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Old 07-17-2009, 02:20 PM   #1
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Re: OSB vs Plywood

Again, depends on the use. For a bed platform, i think OSB is better. Let me qualify: My 2 platforms are hinged to allow access to storage underneath. Thus they're "free floating" on supports. It's also a dry environment. So OSB isn't prone to swelling. Also, since it's not screwed down, it seems that OSB is more stable i.e. much less susceptible to warping, it will maintain a even, level platform for a longer time. Important for a bed. Of course it has to be of the proper thickness, and adequately supported. But that's true of any material.

Plywood by it's nature resists shearing much better. For example cover a simple 2x4 box door or gate frame, and it is less likely to need 2x4 cross bracing to resist sagging.
They both have different construction, hence properties. They each have their place.
Use the right tool for the job. Pick the right material for the job.
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Old 07-17-2009, 03:56 PM   #2
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Re: OSB vs Plywood

I tend to forget, most of you DO have humidity/ moisture issues. The humidity got down to 6%, accompanied by 101 degrees yesterday afternoon.......
As they say, it's a DRY heat!
OSB works fine in Winnemucca!! Perhaps it's the dryness that tends to warp plywood? For that matter, any wood tends to get twisty out here. Is this common?
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Old 07-17-2009, 05:47 PM   #3
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Re: OSB vs Plywood

From my (limited) research, I would choose the cheapest. OSB would take longer to absorb water, but once it did it'd take longer to dry out. Warping was mostly an issue if the end you cut wasn't treated properly (I believe OSB is treated with something to keep it from absorbing water, but when you make a cut that end needs to be treated too). What one is supposed to use to treat it, I have no idea.

That said, I used OSB for the bed frame, plywood for the walls and interior door, and OSB again to cover the wheelchair door in the bathroom. It was cheaper, and I was thinking I could just paint over it. Was later told I was wrong. Oops.
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Old 07-17-2009, 06:22 PM   #4
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Re: OSB vs Plywood

I just used Plywood, looks way nicer and does not swell and rott away like OSB does. You take a sheet of plywood and sand it, varnish it and it looks presentable. Do the same with OSB, well you cant and it still does not look good.
Once OSB swells it looses most of its strenght, the few cents or dollars you sent are not worth the hassle. OSB has its place, but its not in a bus. just my opinion.
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Old 07-17-2009, 09:26 PM   #5
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Re: OSB vs Plywood

OSB has a bad rap. It can withstand moisture just as well as plywood. As said above, it has a coating on the edges that needs to be resealed when you cut it. As far as humidity goes, OSB is used as roof sheathing even in Florida with no problems. The OSB manufacturers have a spec as to how long this material can stay exposed to the weather before it needs to be covered up as well as alot of other myths and information about the products on their websites. If your floor gets alot of water on it or water gets under your subfloor, it really doesnt matter what material that you used, plywood and OSB will both buckle and rot. With that said, I used free 3/4 concrete form plywood that has a coating on one side and is laminated with exterior grade adhesives and 1 5/16 tek coated tek screws (Lowes HD etc have them) randomly to fasten. Leave a very slight gap between the wood so it can expand/contract and fill all of the edges with a silicon sealant (no latex trust me-lesson learned)to keep water from getting under and prime it or water proof it before you put it in. If you go with plywood make sure that is exterior grade, the difference is in the adhesives. All OSB uses this.
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Old 07-17-2009, 09:49 PM   #6
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Re: OSB vs Plywood

You may want to figure what kind of finish flooring that you will use and check the installation instructions. I think with OSB subfloors (and rough plywood) you cant go right over it with alot of flooring without putting something to smooth it out such as luan or other type of underlayment. Money saved could be negated by extra prep work down the road.
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Old 07-18-2009, 01:57 PM   #7
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Re: OSB vs Plywood

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
Have you ever seen a building contractor seal the edges of ANY OSB they've cut? I've been in thousands of new homes being built, and can honestly say I never had, not once.

Smitty
No, and there's the problem. If you do seal it up like it's supposed to be, then you shouldn't have any issues. If you don't and moisture gets in there, the unsealed end will swell.
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Old 07-18-2009, 08:15 PM   #8
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Re: OSB vs Plywood

The edge swelling is the main issue with OSB and is acknowldeged by the manufacturers. It is not recommended with ceramic tile due to this issue. As far as builders saving money, the cost savings is not significant at all, in a 2400 sq ft home with roof, subfloor and walls you are looking at $700, for just a roof in a CBS home it is inconsequential. Dont confuse OSB with waferboard, they are totally different, waferboard will give you tons of problems. There are pros and cons to both plywood and OSB, alot of unbbiased information available, search for it and you can make a good decision eiither way.
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Old 07-19-2009, 03:39 PM   #9
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Re: OSB vs Plywood

It is worth noting that OSB is often referred to as waferboard, but that in reality waferboard is a different sort of product. Waferboard is not rated as a structural material, but OSB is tested and rated by the American Plywood Association. The difference between the two lies in the size of the pieces of wood and in the process of orienting the fibers in OSB. Waferboard tends to use wood chips that are approximately 2" square, while OSB uses 4" pieces. OSB is also made by compressing layers of board, so that each layer has its grain perpendicular to its neighbors.
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Old 07-19-2009, 08:48 PM   #10
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Re: OSB vs Plywood

It is different

Waferboard (WB) and oriented strandboard (OSB) belong to the subset of reconstituted wood
panel products called flakeboards. They are structural panels made from wood wafers specially produced
from logs at the plant. When waferboard was developed in the 1950s, the wafers were not intentionally
oriented. However, by 1989 most waferboard plants were producing oriented waferboard (OWB).
Oriented strandboard originated in the early 1980s. The relatively long and narrow flakes (strands) are
blended with resin and formed into a 3- or 5-layered mat. Aligning the strands in each layer
perpendicular to adjacent layers gives OSB flexural properties superior to those of randomly oriented
waferboard. Oriented waferboard and OSB are suitable for the same markets and uses as softwood
plywood including sheathing, single-layer flooring, and underlayment in light-frame construction.

In WB production, the wafers are allowed to fall randomly to the moving screen below to form a mat of the
required thickness. In OSB production, the wafers are mechanically oriented in one direction as they fall
to the screen below. Subsequent forming heads form distinct layers in which the wafers are oriented
perpendicular to those in the previous layer. The alternating oriented layers result in a structurally
superior panel.

http://bct.nrc.umass.edu/index.php/publ ... d-plywood/
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