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Inspiration4 min

OSB vs. Plywood

In the battle for market share, a 10% advantage is considered significant. For example, Lexus has about a 10% greater market share than Infiniti in the luxury car market. But that percentage pales in comparison with the drubbing that plywood takes from oriented strand board, where OSB has at least 75% of the market compared to plywood’s 25%.

Here are some of the reasons why OSB has a commanding lead in U.S. homebuilding:

Price 

The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI) estimates that for a typical 2400-square foot home, OSB costs $700 less than plywood.

Quality 

While plywood may be 7 plies thick, a sheet of OSB is made from up to 50 strand layers packed and compressed into the same thickness. That’s why OSB panels don’t have the knotholes and core voids that plywood panels do.

Convenience

OSB panels can be manufactured in lengths up to 16 feet (and occasionally higher), while plywood is limited to the 8- to 10-foot range. OSB can also be bought in nine-foot sheets, so builders can sheath a wall from the top plate to the bottom of the floor joists with single, vertical sheets that don’t leave horizontal seams.

Sustainability 

OSB is made from small-diameter trees that can be farmed. In contrast, plywood production requires large-diameter trees from old-growth forests.

In these four major categories, it’s no contest. OSB wins in a landslide – and it’s been that way for nearly 20 years. That’s about as dominant a performance as you’ll see in any American industry.

 

To learn more about all of LP’s OSB products, go to: https://lpcorp.com/products/panels-sheathing 

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