Advantech vs Plywood: Which Subfloor Option You Should Choose?

There are too many options for sub- floorings. It is far more complicated than just searching for your favorite color. You have to consider all the factors like moisture, durability, maintenance, and above all investment. The subfloor is as important to a floor’s longevity as is the actual finish.

Whether you are replacing an old one or building a new base!

It is very important to research before starting a sub-flooring project. In this way, you will get a good idea about the cost and benefits of different subflooring materials.

We will discuss two very common subflooring i.e. Advantech vs plywood. Have a look at the Pros and cons of each sheathing. Then see a comparison of both subflooring to get an idea about their differences.

Is The Subfloor Really Necessary for Your House?

When we talk about a subfloor, we must emphasize that it is a very important part since it is the structure that supports the surface of the floor. Most of the materials used, are not strong enough by themselves to support the weight of some heavy objects, added to the weight provided by humans.

It also offers protection in addition to having a sufficiently flat surface, which will allow us to make a much easier installation of the floor, whether you are hiring a pro or doing it yourself. A level subfloor is important to prevent cracking of tiles.

Another subflooring purpose is to protect the surface floor from damage to the moisture and mold in a humid environment.

It is extremely common to use the subfloor as a conduit for the necessary pipes or electrical cables.

Also check: Our Expert Selected Underlayment for Tile Floor.

What is the Advantech Subfloor?

Advantech Subfloor

Advantech is an engineered panel that is designed to provide higher performance for floor sheathing. An Advantech flooring will give extra strength to your floor than any other flooring including plywood. This panel is popular for its moisture resistance and easy installation.

No way, we can deny the excellent structural performance of this advanced industry-leading floor system. The purpose of making this engineered floor material was to make a floor covering was to lessen the strength reducing factors.

If you are constructing a new floor in your home or just replacing the whole flooring system, then go for Advantech. It is because it provides additional power against warping and swelling due to water penetration.

Understanding the Structure

Now after giving you a brief idea of what an Advantech flooring can do, let’s talk about the enhanced structure of it.

It is an improved oriented strand board product. OSB stands for oriented strand board and is also a type of engineered wood. It is formed by adding resins in wood particles and then compressing strands under specific pressure.

Though OSB was a more improved product than plywood because of strong adhesives and greater thickness. But manufacturers made more improvement by adding a liquid form of resin. This liquid resin also covers the wood chips during the panel building process. It is built up with more précised technology.

Wood strands in Advantech panel are placed in such a way that they are oriented and sized inside the several layers. This précised placing creates a woven medium of wood threads. This gives these engineered panels the maximum rigidity and dimensional permanence.

You can compare its technology with OSB products by simply understanding the main difference in preparation. Oriented strand boards contain fibers in different orientations and sizes. They also use less effective resin. This doesn’t make them of the same strength and resistance capability.

Simple OSB Adhesive Vs Advance Advantech OSB

Adhesives include in OSB formations are urea-formaldehyde, phenol-formaldehyde resin, isocyanate, and other formaldehyde-based resins. They don’t increase the bonding of strands after compression.

However, Advantech uses highly durable polyurethane-based resin. This resin is used in liquid form to cover every fiber in the panel. It offers more potency than typical glue. And after compression procedure, this adhesive also increases the chemical bonding in between wood fibers.

To compare it with a regular OSB, take a look at the following points.

  • 62% higher bending strength
  • 28% superior bending firmness
  • 10% better design fastener capability

After understanding where the strength of Advantech OSB comes. You might want to know about the Advantech historical background!

History of Advantech

It was developed by Huber Engineered Woods, by taking the OSB product to the next level. They launched this product in the early 2000s. It was a revolutionary approach to a flooring system.

This product delivered the perfect package for moisture resistance, higher durability, and a solid floor structure. It also maintained the highest bending strength and density at the commercial level. That’s why people prefer Advantech over plywood and OSB flooring.

In 2009, Advantech won the best product competition in Architectural Record and it has been the favorite flooring brand since 2002. Nowadays this flooring also comes with a 50-year warranty for every new buyer.

