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HDO vs MDO Plywood: Comprehensive Comparison of Premium Options

Difference between HDO vs MDO plywood

Medium Density Overlay (MDO) and High-Density Overlay (HDO) plywood have the toughness required for exterior-type plywood. Moreover, both have superior wear of an overlaid surface. That is why both HDO vs MDO plywood are among the most durable construction materials out there in the market. But they are so deceptive. In this article, I will help you distinguish these two types and choose the best for your project.

What is MDO Plywood?

MDO plywood is an exterior-grade plywood with high quality fiber surface saturated with phenolic resin solids. It can be applied to many projects, especially commercial contractors and home building industry individuals. They choose MDO because of its durable, versatility. Also it has waterproof adhesive, also utilized for interior purposes where there is moisture or weather damage. MDO plywood can be sawn, nailed, routed, shaped and drilled. Although this kind of plywood is designed for exterior uses, it works well inside the home in areas that are smooth and hold up well to moisture.

MDO is produced with a high-quality thermosetting resin-impregnated fiber surface bonded to one or both sides under heat and pressure to create an exterior-grade plywood panel. With its standout strength, durability, density, ideal weight, low maintenance, easy to work with and versatility, people prefer this kind of plywood than ever.
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MDO vs MDO plywood are among the most durable construction materials out there in the market
HDO vs MDO plywood are among the most durable construction materials out there in the market

What is HDO Plywood?

HDO Plywood utilizes waterproof adhesive and face veneers graded B or higher, featuring a semi-translucent surface treated with a durable thermosetting resin. This resin layer offers resistance against abrasion, moisture, and degradation caused by various chemicals and solvents.

When it comes to HDO plywood, it provides resin-impregnated fiber faces which make it highly durable and efficient. As discussed earlier, the pressure and heat process provides a strong and tough smooth surface that is highly-resistance of abrasion, moisture penetration, deterioration, and chemicals. As compared to the traditional plywood, HDO uses more resin and it is considered to be ideal for most of the applications. Moreover, other essential advantages can be seen with such plywood including dimensional stability, high strength to weight ratio, and rack resistance. You can easily buy panels of various sizes from HDO plywood suppliers that can even work with common woodworking tools.

Difference between HDO vs MDO plywood

HDO stands out for its exceptionally smooth, resin-impregnated surface that offers superior durability and resistance to abrasion, moisture, and chemicals, making it ideal for high-demand applications like concrete forming and industrial containers. MDO, while slightly less smooth and durable, provides a robust and weather-resistant surface at a more affordable price, making it suitable for general exterior applications such as signs and siding. Ultimately, the choice between HDO and MDO depends on the specific requirements of the project, balancing the need for top-tier performance with cost considerations.

> Read more: plywood sizes, 3/4 plywood, 4Γ—8 plywood, 1/2 plywood, 5/8 plywood, 1/4 plywood

Difference between HDO and MDO
Difference between HDO vs MDO plywood


They are all hardwood plywood, where a resin soaked between the veneer layers. The top veneer layer is regarded as an β€œA” grade on both sides. It provided a smooth surface without any void. Such a wood product is extremely strong, flat and smooth due to pressure and heat. What makes them different is the density and exterior fiber layer, which is comparatively higher in the case of HDO as compared to MDO. Moreover, there is more resin content in HDO as well. A reliable HDO, Vinawood can provide a high quality product


There is a huge difference, both of these materials come in a range of thickness, which provide users the flexibility to purchase one that best suits your construction needs. Moreover, standard sheets have different lengths such as 8’, 10’ and 12’ and these have 2 to 4 4 feet widths.


MDO is ideal for cabinetmaking because of their excellent and flat surface, this has a resin impregnated fiber layer that adheres perfectly to paint. These can be easily painted and completely seal the edges against water.


MDO plywood has about half and twice the cost of marine plywood and softwood plywood respectively. On the other hand, HDO plywood is more expensive than MDO. However, purchasers can opt for Vinawood in order to cut down extra, hidden cost
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What are the uses of MDO plywood?

MDO is a very versatile plywood and can be used for a large variety of applications. Here are some of the most common:

Outdoor Signs

MDO is often referred to as signboard. Because of its resistance to weather and moisture, and its smooth painting surface, it is perfect for making outdoor signs.

> Read more: Vinawood: MDO & Phenolic Plywood Supplier in US & Canada

Concrete Forms

Anytime you are laying down concrete for a walkway or patio, you cannot just pour the concrete and hope for the best. You need a form for the concrete to fill before it hardens. Many contractors will create concrete forms out of MDO plywood because they are easier to assemble and take down, and the smooth, even surface allows for easier cleanup after the concrete has set.

Exterior Siding

MDO is an attractive looking plywood, which is one reason why it is great for external siding. It also has insulating properties, which can provide a home with temperature control and cut down on energy bills. Additionally, you can also use it for fascias, chimney enclosures, garage door panels, fences, and more.

Interior Applications

As briefly mentioned before, MDO plywood has some internal applications as well. Cabinet jambs, countertops, wainscoting panels, shelving, bins, molding, floors, walls, and so much more. Because MDO is so durable and safe to use, you can literally use it for anything!
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What are the uses of HDO plywood?
HDO vs MDO plywood: What are the uses of HDO plywood?

What are the uses of HDO plywood?

HDO is an exceptional product to be used for industrial applications. It is an ideal material for display shelves, bins, and storage racks because it resists dirt penetration, mars and scuffs. You just need to make sure about the occasional cleaning with a damp cloth to keep its surface smooth and shiny. When it comes to assembling benches and work tables, a smooth surface of HDO plywood makes it the best choice. Other applications of HDO include pallet decks, countertops, drying racks, freezer lockers, humidity chambers, storage lockers, trunks, and other similar controlled atmospheres.

> Read more: 4ft x 8ft – HDO Standard HD Formply 1SF – HDO Plywood

Concrete Forming

One of the best materials for concrete forming, HDO has an exceptionally smooth surface and can be reused many times. It provides high-performance under the alkaline exposures, and it offers consistent curing conditions with its natural insulating quality of plywood.


It was originally created for highway signs, and still very common for large displays and signs. Highway departments and commercial sign shops often consider wholesale HDO plywood for signboards because it can help to carry the message clearly. Moreover, it possesses the properties that are required for large sign installations. Being highly resistant to extreme weather conditions and vandalism, HDO plywood is definitely an ideal choice for signs and other similar uses.

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HDO provides an exceptional strength to weight ratio that makes it a perfect option for transportation applications. Its armor-like durability makes it ideal for trailer and truck linings. HDO panels can reduce damage and maintenance costs.

HDO and MDO plywood are commonly used for many applications. These are highly durable materials as compared to traditional plywood. if you’re looking for a high-quality HDO or MDO, look no further than Vinawood. As a reputable plywood supplier, Vinawood provides premium products for construction all over the USA. By buying plywood directly, you can visit our website for more details of HDO vs MDO plywood products for others.

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