Inspiration2 min

How Fire-Rated OSB Outperforms FRT Plywood

Both fire-rated OSB and Fire Retardant Treated (FRT) plywood are commonly used in fire-rated wall sheathing and roof deck applications. Because these materials are always evolving, it’s good for architects and builders to know how they compare to each other.

An engineered wood product like LP® FlameBlock® Fire-Rated Sheathing combines a layer of ignition-resistant, cementitious coating with a layer of OSB. It carries an Exposure 1 classification, which means it can withstand normal exposure to moisture during construction. In contrast, some fire-retardant treatments are applied after the plywood is manufactured – and the treatment is sometimes water-soluble, requiring it to be protected from moisture during construction. 

A fire-rated OSB product like LP FlameBlock offers both flame-spread resistance and burn-through resistance in the same panel, as verified in tests like the 30-minute Class A Flame Spread Rating (ASTM E84, UL723) and 15-minute Thermal Barrier Protection test (UBC 26-2).  FRT plywood has a flame spread rating, but no rating for burn-through resistance. 

Fire-rated OSB sheathing has load/span and shear design values that are superior to FRT plywood at the same thickness. In addition, engineered wood sheathing reduces dead load and wall thickness versus FRT plywood. This gives architects more flexibility in designing wall openings, plus more options in framing and bracing to meet structural requirements.

When architects specify fire-rated OSB sheathing, it’s important for builders and subcontractors to “respect the spec” and stick with a material like LP FlameBlock that has so many advantages over FRT plywood.

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Business Advice6 min

Plywood Vs. LP® SmartSide® for Sheds

For years, plywood materials such as T1-11 shed siding have been a top choice for outdoor structures. They can be used for everything from shed flooring and walls to furniture, which makes them a convenient option—but they’re not the only option. Despite plywood being top-of-mind for many, engineered wood products can help boast a greater value when it comes to outdoor structures.

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News & Stories7 min
Learn From Industry Experts: Best Practices for Multigenerational Construction

A multigenerational workforce is not a new concept, but as a new community of tech-savvy builders enters the industry the gap between generations may seem wider than ever. Though there are some natural challenges that come with it, a multigenerational workforce also provides a more curious and diverse environment for all skill levels and ages.

Business Advice5 min
What Does Energy Star Certified Mean?

Environmentally friendly living continues to be top-of-mind for homeowners. Because many want homes that are built for energy efficiency, professional builders must prepare to discuss this topic with their clients and to provide options for a build that promotes energy efficiency and minimal environmental impact.

Business Advice6 min
Storage and Handling 101: LP Structural Solutions

Before installation begins, proper storage and handling is critical as you receive products onto the jobsite. When products are handled properly and in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions, you can help avoid damage to new products, use what you order, and help ensure that the product will perform as intended once installed.