Particle Board vs. Plywood for Attic Floors – Which Is Better?

Remodeling the floor in your attic space means that you will have to make some crucial choices. For example, the material you use will greatly impact how long the floor lasts. As such, it’s essential to know the similarities and differences between flooring materials for the successful construction of houses.

The main differences between particle board and plywood are price and durability. Particle board flooring can save you substantially more money, but plywood floors last a lot longer.

This article digs deeper into the differences between the two types of flooring to help you make the right choice for your home.

Can You Use Particle Board for Attic Flooring?

particle board on attic floor

As you might already know, you can undoubtedly use plywood for attic flooring. But you don’t just need to limit yourself to plywood.

Particle board is one of the most common building materials for flooring—including attic flooring—because it is cheap and reliable. Most builders use this type of board not just as subflooring but also in cabinets and other furniture.

The question here is whether you should use particle board instead of plywood.

Differences Between Plywood and Particle Board

particle board vs. plywood

Both types of flooring usually look similar to people who are new to DIY wood projects. But the differences between them are actually quite vast, such as the pricing, surface texture, and ease of repairs.


The difference that jumps out to most is the price. Plywood can be almost twice as expensive as particle board. While particle board can be bought in 4×8 sheets at about $30 to $35, plywood will run you over $50 or more.


Plywood has much better durability compared to the alternative. The mechanical pins used in manufacturing plywood make it much more robust, ensuring that it lasts decades with proper care.


While plywood is a stronger material, its surface is rougher. This is because this material is made from cut wooden planks, which gives it a grainy wood surface.

Particle boards, on the other hand, have a smooth surface. This makes it perfect if you plan to put carpeting in your attic.


Plywood is much easier to repair than particle board. This might not be a big concern when putting in brand-new attic flooring, but it can become a financial burden years down the line.

particle board attic floor

Particle board is also known as chipwood because it is made from recycled materials like wood fibers, shavings, and sawdust—all of which make it very brittle. Repairs often lead to cracked or broken boards.

Moisture Resistance

Water and moisture cause particle boards to swell and expand. Not only will this material break down as a result, but mold and insects will infest the flooring after a while. 

Depending on your local climate, this may not be too much of an issue. But when installing flooring in an attic, you might want to ensure that no water seeps in when it rains.

Plywood can resist water and moisture much more effectively. This is one of the reasons why a plywood attic floor will usually last many more years..


Particle boards weigh a lot more than sheets of plywood. When considering attic flooring, the extra weight of the material can be a huge concern. After all, the last thing that you want is to have some or all of the attic floor come crashing down on you.

The strength of plywood floor boards also helps accommodate extra weight compared to the alternative.

Environmental Friendliness

One of the things that people like a lot about particle board is that it is environmentally friendly. Since this wood product is made of waste bits and sawdust that you would otherwise throw away, it helps the environment in the long run.

In contrast, producing plywood sheets requires lots of tree cutting and wood material. This makes plywood less desirable for those concerned about the environment.

Should You Use Particle Board or Plywood for Attic Flooring?

particle board vs plywood for attic flooring

Some of the things you have to look into when choosing these two materials for your flooring are your own needs, preferences, and budget.

If your home’s structural integrity makes the attic floor’s weight an issue, you should definitely go with plywood. Plywood is also the right choice if you are worried about water and moisture affecting your attic floor’s longevity. If your budget is limited, particle board will generally be a better choice.


Generally, plywood flooring offers stellar advantages for attic flooring. However, you will spend much more if you choose plywood. The information above should help you choose the best material for attic space, whether using it as additional storage space or living space.