hardboard masonite panels

Hardboard Masonite Panels and their Industrial Uses

Hardboard Masonite panels are a specific and surprisingly versatile type of wood-based composite panel. It’s strength and durability make it an excellent product for a wide variety of applications.

Commonly known as “Masonite” (a brand name derived from the panel’s inventor and the company he started), hardboard is a thin, strong board made from wood fiber derivates like chips. It is often confused with MDF or cement fiberboard, but it is not the same thing. It can be unfinished – standard hardboard, or tempered hardboard, a process that adds a minuscule amount of oil as a finishing agent that makes it stronger and less prone to warping. Compared to other panels like plywood or OSB, it is only made as a thinner product but can be just as strong as a thicker panel.

Uses for Hardboard

Manufacturers use hardboard masonite panels in a huge range of ways. Pallets, crates, and other packaging companies use it as lightweight tops, slip sheets or dunnage. Furniture manufacturers use it for cabinets, drawers, shelves, and backing for mirrors and pictures, among other things. Beyond manufacturing, you will find hardboard in use by farmers for barn flooring and bedding and artists use hardboard as a painting substrate.  Hardboard’s ability to resist damage and withstand cutting, routing, shaping, and drilling allow for near 100% usage of the panel. And one fact that not many people know is that B Grade hardboard, while much less expensive, can feature only minor defects, making it nearly as usable as premium grades!

Hardboard’s unique qualities make it an ideal option as a panel substrate for hundreds of different products. Turns out that old coach’s clipboard (made from hardboard!) is more useful than you think.

Looking for a Panel Supplier for your small to midsized store? Contact us for further information.

Learn more about Panels

About Masonite on Wikipedia.

lumber sales how small stores compete

Lumber Sales: How Small Building Materials Stores Compete

If you drive across North America and start counting big-box building materials stores like Home Depot and Lowes, you might be amazed at just how many there are. That can be a daunting situation for smaller hardware stores from a competitive standpoint. But those smaller, local stores can often provide wood products the big guys can’t. Besides having the advantage of location, small to midsize building materials stores compete in lumber sales by building relationships, offering added value products, and in-house expertise. 

Knowing Your Customers

One of the greatest advantages of buying lumber at a smaller retailer is the capacity to build a relationship with the store employees. Knowing your customers and their needs is key. A local builder might come in wanting a large quantity of 2×4 lumber, and another industrial company might need low-grade lumber to use as pallet wood material. Stocking a wide range of products that some of the bigger stores don’t carry is essential to building customer loyalty.

Offering Discounted Off-Grade Lumber

Smaller stores have the flexibility to provide value-added services or products. One way to do this is by offering a discounted, off-grade lumber product that satisfies the needs of your DIY, industrial, shed/garage builders, and certain remodelers.  These wood supply products can offer much higher returns to the store, which reduces the need to operate solely based on gigantic volume and inventory levels. 

Adding Value

Finally, in-house expertise sets a store apart from its competition. Make the purchasing process as easy and seamless as possible, and help your customers understand the value of low-grade dimensional lumber or B Grade building materials. It will save them money and get you a customer for life. 

By focusing on what the big box stores cannot and giving the best customer service possible, small to midsized hardware stores can stand out above the big guys…even if they are just down the street. There is no shortage of opportunities to provide unique lumber and other materials to an appreciative customer base and increase your competitive edge. 

Looking for a Building Materials Supplier for your small to midsized store? Contact us for further information.

Learn more about Lumber Sales

Lumber on Wikipedia

plywood or osb structural panels

Plywood or OSB Structural Panels Pros and Cons

In today’s construction world, almost all structures are built with panels for at least part of the infrastructure. Builders have two widely available options in plywood or OSB structural panels, which both have advantages and disadvantages to their use. 


OSB, or oriented strand board, is a rigid panel made by grinding logs into thin strands that look somewhat like wood chips. The strands are arranged in crosshatch orientation and mixed with materials to bind them together, then finished in a hot press. The finished OSB board has a consistent density throughout the panel and can be made into sheets as long as 16 feet or higher. Historically, OSB’s key advantage comes from its cheaper manufacturing cost. For most uses such as subfloor and wall sheathing, it is rated equivalent to plywood. However, it’s a performance in moist climates can be questionable, as it is prone to retaining moisture that can result in the swelling of the board’s edges.  


