Thin films of B4C and SiC deposited by magnetron sputtering as components of multilayers have the potential to provide significant property improvements over current wear resistant coating technology. B4C and SiC have previously been found to be amorphous and possibly nanocrystalline under the deposition conditions used. This study reports results of synchrotron x-ray scattering experiments providing information on the degree of crystallinity, strain, average density, and coordination number in 2000 Å films of these compounds on Si substrates. Radial distribution functions from B4C and SiC thin films were obtained and used to model the structure. Strain results are compared with Double Crystal x-ray Diffraction Topography (DCDT) results as a means for establishing a standard strain state.