Instead of the PS2 stamp that is necessary for ensuring the strength of the subfloor material, Advantech was given the stamp of ESR-1785 stamp. It proves that it has passed all the tests necessary to measure panel strength and rigidity.


We are sure that after reading the above information you have pretty great knowledge of Advantech. But we will also discuss its advantages one by one to make it clearer for you.

Moisture Resistance

Let us tell you how efficient it is in the case of resistivity. It has the least tendency to warp and swell as compared to many other subfloors. If your construction project is too long, it will provide the long-term opposition to moisture around the area.

This will also reduce all other factors like molding and cracking related to moisture. You should know that it is will provide a very good sheathing against gypsum concrete applications.

One other big benefit of installing this these Advantech sheathing is that you will not have to sand it for at least 300 days after installation. It is because this floor will not allow water penetration and moisture absorption.

Strong and Peaceful

This Advantech sheathing provides a great bonding to the floor. first of all, It will keep the moisture out. There is no doubt that any wood sheathing is prone to squeak. That annoying sound of wood! But this squeaking happens after moisture absorption.

It can also happen due to the weak nail holding power of many other subfloor sheathings. However, with guaranteed protection of Advantech subflooring, you can live in a peaceful and calm environment. You don’t have to worry about the bad loud sound after putting or dragging heavy material on your floor.

Easy Installation

Tongue and groove joints of this subflooring create an easy installing during any type of construction. If you are not familiarized with the term tongue and groove. Let us give you a simple idea of it. Tongue and groove are a method of fitting parts edge to edge. In this case, joining panel edges.

It means that these parts are so strongly bonded together that appear as a single flat surface. Due to this subflooring, you don’t have to sand the surface of panels. It comes with a guaranteed no sanding label. It will be a proven choice for you because of its simple to do set.

You will not have to worry about environmental factors during subflooring your homes like rain and moisture. It is because it provides great resistance against swelling of material around the edges.

If you want a floor heavy enough to protect you from all of the trouble defects and difficult construction, this engineered subfloor will be a perfect one.



The cost of Advantech is a big drawback. It has the maximum strength compared to all other subflooring. But this also makes this sheathing more expensive. However, according to our opinion, you should invest that much money. It will worth it.

According to different reports and calculations, it is estimated that Advantech is almost 50% expensive than a typical OSB. If you are investing less money on an average OSB, there are quite high chances of wood damaging due to excess humidity exposure.

What is Plywood?

Photo credit: CedarFaq

It is one of the best affordable options for subflooring. It provides a very durable sheathing. However, plywood is not recommended for grounds where water spills are more likely to happen. Excessive moisture will cause the floor to swell over time.

As the name shows, plywood subflooring is based on plywood. If you don’t know about plywood, our brief information will be enough. Plywood is engineered wood. It is formed by gluing together the strands of wood with adjoining layers rotating their grain to almost 90 degrees to one another.

It is the most commonly used flooring because of its less cost. The other main reason for its popularity is, it was introduced long before OSB and advanced plywood sheathing.

Understanding the Structure

Only standard plywood material can be used for subflooring. The recommended material for plywood subflooring is tongue and groove plywood subflooring of 3/4 inch. We have already talked about the tongue and groove method in the upper section.

Edges of plywood panels get interlocked with each other while creating a strong bond. This makes a plywood sheathing stronger. For installation, a plywood panel is glued to floor support using a construction adhesive.

These panels can also be installed by using strong subflooring nails. If you are going to do carpet flooring, then it is best to use a thinner plywood panel. Plywood panels treated with preservatives are more common. Because it prevents wood from decaying and growing mold.

This subflooring comes in a vast range of thickness. This thickness is related to wood veneers. Plywood used for subflooring panels is at least 3/4 inch thick. The broadness of plywood panels depends on the distance between floor joists.

You can say that plywood flooring is made up of multiple layers to make up a solid sandwich. We agree that one of the biggest benefits you will get from installing a plywood subflooring is its flexibility.

Yes! this subflooring can be secured by some methods other than adhesive. Simply if you want to make a budget-friendly flooring project, choose plywood flooring. Its durability can be less as compared to advance Advantech but, it isn’t that bad. When installed properly, it will provide great resistance against warping and huge foot traffic.