Plywood is a strong panel made by stripping thin veneers in layers from a log. The veneers are pressed together in perpendicular layers, creating a solid panel, typically manufactured at 8- or 10-foot lengths. Plywood’s primary advantage is in its moisture resistance. Many flooring contractors refuse to use anything else as subfloor as it is perceived as more consistent and reliable. Plywood is generally more expensive than OSB, which is a key disadvantage. 

Overall, the two types of structural panels are rated very similar by agencies that specialize in building codes and material quality. Plywood can be perceived to be of higher quality, but many believe that fact comes from its long history, more consistent appearance, and higher cost. OSB is very commonly used in wall sheathing as well as roofing and flooring.  

In closing, builders have a choice of materials they can safely and responsibly use in construction planning. Both plywood or osb structural panels are reliable, strong options for roofing, sheathing, flooring, as well as many other applications. The renewability of wood makes either product widely available, therefore a good option for almost all buildings. 

Looking for a Panel supplier for your business? Contact us for further information.

Learn more about OSB and Plywood Panels

Oriented Strand Board on Wikipedia

Pros and Cons of Laminate, Vinyl, and Hardwood Flooring

Pros and Cons of Laminate, Vinyl, and Hardwood Flooring

Builders and homeowners today have a seemingly endless number of choices when it comes to installing flooring. Styles, trends, and technology are always evolving, resulting in a dizzying array of options. Evaluating the pros and cons of laminate, vinyl, and hardwood flooring can help in choosing which flooring types to use, or stock, if you sell laminate, vinyl, or hardwood flooring.

Vinyl Flooring:

Vinyl is one form of what is known as “resilient flooring”, including such variations as luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and sheet vinyl flooring. 


  • Economical – well under $10/square foot including installation 
  • Easy to install – fits together cleanly, and some versions are self-adhesive 


  • Difficult to remove – adhesives used are extremely strong 
  • Can be of variable quality – thicker, layered construction types are more reliable

Laminate Flooring:

Laminate flooring is an extremely popular alternative to hardwood. It’s made using a process that overlays wood-look images on fiberboard backing and can be very realistic looking. 


  • Easy to install – comes in planks or tiles that are designed to easily snap together 
  • Tough surface – the wear layer is extremely durable and stands up to dents and scratches 


  • Susceptible to moisture – laminate flooring should not be installed in locations such as laundry rooms and rooms with drains 
  • Older laminate contains toxins – recent stricter EPA requirements has helped to reduce usage of harmful chemicals in manufacturing 

Hardwood Flooring:

Hardwood flooring, including engineered wood flooring, is commonly thought as the “higher end” of flooring choices.  


  • Durability – properly maintained, a hardwood floor can last more than 100 years 
  • Value – builders consider hardwoods such as oak flooring and hickory flooring to be an upgrade over other flooring types 


  • Cost hardwood flooring is the most expensive of the three types of flooring 
  • Maintenance – hardwood floors must be periodically maintained and refinished to retain their look and quality 

Builders and homeowners have more flooring options than ever before. Comparing the advantages of cost, durability, and overall value will help guide decisions on which type to use for a given application. 

Looking for a flooring supplier for your business? Contact us for further information.

Learn more about Flooring Products

Laminate Flooring on Wikipedia
Vinyl Flooring on Wikipedia
Hardwood Flooring on Wikipedia

Affordable B-Grade Hardwood Flooring Options

Affordable B-Grade Hardwood Flooring Options

As small and mid-sized building materials stores are further pressured to compete with big-box stores and online sales, one option is to offer affordable b-grade hardwood flooring options to local customers.

Should I Stock Cheaper Grades of Hardwood Flooring on my Retail Shelves?

Flooring retailers all struggle with the balance of quality products vs. affordable prices. These days, customers want the best bang for their buck. Stocking B Grade hardwood flooring can be the answer for many of your customers.

What is B Grade flooring?  

There are a number of agencies that certify flooring grades, including the National Oak Flooring Manufacturers Association (NOFMA), the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), and the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA). They each focus on certain characteristics of the flooring, including appearance, quality, stability, and hardness. B Grade flooring is a hardwood that exhibits various discrepancies over commonly accepted quality standards. 

Characteristics of #2 Common and Cabin Grade flooring 

The two most prevalent types of cheaper grade solid hardwood flooring are #2 Common and Cabin Grade. #2 Common is also known as Rustic Grade. Both types display more color variation and can include knots, burls, wormholes, and variable lengths.  

Why Buy Downgraded Hardwood Flooring? 

The primary reason your customers would be looking for one of these options is price. These grades can be significantly more affordable versions of prefinished or unfinished hardwood flooring. Depending on the intended use, they can be a great option for many of your buyers.  

