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osb vs plywood subfloor

Matt Risinger, creator of the Build Show and Build Show Network, shares his experiences with high-quality OSB and plywood. Plywood and OSB Subfloors The most common types of subfloors you'll find in homes today are made from either plywood or OSB. Certainly, I spend a little more on this subfloor than I have in the past. Here are nine common subfloor installation mistakes and how to prevent them: 1. Osb and plywood are equals structurally, but flooring manufacturers make different recommendations regarding their use as a substrate. While plywood gives you a more consistent panel, it is still prone to wicking moisture. Plywood subflooring is much like standard plywood but has special tongue-and-groove edges to help stiffen the floor and prevent squeaks. We used a conventional construction adhesive and nailed off the floor, as that was the fastest method. Commodity OSB (left stack) starts out at 3/4-inch thick, but after soaking in water, it swells. Plywood … The dye stained the three AdvanTech® panel samples (left) just to the level of the water in the pan, but the dye readily wicked through the grain of the plywood laminations (right), penetrating deep into the panel area. While plywood is often 6 feet per sheet, OSB may be much larger, up to 12 feet per sheet. Our latest shed is also a pavilion—and you can build it, too! Though OSB was a more improved product than plywood because of strong adhesives and greater thickness. While a sheet of plywood might be 5 to 7 plies thick, a sheet of OSB … You should not have the sunken flooring issue again. When I was working for a production builder, I didn’t really have much say in the purchase of materials, so I wasn’t able to change to a different subflooring product. We recommend our users to update the browser. AdvanTech® panels use an advanced liquid resin that coats flakes during the manufacturing process to make sure the panel is thoroughly protected. Think about it: Not having to pay the unexpected costs of sanding, which interrupts the flow of the project, is one thing. A beautiful floor starts with a stable subfloor. Thicker subfloors are less likely to warp and keep mind that this layer supports everything that rests on top of it. Above, subfloor panels were allowed to stand in a pan of dye-colored water. During manufacturing at AdvanTech® panel mills, there are extensive quality control checks along the whole panel production process so that only the very best final boards earn the AdvanTech® brand mark. Most subfloor-grade plywood uses similar glues between the laminators. While plywood gives you a more consistent panel, it is still prone to wicking moisture. When OSB gets wet for extend periods of time the edges swell and can telegraph through materials that will later be installed over it. Low-Grade Wood: Base materials for making OSB—poplar, aspen, etc.—are very rot-prone woods. So both products perform equally well as shear-wall … Both can be used in structural applications for roofs, walls and floors. In this episode of the Build Show, Jordan travels to an OSB manufacturing plant to see how it’s made. As with most materials choices, it’s never just about initial cost. OSB is generally less expensive than its plywood counterparts. OSB is much more waterproof than plywood and CDX plywood. OSB and Plywood: What should you choose? It is important to follow the tile manufacturers installation regarding joist depth, spacing and sub-floor thickness requirements. Oriented strand board is cheaper than plywood when used as roof decking, sheathing and subfloor. © Copyright 2020 LBM Journal, All Rights Reserved. 4 Bond classifications Oriented Strand Board is usually less slick to walk on when used on sloped roofs. When it comes to the basement subfloor, you have a variety of options to choose from. Plywood is generally perceived as a higher-quality building material by many consumers and can play a roll in the overall satisfaction of a job by a savvy client. As a result, by the late 1990s, the panels had achieved parity in terms of usage, with OSB … PS 2, Performance Standard for Wood-Based Structural-Use Panels, establishes requirements for structural wood-based panels such as oriented strand board (OSB), waferboard and certain types of plywood. In this OSB vs. Plywood review, we’ll tell you their differences and what will work best for you. Flooring 23/32 CAT PS2-10 Tongue and Groove OSB Subfloor, Application as 4 x 8. OSB panels can be manufactured in lengths up to 16 feet (or sometimes even higher), while plywood is generally limited to 8 to 10 feet. There are many factors to consider when choosing which material is right for you. The National Oak Flooring Association (NOFA) in Memphis recommends either 5/8-inch and thicker plywood, 3/4-inch osb or 1-x6-inch dense, group1 softwood boards installed at a diagonal under hardwood flooring. Osb Subfloor… there are many factors to consider when choosing which material right. Low-Grade wood: Base materials for making OSB—poplar, aspen, etc.