Plywood Grading

A, B, C, D, and X are letters used for grading plywood panels. A indicates the highest quality. This grading system is meant to indicate the visual quality of material and not its strength. Plywood Panel comes in two ratings. The first letter of the rating represents the value of the front side.

Similarly, the second letter shows how good the backside of the panel is. Take a look at how each letter represents different panel ratings.

Panel grade A

This panel shows the highest quality by providing surface free of knots and other flaws.

Panel grade B

B grades have lesser knots but more than A

Panel grade C

C ones can have many holes and even discoloration.

Panel grade D

This grade type has several defects. Mostly D grade is shown on the backside of the panel.

Panel grade X

X-grade wood is specified for scrap wood.

Plywood History Background

Plywood was first formed by a Portland manufacturing company in 1905. Until the 1930s, it was using a non-water proof resin. Its advance adhesiveness was formulated in the late 1960s. And they became famous in construction projects.

After that, different techniques were used to maintain and increase the durability of plywood subflooring. This revolutionized the industry to make an OSB. Elmendorf manufactured OSB in Claremont and it was in near the early 20s. Now an advanced OSB is also present. More advanced OSB flooring is Advantech flooring.


It’s not just cost that many builders choose plywood, there are many other advantages as well.

  • Major benefits of plywood sheathing are as follows
  • Different material thicknesses are available, from 4mm to 3mm.
  • When comparing to Medium Density Fireboard, it is less prone to water damage.
  • It holds nails very strongly.
  • It has good durability and flexibility for installation.
  • Easy maintenance.

Easy Installation

We have already mentioned an easy installation. It means you can use it in different sizes. Different spans! Different thicknesses and different grading. Just have to sand plywood, then decide nail or glue accordingly, and finally place them as you want.

If you have a tighter budget and you also want to spend money on other things, not just floor! Order plywood through a retailer. Just request it in the pieces you prefer for flooring. All set!


A big feature of plywood is its affordable price. Most budget-friendly subflooring! Further installation price is also less as compared to much other wood flooring.

You should not have to worry about an installation kit. The other main reason for making it extremely cheap is its less usage of adhesiveness. Installation is so simple and can be done by different methods. You can just do that yourself.


Less Durable

It has a fine strength and resistance against moisture. But you simply can’t compare its durability with more expensive flooring. The soft nature of plywood makes it very prone to environmental damage and molding.

However, if you are installing it in a room where there is no weather exposure and is likely less foot traffic. Plywood flooring will offer the same durability as compared to other sheathings.

Advantech Subfloor Vs Plywood: Which One to Choose?

Which is the better option, plywood vs. Advantech? Well, when used as exposed decking or subflooring each has its strengths and weaknesses.

Structure or Basic Composition

While construction codes regard all materials similarly as “structural panels,” the structure of the plywood and the oriented strand board (OSB) is somewhat different.

Advantech consists of wood lengths of 3-inch to 4-inch, which are often laid and formed in a crossing pattern, then glued and pressed.

Plywood is made of glued thin wood strips that are layered at alternating right angles (90°) and placed in a heated press; the resulting cross-linked and coated composite is structurally reinforced and resistant to expansion and contraction of solid wood.


Builders were usually hesitant to turn to the new product. And, predictably, when Advantech came on the scene with improved OSB as an alternative to plywood, critics had been able to point its outshortcomings.

And in my view, Advantech is more cost-effective and for longer periods it offers more longevity and value for money than the Plywood Flooring. So, choosing between then in terms of cost is a trade-off between product quality and longevity, but Advantech is more paying back over a longer period.

Consistency in Structure

Advantech is considered more stable structurally than plate wood. Since a plywood sheet is composed of many large wood veneers, it is susceptible to loops, and other imperfections (That can create slightly softer spots, if aligned).

Meanwhile, Advantech compacts the same thickness as the plywood to as many as 50 layers of beams forming one sheet, producing a more compact and weighted product throughout.

Moisture Handling

Advantech is more resistant to moisture than plywood. Excessive moisture content in the subfloor is one of the most common causes of hardwood flooring issues at the time the finish floor is being built. High relative humidity or exposure to rain or snow during construction will increase the moisture.