But it’s not only price that attracts people to this type of discount wood flooring. The discrepancies shown in these grades are called “character marks”. More and more people are searching for unique looks and the variability in oak flooring becomes more attractive all the time.  

Looking for affordable B-Grade hardwood flooring options for your business? Contact us for further information.

Learn more about Flooring Products



B Grade Commercial Roofing

B Grade Commercial Roofing Options for Retailers

Discount B Grade Commercial Roofing products show valuable returns.

Commercial roofs and residential roofs are quite different, but they have a number of similarities. One of the most significant things they share is that repairs can be very expensive. It is crucial that the company building or repairing a roof understands the products needed.

Commercial roofs are more difficult to design and install. Roofers need to consider things like industrial equipment, large smokestacks, HVAC system control units, and a much larger area to cover. B Grade commercial roofing products can be used for many commercial roofs, but are almost exclusively used on flat roofs where a warranty is not required.  

The key difference between A Grade and B Grade asphalt roofing (also known as bitumen rolls, or torch down roll roofing), is that B Grade products are sold without a warranty. The cost of B Grade roll roofing can be a major advantage to a roofing installer as long as they are able to work around the defects that resulted in downgrading the product. B Grade defects include rolls being made too long or too short, undersaturation, or the product being too thick or too thin.  

Retail roofing supply vendors are smart to carry some amount of B Grade commercial roofing products, as there are often surprise opportunities to capitalize on the cost savings. In addition to carrying asphalt rolled roofing, stores should stock commercial roofing adhesive, base and cap materials, roll on roof sealant, and other roofing accessory products that could be utilized by their customers.

Many people think the risk of buying products without a warranty is not worth it, but for the right application, B Grade roll roofing can be a great option. For a significantly reduced cost, it might worth checking it out! 

Looking for a B grade roofing supplier for your business? Contact us for further information.

Learn more about B Grade Roofing Products

More on Roll Roofing from Wikipedia

Low-Grade Panels for DIY

Low-Grade Panels for DIY Customers Needs

There are some great options when it comes to meeting low-grade panels for DIY customer’s needs.

Discount Materials to Sell Locally

In an increasingly competitive landscape, local retailers need to be nimble and creative. The strength of a smaller company’s footprint lies in the customer relationships it builds. Providing customers with a wide range of products at the best prices is key.

The vast majority of the many smaller building materials retail stores are in less populated areas, targeting clients who are likely more rural and have larger lots with a variety of activities and building materials needs. These retailers know they are providing the goods used to make things like outbuildings, sheds, chicken coops, cattle guards, and windbreaks. But many retailers don’t know that they can buy OSB board or plywood at much cheaper prices and pass those savings along to their customers.  

A Win-Win for Everyone

Buying low-grade siding, OSB, or plywood is a win-win situation for the retailer and their customer. While these products are not covered under warranties, utility panels are much less expensive and often have very little noticeable difference from the construction grade panel you’d buy at a big-box retailer. For a customer that needs an economical outbuilding or good solid trailer skirting this is perfect. They can easily work around small imperfections in the board and get the same performance. 

Local retailers who stock discount building materials can go a long way toward maintaining the loyalty of their valued customers. Providing an affordable alternative such as low-grade panels for DIY customers to build cheap outbuildings, chicken coops, and barn interiors is the key to keeping clients happy and still turning a profit. 

Looking to provide Low-Grade Panels for DIY customers for your business? Contact us for further information.

Learn more about panels.

More about Low-grade panels on Wikipedia.

Buying Wholesale Building Materials Online

Buying Wholesale Building Materials Online

It’s no secret that everything under the sun lives behind a screen these days. It’s been just under 30 years since online shopping first became possible. Travel agents and airlines led the way, and the first consumable product sold online was Sting’s album “Ten Summoners Tales”. Buying goods online has come a long way since those days. Ok, maybe it’s no big deal to buy a pair of jeans or your favorite sunglasses online and have it shipped to your house. But online building materials? Really? Yes, really! Buying wholesale building materials online is a viable way to purchase.

The growth of internet technologies has evolved the way busy purchasing agents do their jobs.

Traditionally, manufacturers, contractors, builders, and retailers had to find a wholesale building materials dealer (or be found by one) and create a relationship with a salesperson to be able to capitalize on the best available deals. However, in a climate of shrinking margins and intense competition, sellers, wholesale dealers, and buyers alike have to find more efficient ways to transact business. And computers are all about efficiency. 

