Still choosing the right type of flooring for your new home? Ever considered oriented strand board? What strand board, you say? Here we tell you more about it, as compared to the very popular plywood.
Oriented strand board, also known as sterling board, sterling OSB, aspenite, and smartply is an engineered wood particle board formed by adding adhesives and then compressing layers of wood strands (flakes) in specific orientations. It is a material with high mechanical properties that make it particularly suitable for in construction purposes. The most common uses are as sheathing in walls, flooring, and roof decking
Both oriented strand board and plywood can actually be used for walls, floors, and even roofs, but there are some differences between them. And although manufacturers of oriented strand board and plywood claim both products work well, using the former has made some builders doubtful of its durability simply because it is made of layers of thin, rectangular wooden strips compressed and bonded together with wax and synthetic resin adhesives. Despite that, some still claim that OSB furniture will most likely define the future of the structural sheathing market.
What are the advantages of OSB though? Some panels of oriented strand board have a textured surface, which makes them less slippery when used for roof sheathing. OSB panels often have lines at 16- and 24-in. intervals too which means that you can easily identify where underlying studs, rafters and joists are. In some areas, OSB costs a few dollars less per sheet than plywood too so that’s definitely an advantage. Lastly, OSB is available in huge sheets, which means you can sheathe tall walls and the joists below with just a single sheet. One major disadvantage is when the edges swell when they get wet. They tend to remain swollen even after drying out.
An interesting fact is, back in 2001, oriented strand board surpassed plywood in terms of square footage produced. It is also now used for about 70 percent of all floor, wall and roof sheathing in North America. Why not try it for your flooring?