How to Choose the Best Subfloor for Your Project

Subfloors aren’t the most glamorous step in construction. Get them right and your clients will never notice. Get them wrong, however, and you risk warping, sinking and letting in moisture that will have your clients squeaking louder than their floors.

That’s why it’s so important to choose the right materials for the specific job you’re working on.

Use this quick-reference guide to learn the differences between four of Georgia-Pacific’s oriented strand board (OSB) and plywood options. Then, watch our video with tips to help you nail down a smooth installation process.

Durable and resistant single-layer flooring panels

Sturd-I-Floor® (SIF) is a combination subfloor underlayment produced from OSB or plywood. Because of its built-in underlayment, you have the convenience of using only SIF under certain finish flooring, including carpet and pad, as well as hardwood flooring.

These single-layer flooring panels offer you cost- and time-saving benefits in residential and especially multifamily buildings. SIF is quieter underfoot when installed using the APA Glued Floor System.

Compare OSB and plywood subfloor products

All of the following products are available in square edge, and tongue and groove.

BlueRibbon® Rated Sturd-I-Floor

• Its smooth surface—with no core voids, knots or splits—makes it perfect for direct application of carpets, pads and hardwood flooring
• Designed for both residential and light commercial construction projects
• Offers sufficient span and sealing capabilities to effectively prevent moisture intrusion
• Known for its straightforward installation process, making construction easier
• Comes with Georgia-Pacific lifetime limited warranty

DryGuard® Enhanced Rated Sturd-I-Floor

• Multilayered and moisture-resistant subfloor with built-in protection from thickness and edge swell
• Provides stiffness and strength to floor systems with enhanced nail-holding ability
• Has a black edge that helps reduce moisture intrusion
• Comes with Georgia-Pacific 200-day, no-sand warranty
• $2-per-sheet first-time-user rebate available

DryMax® Premium Rated Sturd-I-Floor

• Georgia-Pacific’s most moisture-resistant subfloor
• Has exceptionally low thickness swell and is sanded on two sides for consistent top and bottom smoothness
• Designed to prevent costly and time-consuming joint sanding, with enhanced durability, nail-holding ability, stiffness and strength
• Clear edge seal helps reduce moisture intrusion
• Comes with Georgia-Pacific 500-day, no-sand warranty
• $2-per-sheet first-time-user rebate available

DryPly® Water-Repellent Sturd-I-Floor

• Georgia-Pacific’s most water-repellant SIF product, made of durable Plytanium® (Southern yellow pine) subfloor panels
• Helps reduce water absorption by up to 40% during the normal construction cycle
• Helps prevent floor squeaks and loose fasteners in hardwood flooring, and decreases the probability of tile cracking
• Comes with Georgia-Pacific lifetime limited warranty

Get help choosing the right subfloor

Still thinking through your options from Georgia-Pacific? Talk to our product experts about your upcoming projects. With a one-on-one chat, they can help you decide which subfloor product is best for you, find the materials you need near you and give you additional installation guidance.

For subfloor installation tips from Georgia-Pacific, watch this video.