Possible effects include swollen edges of the panels and panel deterioration One of the most common causes of hardwood flooring problems is the excessive moisture content in the subfloor at the time of installation of the finish floor.

High relative humidity or exposure to rain or snow during construction will increase the moisture. Possible impacts include swollen edges of the panels and panel deterioration.

Edge Swelling

Advantech has no delimitation issues that can affect plywood and is also not susceptibleto Swelling to the edge when exposed humidity. Water is more likely to inflict harm on the collapse of the plywood, and bubble of its layers.

Although This swelling effect can disappear when the plywood is inside fully dried without affecting its compositional quality, Advantech pieces soaked in the water remain completely stable in structure and size.

Fastener Holding Ability

How well a hardwood floor can withstand pulling away from the subfloor is highly dependent upon how well it is fastened. The thicker the subfloor, the more pressure it brings on the fastener, and the more energy it would take to remove the fastener.

A good example is the Advantech flooring, a high-density wood panel with a 10 percent stronger measured holding power of the fastener. Many types of research have been done on both materials. ESR report showed that Advantech has better fattener power than plywood subfloors. 

It is better to use screws on plywood material. It doesn’t hold nails well.


Using a steeper subfloor frame, when contrasting floor systems with the same structural construction, offers a more robust looking floor system with a significantly reduced risk of squeaky wood planks and broken ceramic tiles.

Stiffness is a function of the size and shape of the frame, as well as the distance between the underlying joists or trusses. Lower spans and thicker panels allow steeper grounding. Stiffer floors make homeowners more contented.

Both materials come in different measures of thickness. An oriented and stable structure of Advantech shows that it is stiffer as compared to plywood. Plywood veneers haven’t the same précised orientation. This decreases the dimensional stability of plywood subflooring when it comes to comparison.

Die Absorption Test

It just takes about 45 minutes for the die to soak into the plywood from top to bottom when Advantech and plywood are dipped into a red die. That will shortly cause swelling, rotting, or delimitation. However,Advantech shows no signs of water penetration. Advantech surpasses its rivals by far when it comes to power and stiffness.

Bending Strength

Advantech is 62 percent stronger than typical plywood when it comes to bending power. Plywood contains PS-2 stamp while Advantech has ESR-1785 stamp on it which shows higher bending ability.

This helps it to carry much more weight before the panel will suffer any damage.

Temperature Control

The Advantech subfloor will help isolate the floor which becomes overly cold in winter. As it has greater bending strength and stiffness than plywood. It is more resistant to any temperature. 

High temperatures will cause the plywood to lose its structural stability. It will result in degradation. Higher temperatures of more than 200 will completely damage the plywood subfloor.

Quality Check Before Buying

Advantech flooring has been given the Assessment Service Report, ESR-1785, certifying that it has undergone test protocols that evaluate and maintain higher and reliable panel strength and rigidity rates. So, it does have an ESR-1785 stamp instead of having a PS-2 stamp. If you see this on your shed floor let it remind you that you bought the best.

Plywood subfloors contain PS-2 stamp which proves that plywood subflooring is strong.PS-2 is a standard for wood-based panels performance. Before any Advantech flooring, no doubt plywood has the best quality among subflooring materials.

Advantech has not given itself this classification, this classification has been provided by the International Code Committee, and is open to all those who wish to validate and certify their products as having superior design properties.


In plywood flooring, you can feel the bounce, while the Advantech flooring is sturdy.


We compared the most common subfloors. So, if you have looked at the topic, you have a clear idea of how both flooring systems work. If you are on a tight budget, choose a plywood one. Otherwise in our opinion, Advantech flooring is costly but provides maximum durability.

Just save yourself from further future investments on the floor by investing one time with Advantech. No matter what you choose between Advantech vs plywood subflooring, we hope that you will select with confidence with the help of our research.

A lot of thanks from siliconbeachla.

Also Read:

We Discussed About Two Common Engineered Wood Beam.

Choosing the Best Exterior Wood Filler in the Market.

What Is The Difference Between Tyvek and Typar.

Select Right Mop For Engineered Hardwood Floors Our List.

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