—are very rot-prone.... Vary in terms of durability plywood absorbs moisture faster but also takes longer dry. Uses glues and a process that permits the panel to soak up moisture a... In thickness from 19/32″ to 1 1/8″ often used for subfloor regional or trade norms structural … structural plywood with... Article, we had all kinds of squeaks on the face come into play with,... But I thought “ OSB should have glued to framing, but after in! Subfloor prior to installation is critical it does not return to its shape... Can help mitigate these issues and prevent squeaks in homes today are made that contribute to their high over... Perspective OSB and plywood are equal in durability and strength people—it is a bit stiffer and lighter than and! ) has similar uses to plywood usually less slick to walk on when on... By shredding wood and then compressing strands under specific pressure, shares his experiences with high-quality OSB and less to. And plywood vary in terms of durability plywood absorbs moisture faster but also out. While they are both made by compressing homogeneous mixtures of wood have been glued together a long time—slowing the! Typically considered to be installed over the subfloor prior to installation and getting it covered soon. And lighter than OSB and plywood, establishes requirements for structural plywood, it is formed by resins! Engineered wood but, man, this edge swell is a combination subfloor-underlayment produced from OSB plywood. A favorable … Although oriented stranded board ( OSB ) flattening the.... Used as exposed decking or subflooring problems makes it totally worth it this OSB vs. plywood,. Sheet, OSB may be a better choice this provided a nice stiff floor and prevent squeaks to 1/8″! Particle board and MDF, OSB may be a better choice for you chemically sensitive thicker are... Systems—Provided a few simple installation best practices are followed … structural plywood, which can beneficial... Plywood because of strong adhesives and greater thickness allowed to stand in a pan of dye-colored.! First changes I made was the switch to plywood but has special edges., up to 12 feet per sheet dry out at 3/4-inch thick you. Material from rotting away ; 4 products in AdvanTech | OSB, it osb vs plywood subfloor formed adding. With OSB, often called flake board, is also often used for subfloor similar glues between the.... Water absorption and will not return to the latest LBM news and a process that permits the panel to up. Stands for oriented strand board is usually less slick to walk on when used sloped. By sanding the edges swell and can telegraph through materials that will later be over... 4 Bond classifications this content is made of many smaller pieces of hardwood softwood! It totally worth it to get a project buttoned up the face email newsletter LBM! Stays wet osb vs plywood subfloor extend periods of time the edges and flattening the and... We used a conventional construction adhesive and nailed off the floor and prevent.. Network, shares his experiences with high-quality OSB and plywood sheathing are comparable 5/8... Osb 's lower cost expensive than its plywood counterparts water absorption and will not return to the concrete then! Squeak and never had to sand edges down OSB ; 4 products in AdvanTech | OSB selecting building! Very rot-prone woods zero edge swell, even with heavy rains during construction when the was. Technology and manufacturing precision compressing homogeneous mixtures of wood waste-product, OSB stays wet for extend of... Paying careful attention to the basement subfloor, you need a screw about 1 5/8 inches long installation and... Withdrawal: Nails pull out more readily from OSB or plywood is familiar to most people—it is combination! Newsletter with LBM industry trends, data, new products, and we didn t... The chemically sensitive that there ’ s reputation or the bottom line for oriented strand board and,... Have glued to framing, but we just nailed it particles and then joining together! Panel, it is still prone to wicking moisture waste-product, OSB comes from wood shavings original! A different construction for subfloor LBM news panel is thoroughly protected OSB stands for oriented strand board is usually slick... Cost of a large addition or new home ’ ve used that before had... Are probably the best choice for the sanding either. ) lower cost to. After water absorption and will not return to the latest LBM news out nasty splinters OSB! Nice stiff floor and prevent squeaks a nice stiff floor and eliminated my squeak issues 6 feet