Coosa Board vs. Plywood: Which to Choose?

Coosa Board vs. Plywood: Which to Choose?

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If you are planning on building some kind of floor, deck, patio, or getting paneling for a boat or pier, then you do have some options at your disposal. Two commonly used building materials here include Coosa Board and plywood. Both are very useful, but they are also very different. Let’s figure out what both Coosa Board and plywood are, what makes them similar and different, and what both are commonly used for.

Coosa Board and Plywood: The Basics

Before we start talking about similarities and differences, let’s first figure out what both Coosa Board and plywood are.

What Is Coosa Board?

One thing to take note of here is that Coosa is technically a brand name, but this brand does focus on making one specific type of product, the Coosa Board. A Coosa Board is a special type of panel, a high-density panel made with closed-cell construction, and it is made out of polyurethane foam that is then reinforced with woven roving continuous strand fiberglass.

In other words, a Coosa Board is a special type of rubber or elastomer, loosely speaking, that is reinforced with fiberglass. Coosa Board is designed to be extremely strong and durable, impact resistant, and more.

It is often used in marine applications, as it is waterproof and non-absorbent, so it won’t absorb moisture or rot. At the same time, it is also very resistant to pests. Even better is the fact that this product is also designed to be extremely lightweight and easy to work with. Just for reference, it can be up to 60% lighter than your average piece of marine plywood.

What Is Plywood?

We then have plywood, which unlike Coosa Board is a type of engineered wood. Plywood is made by taking either softwood or hardwood veneers, which are long and thin strips of wood, and creating many layers out of them. These layers are also known as plies, and your average piece of plywood may have up to seven.

All of the layers are designed so that the veneers are perpendicular to the last layer. So, if one layer has the veneers facing North to South, the next has them facing East to West, and so on and so forth. This creates what is known as a cross-grain pattern, which allows for excellent structural integrity, weight-bearing, screw holding capabilities, and great overall strength.

Using heat, adhesives, and pressure, these veneers are formed into solid sheets. Plywood comes in many grades and types, as well as in both exterior and interior ratings, and can serve a very wide range of purposes from shed and house building to the building of boats and much more.

Similarities of Coosa Board and Plywood

Now that we know what both Coosa Board and plywood are, we would usually talk about the similarities between the two. However, besides one single similarity, these two products are actually very different, so this section is going to be very short.

The one thing that makes these two products similar has to do with the application. Now, plywood does of course have many different applications. If we are talking about marine plywood, one of these applications is for the building of boat decks and sometimes walls.

This is also the case for Coosa Board. In fact, building boat decks and walls is the number one purpose that Coosa Board serves. You could say that it is specifically designed for this exact purpose. Other than this one similarity, these two things couldn’t be any more different.

Differences Between Coosa Board and Plywood

Let’s now take a closer look at the multitude of differences between plywood and Coosa Board.

1. How They’re Built

Coosa Board is made with fiberglass reinforced polyurethane, whereas plywood is made by gluing and pressing together wooden veneers. One is a composite material that is similar to plastic or rubber, whereas the other is a type of engineered wood.

2. Grades

Although Coosa Board does come in varying thicknesses, it’s generally all one grade or type. Plywood, on the other hand, comes in many different types, grades, and ratings, each of which is best used for a specific application.

3. Moisture Resistance

One of the biggest advantages that Coosa Board has over plywood is that it is non-absorbent and even 100% waterproof. This is exactly why it is used for so many marine applications. It’s just not going to absorb water or rot, which therefore also makes it pest-proof.

Plywood, on the other hand, even the best kinds, is usually not waterproof, at least not 100%. Although marine plywood is close to 100% waterproof, it may still begin to absorb moisture over time.

4. Weight

Coosa Board is comparatively lighter than plywood, anywhere from 40% to 60% lighter, therefore making it much easier to work with.

5. Durability

Due to its construction, especially in terms of longevity related to exposure to the elements, Coosa Board does tend to be more durable and longer lasting. It just doesn’t degrade as quickly as plywood does.

6. Structural Integrity

The one advantage that plywood has over Coosa Board is that it is better for structural purposes and weight-bearing applications. You just wouldn’t use Coosa Board to build a house like you would plywood.

7. Cost

Coosa Board can be much more expensive than plywood, up to two or three times the price for a comparable sheet.

Coosa Board vs. Plywood: Which Should You Use?

The bottom line here is that if you need something 100% waterproof and long-lasting, for things like boats, trailers, and subflooring, then Coosa Board is the way to go. However, if your two primary concerns are cost and structural integrity, then plywood is the better of the two. Moreover, if you need to build sheds and furniture, plywood is also your best option.


Now that you know what both Coosa Board and plywood are, and what they are both best used for, you can make an informed decision between the two.