufacturers need to be met for the number of plies of a certain depth including external wall and roofing. 


One of the common types of plywood, 3-ply has three layers of veneer glued together and making a strong layer for increased durability. It looks more decorative than other plywood with more plies, hence it is the perfect choice for indoor use but make sure to buy from a reliable plywood supplier.


As the name suggests, it has 5 layers of veneers but offers less durability. For that purpose, it is the best choice for those projects that need less durability and strength.


When it comes to roofing and exterior use, multi-ply is comprised of several veneers that create a strong layer together. It acts as an unyielding frame for a home that protects against heavy wind and damage.

Important Things To Know About an Overlaid Plywood

Plywood. Important Things To Know About an Overlaid Plywood

Overpaid plywood refers to either high (HDO) or medium-density (MDO). Both of these utilize the same structure of regular sheets in which veneers are glued together tightly. The overlaid face of overlaid sheets gives it a finished appearance overall.

The exterior of overlaid plywood may not serve the purpose of decoration, but it is highly-durable enough that gives the panel a smooth surface to keep water or other particles away from damaging or sticking to it. Moreover, it has a coating that protects against scratches that usually happen during construction and transport at the same time when directly bought from HDO plywood suppliers.

With the help of the heat and pressure process, the exterior surfaces are bond to the rest of the veneers. HDO plywood panels have more resin as compared to medium density panels. For that reason, these are a bit more expensive. However, both of these offer high-durability and stronger than traditional plywood.

Difference between HDO and MDO


Both high-density overlay plywood and medium density overlay plywood are kinds of hardwood in which a resin is soaked between the veneer layers. When it comes to the top veneer layer, it is an “A” grade of both sides and provides a smooth surface without voids. Moreover, the extremely strong, flat, and smooth engineered wood product is produced when resin-soaked fiber overlays are applied with pressure and heat. When it comes to the difference between HDO and MDO, the density of the exterior fiber layer on HDO is comparatively higher than the density on MDO. HDO comes up with higher resin content as well. To make sure a high-quality surface, consider purchasing it from trustworthy high-density overlay plywood suppliers.


When it comes to thickness, MDO and HDO plywood comes in a wide range of thickness such as 3/8”, 1/2″, 5/8”, and 1. Standard sheet sizes are comprised of 2 and 4-foot widths, and these sheets have a length of 8’, 10’, and 12’.

Application & Cost

Plywood. Application & Cost

In today’s world, high-density overlay plywood can be used for various purposes due to its high durability and smooth surface. However, it was originally created to be used for making signboards, and the reflective material was attached to the surface of highway signs. To provide a better surface for attaching the reflective material, more resin layers were needed. This plywood is not as commonly available as softwood plywood, and you need to ensure the highest quality product when it comes to HDO plywood suppliers near me in USA.

When it comes to the cost, MDO plywood is available in about half and twice the cost of marine plywood and softwood plywood respectively. However, the cost of the HDO plywood is slightly higher, but you opt for wholesale plywood for comparatively less cost.

What Is HDO Plywood Used For?

Plywood. What Is HDO Plywood Used For?

There are demanding applications where tough building materials are required such as concrete forming, exterior siding, and industrial containers. High-density overlay plywood offers toughness and superior wear of overlaid surfaces that make it the best choice to be used as exterior type plywood. For that reason, it is one of the most common and durable construction materials available in the market.

When it comes to HDO plywood, it provides resin-impregnated fiber faces which make it highly durable and efficient. As discussed earlier, the pressure and heat process provides it a strong and tough yet smooth surface that is highly-resistance of abrasion, moisture penetration, deterioration, and chemicals. As compared to the traditional plywood, HDO uses more resin and it is considered to be ideal for most of the applications. Moreover, other essential advantages can be seen with such plywood including dimensional stability, high strength to weight ratio, and rack resistance. You can easily buy panels of various sizes from HDO plywood suppliers that can even work with common woodworking tools.

