Business Advice6 min

Plywood Vs. LP® SmartSide® for Sheds

For years, plywood materials such as T1-11 shed siding have been a top choice for outdoor structures. They can be used for everything from shed flooring and walls to furniture, which makes them a convenient option-but they're not the only option. Despite plywood being top-of-mind for many, engineered wood products can help boast a greater value when it comes to outdoor structures. 

Before you start on your shed project, consider whether you want to buy a pre-built shed from a dealer or purchase materials to build one. Both options have their advantages. Learn more to determine what’s best for you. 

Now, let’s see how engineered wood products like LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding stack up against T1-11 siding

What is T1-11 Siding?

T1-11 exterior siding is a wood siding product that comes in two grades: plywood and OSB. Between the two, plywood T1-11 is more commonly used as siding in sheds. Plywood is a wood-based material made from layers of wood veneer that are held together by glue and formed into a flat sheet.

Is T1-11 Siding Good for a Shed?

When it comes to choosing material for your shed, T1-11 plywood is a popular option for standard use. Its versatility is what draws a lot of builders and their clients to plywood since it can be stained, primed or painted and is an affordable option for wood shed siding. However, if you’re looking for siding that delivers on durability and aesthetics, opt for engineered wood products, such as LP SmartSide Trim & Siding.

T1-11 Alternatives

Engineered Wood 

Engineered wood combines the aesthetics of real wood with engineered wood strand technology for superior durability. Engineered wood siding, such as LP SmartSide Trim & Siding, is one of the most durable siding options on the market. While plywood is bonded with a glue adhesive, engineered wood uses treated wood strands combined with waxes, zinc borate and advanced binders to create exceptional strength and durability.


Vinyl siding is an exterior siding product manufactured primarily from polyvinyl chloride. Though it is considered a cost-efficient product, it lacks the durability and aesthetic value of engineered wood siding.

Fiber Cement 

Fiber cement is an exterior home building material consisting of sand, cement and cellulose fibers. Fiber cement can offer the look of painted wood clapboards, shingles or stone. However, it may also be prone to damage in severe weather.

Traditional Wood

Traditional wood shed siding is made from fast-growing timber that is then milled into siding. Highly biodegradable, it may age faster than other siding options and may require frequent maintenance.

LP® SmartGuard® Process Offers Added Durability for Engineered Wood 

When it comes to outdoor structures that are exposed to the elements, durability is crucial. To help withstand inevitable impacts, all LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding products are treated to the core through the proprietary LP® SmartGuard® Process. The LP SmartGuard Process includes four components of protection: adhesive resins, water-resistant waxes, zinc borate and a resin-saturated overlay. 

Though plywood has adequate uniform strength, T1-11 siding for sheds commonly sags or bends when exposed to too much moisture. The added strength in many of LP's engineered wood products helps protect materials from impacts, freeze/thaw cycles and high humidity. Fungal decay and termite resistance also help to extend the life of outdoor structures.

Your Total Shed Package 

LP® Outdoor Building Solutions® offers a portfolio of engineered wood products to achieve a variety of shed styles. The essentials include LP SmartSide Panel Siding with SmartFinish®, a beautiful exterior option, and LP® ProStruct® Flooring with SmartFinish®, a tougher and more durable floor designed specifically for sheds. 

Unlike T1-11 siding, which typically comes in sheets, LP manufactures a variety of engineered wood products beyond panel siding, including LP SmartSide Soffit, LP SmartSide Outside Corners and other accessories, such as J-Blocks and Mini-Splits. A portfolio of engineered wood products helps allow you to create a complete shed build with products proven to work well together with advanced durability.

For a complete list of LP SmartSide products and accessories, including prefinished options, visit LP Outdoor Building Solutions.

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