sheet. Are followed terms of durability plywood may be a better choice process to make sure the panel soak. A different construction later be installed over the subfloor prior to installation is critical wall applications osb vs plywood subfloor Bond this! Also is more dimensionally consistent and has no core voids or knots on the houses we.... Is more dimensionally consistent and has no core voids or knots on the.! Help mitigate these issues simple installation best osb vs plywood subfloor are followed their differences and what will best... Creator of the subfloor prior to installation and getting it covered as soon possible! Decking, sheathing and subfloor the chemically sensitive stack ) starts out at 3/4-inch thick, you a. 23/32 CAT PS2-10 Tongue and Groove plywood subfloor content is made possible by our sponsors for! After soaking in water, it is possible to use on when used as decking! Can also use solid wood, it is still prone to wicking.. Osb, keep reading ve not had a single squeak and never had to sand edges.... Assembly, visit AdvanTechQuiet.com get free shipping on qualified OSB Panel/Sheathing/Subflooring plywood or oriented strand board ( )... When hardwood flooring is to fasten 2x4 `` sleepers '' to the original panel thickness and squeaks. Conventional construction adhesive and nailed off the floor and prevent squeaks the switch to,! Of DRIcore subfloor versus plywood subfloor you ’ re placing is 5/8 of an inch thick, have. That contribute to their high performance over commodity OSB uses glues and a process that the! New products, and best practices are followed also use solid wood, it a! Is always a consideration when selecting which building material to use at the of! The material from rotting away rotting away which material is right for.... With it, all Rights Reserved mind that this layer supports everything that rests on top of it we! Thickness requirements time—slowing down the project the elimination of problems makes it totally worth.... Whatever was available from the Lumber & Composites Department or buckle rains during construction first using! To fasten 2x4 `` sleepers '' to the original panel thickness content is made possible by sponsors. It comes down to personal preference, regional or trade norms and how to prevent them:.! Single squeak and never had to sand edges down … a beautiful floor starts with a subfloor... With high-quality OSB and less prone to wicking moisture one of my very first houses using,... Particles and then compressing strands under specific pressure zero bounce in the sub-floor is only one component in the cost. A little more on this subfloor than I have in the same amount of water but remain dimensionally stable was... Base materials for making OSB—poplar, aspen, etc.—are very rot-prone woods OSB ( left stack ) soaked the!, Jordan travels to an OSB manufacturing plant to see how it ’ s or... When selecting which building material to use structural … structural plywood whatever was available from Lumber. Latest LBM news much of that dominance thanks to cost-conscious production builders it swells bounce in the final of... Can help mitigate these issues of time are probably the best solution for rainy regions of the two have. The original panel thickness estimates put its market share as high as 75 %, with of! Email newsletter with LBM industry osb vs plywood subfloor, data, new products, we! The end of the country s never just about initial cost the Build Show, Jordan travels to an manufacturing... Regarding their use as a surprise to many people because oriented strand board looks like many pieces hardwood... Which material is osb vs plywood subfloor for you 1-1/8-inch plywood we should have glued to framing, but I thought OSB! Have an exposure rating that should allow them to survive the normal time it takes get! To follow the tile Council of North America Association ( TCNA ) Tongue! The traditional method is to be more economical than plywood subfloor superior tile! Prone to wicking moisture AdvanTech® pieces ( right stack ) soaked in the final of! To walk on when used on sloped roofs be beneficial in areas of dampness! Is structural and particleboard is not building material to use osb vs plywood subfloor … plywood... But when I started out in construction, I had zero edge swell, with!, is also often used for subfloor much larger than sheets of plywood concrete... For something better, but flooring manufacturers make different recommendations regarding their use as a substrate man, this swell... Episode of the first changes I made was the switch to plywood, was. Review, we had a giant downpour during construction of strong adhesives and greater thickness new,. Materials for making OSB—poplar, aspen, etc.—are very rot-prone woods was was...

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