Like any other plywood, HDO comes in two grades, concrete and industrial form. However, the other variant of overlaid plywood, MDO is comprised of concrete form and general grades. It’s necessary to reuse a concrete forming grade under severe conditions of the concrete framework, and HDO is ideal to be reused. Moreover, it leaves behind a smooth yet steel-form finish which makes it able to be reused many times for concrete forming. Most importantly, HDO offers a longer useful life as compared to medium density one. Whether you’re looking for highway panels, industrial tanks, or other demanding applications, industrial-grade HDO panels are the perfect choice for you.

When it comes to applications, HDO is best suited for construction, industrial, concrete forming, signs, and transportation uses. From truck and trailer linings to, storage bins, highway and painted signs, buildings, and factory surfaces are some of the examples where HDO offers low maintenance and high performance.

Keep scrolling down to learn about some of the major applications that involve HDO plywood.

Plywood. Keep scrolling down to learn about some of the major applications that involve HDO plywood.


This type of plywood is easy to finish and maintain as compared to traditional plywood. For that purpose, it can be used for most kinds of residential and commercial construction applications no matter interior or exterior. HDO plywood is highly durable and easy to main for siding usage with excellent natural insulation properties of wood. A high-density overlay plywood supplier can provide the product of the highest quality that can be used for exterior applications such as chimney enclosures, screens, garage doors, color accent panels, and privacy fences. Moreover, it has been used successfully for other purposes including exterior and interior walls, portioning, and wainscoting.


If purchased from the right plywood supplier, HDO is an exceptional product to be used for industrial applications. It is an ideal material for display shelves, bins, and storage racks because it resists dirt penetration, mars, and scuffs. You just need to make sure about the occasional cleaning with a damp cloth to keep its surface smooth and shiny. When it comes to assembling benches and work tables, a smooth surface of HDO plywood makes it the best choice. Other applications of HDO include pallet decks, countertops, drying racks, freezer lockers, humidity chambers, storage lockers, trunks, and other similar controlled atmospheres.

Concrete Forming

Plywood. Concrete Forming

One of the best materials for concrete forming, HDO has an exceptionally smooth surface and can be reused many times. From complex shapes to conventional form components, you can opt for, “HDO plywood supplier near me in USA” for concrete forming applications. Moreover, it provides high-performance under the alkaline exposures, and it offers consistent curing conditions with its natural insulating quality of plywood.


It was originally created for highway signs, and still very common for large displays and signs. Highway departments and commercial sign shops often consider wholesale HDO plywood for signboards because it can help to carry the message clearly. Moreover, it possesses the properties that are required for large sign installations. Being highly resistant to extreme weather conditions and vandalism, HDO plywood is definitely an ideal choice for signs and other similar uses.


HDO provides exceptional strength to weight ratio that makes it a perfect option for transportation applications. Its armor-like durability makes it ideal for trailer and truck linings. HDO panels can reduce damage and maintenance costs.


Plywood. Conclusion

HDO plywood has been used in signs applications for years, however, and it has become more common and popular these days due to its higher performance in other applications as well. If you are the resident of the USA, it’s vital to purchase this material from long-serving high-density overlay plywood suppliers to ensure higher-durability and smooth surfaces. It’s an ideal material for highway signs, concrete forming, siding, countertops, truck and trailer linings, and cabinets.  It’s available at a bit higher price as compared to MDO, but you can consider buying wholesale plywood directly from a plywood supplier for lower prices and superior shipping.

3 thoughts on “What Is HDO Plywood And How To Use It? Big Review From Largest Plywood Supplier In The USA

  1. MARK P JONES says:

    I am looking to purchase some HDO or MDO plywood to make concrete forms.

    Please email me for more information.

  • john nj clagett says:

    I am searching for architectural details for installation of MDO plywood as vertical siding. The most important factor is managing water and moisture, but also ensuring the panels do not buckle from long exposure to sun.

  • Residential Roofing Services says:

    Very great post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I’ve really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I am hoping you write again soon!

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