A garage is one of the ideal locations to store plywood, as it’s dry, cool, and protected from the elements. Whenever possible, try to store plywood inside a garage instead of storing it outdoors, as when it’s left outdoors it’s far more susceptible to water damage
The question is: how should you store plywood in your garage?
You could simply stack it up against the wall, but this is not the ideal way to store plywood for the long term. Plywood left leaning up against a wall tends to warp and bend over time, which will turn your flat plywood into a pain to work with.
Let’s take a look at some of the best methods of storing plywood inside a garage – so you’ll be able to keep your plywood well protected and free from damage.
Method 1: On the Garage Floor
By far the easiest way to store your plywood sheets is simply laying them flat on the garage floor. Of course, this will take up a huge amount of real estate, so if space is a premium in your garage, then you’re probably better off using one of the other methods.
Consider the size of a standard 4’ x 8’ plywood sheet. A stack of these will take up 32 square feet of your garage, and as most people have limited garage storage space, this would be a deal breaker for many average-sized garages.
To store your plywood using this method, the first thing you’ll want to do is set aside a 4’ x 8’ area (or smaller if you’re storing smaller-sized sheets) in your garage for this purpose. Then, use some spare wood shims that are at least as long as the sheets are laid on the ground for the purpose of keeping your plywood off the ground. Space your shims about 2 feet apart to provide enough support that the ply won’t bend.
Even inside a garage, the floor can still pool moisture, so you don’t want to skip this step.
Then, simply stack your plywood by laying them flat on top of the shims.
Method 2: Leaned Vertically
This next method makes a solid choice when space is at a premium inside your garage. Simply lean your sheets of plywood up against one of the walls in your garage. This will only work for short-term storage, however.
The issue with this method is that it can lead to the sheets warping over time as they tend to bow inwards when you lean them up in this manner. There are a few workarounds to get around this issue though.
One thing you can do is secure several ratchet straps around your stack of plywood. Use multiple ratchet straps both vertically and horizontally in order to keep the plywood properly secured. If you don’t have ratchet straps, then bungee cords or even rope can work well for this.
Method 3: Overhead Rack
This is probably the best method for long-term plywood storage when space is at a premium. You will need to shell out some dough for an overhead storage rack though, so it’s not as cheap as the previous two methods.
An overhead rack large enough to handle 4-foot x 8-foot plywood sheets can be had for about $100, so this option is not that costly. You will need to be sure your garage’s ceiling beams are able to handle the installation, and that the rack has enough space to be mounted correctly.
The rack linked above is rated to handle up to 600 pounds of weight, which is more than most ceiling beams are able to handle in the first place.
Method 4: Vertical Rack
If an overhead rack is not practical in your situation for whatever reason, then you also have the option of building or purchasing a vertical storage rack. This is a good way to store plywood sheets for the long term, as it will support the sheets and prevent them from warping.
A vertical rack will also allow you to store your plywood sheets stacked vertically, which will save you space when compared to stacking them horizontally against the wall.
Of course, designing and building your own rack gives you nearly unlimited possibilities when compared to purchasing a rack from the hardware store.
Featured image source.