That doesn’t mean that relationship sales are dead. Not by any stretch. Selling building materials online gives the parties involved another tool with which to communicate – and gives dealers a wider range of options at better prices to offer their customers. The internet will never take the place of people – but the smartest and savviest companies are expanding those relationships by creating a path for customers to order online.  

The best online sellers understand that customers need assurance that what they are buying is what they want.

It’s a pretty new thing to buy lumber online! That’s where communication technologies like chat and email come into play. Your salesperson is still there – you just have a lot more ways to reach them to get your questions answered before you click the buy button.

Online sales of building supplies are here to stay. It’s a growing trend in all industries and many wholesale companies are embracing it, while still maintaining those longstanding customer relationships. In a competitive world, the ones who don’t evolve get left behind. So take a peek at that screen – you never know what deals you might find! 

Looking at buying wholesale building materials online? Contact us for further information.

Learn more about wholesale building materials

More about Building Materials on Wikipedia

Low Grade Lumber

Low Grade Lumber: What is it and is it for you?

Are you a pallet manufacturer looking to reduce costs for your pallet wood material? Low-grade lumber is an excellent choice. This wood product has a wide range of sizes, grades, and species and available just about anywhere. Pallet, crate, and dunnage manufacturers must find a competitive advantage in the ever-expanding world of shipping.

Low-grade lumber is an industrial graded wood which can be softwood lumber or hardwood lumber. It is available in many sizes, from 1×4 and 1×6 through common dimensional lumber sizes like 2×4, 2×6, and 2×12, and larger. The product typically has more wane and knots than higher wood material that is used for residential construction making it a great option for applications not requiring visual aesthetic quality.

Traditionally, low-grade lumber is used in pallets, crates, dunnage, and cut-to-size industrial manufacturing components. It may be pressure-treated wood, or kiln-dried lumber, or green lumber that hasn’t been treated. For many industrial applications, low-grade lumber proves to be a much cheaper source of materials without losing the structural integrity required. 

Finding the right wood supply for the best lumber prices is easy.

If you need lumber products for core manufacturing materials and are willing to accept imperfections in some aspects of the wood material, this product could be an economical alternative for you. Thousands of producers across North America are looking for customers for their downgraded wood. Consider buying low-grade lumber to meet your pallet or industrial wood material needs! 

At Silvaris, we specialize in helping industrial and commercial pallet, crate, and dunnage manufacturers supply their production lines and are ready to help your business, too. One of our in-house associates is ready and available to organize logistics to meet your needs.

Looking for a lumber supplier for your business? Contact us for further information.

Learn more about Lumber.

More about lumber on Wikipedia.

Low-Grade OSB Panels

Low-Grade OSB Panels for Your Projects

Oriented strand board, or “OSB”, is manufactured all over the world as a panel alternative to plywood. Like many other building materials, OSB sheathing is subject to very particular grading requirements if it is going to be used in construction. When a given Oriented Strand Board panel doesn’t make the grade, it can’t be used in residential or commercial buildings…as a result, low-grade OSB panels can be put to many other cost-effective uses.

Below are five ways Oriented strand board can be used in construction projects.

1.) Packaging

Low-grade OSB is used to make crates and pallets for shipping. Oriented strand board panels are a cheaper alternative to other boards with similar strength features, making them ideal for heavily used shipping containers.

2.) Furniture Frames

Traditionally the frames that form the base of upholstered furniture have been made with hardwood lumber. However, in the last decade, wood panels, and in particular industrial-strength OSB wood panels, have been incorporated into furniture manufacturing for many major furniture brands.  As a result, furniture manufacturers are seeing a higher return on investment in the construction of furniture designs.

3.) Outbuildings

Different building code regulations allow for low-grade OSB boards to be used in constructing sheds, barns, and storage buildings. OSB is believed to be more water-resistant than plywood. Because so, landscaping sheds, workshops, and other popular outbuildings are often constructed with OSB which saves on cost and can extend the life of the structure.

4.) Concrete Forms

Off-grade OSB is a great economical alternative for forms need in a concrete building. A thicker OSB board, greater than 1/4 inches, is ideal for concrete form construction. Thinner forms can be used, but may require additional support to hold the form.

5.) Industrial Equipment

Manufacturers use OSB panels for other things as well, like dunnage, slip sheets, and crane mats. 

Oriented strand board has many uses outside of wall sheathing. Low-grade OSB panels can be the cheapest alternative for a wide variety of applications, from the farm to the factory! 

Looking for Low-grade OSB panels for your project? Contact us for further information.

Learn more about OSB products.

More about OSB on Wikipedia