If you’re building a home, you’re going to run into this question. Should I use OSB or plywood? Many people who aren’t experienced in the construction field don’t know the difference between the two. 

These people will use the terms interchangeably, but if you have a decision to make, that simply won’t work. It’s important to know the difference so that you can make a decision based on your needs. 

What Is OSB?

OBS Vs. Plywood

The acronym OSB stands for oriented strand board. It was invented in the 1970s when people began expanding on what was then called waferboard. Unlike other scrap boards like chipboard or cork, OSB is made strategically.

The pieces are placed just a certain way to create a strong new, yet waste-free, board. It also uses wood from hardwood trees that grow quickly and are plentiful. The logs are cut into strands that are fit together with wax. 

What Is Plywood?

Via Nick Noyes Architecture

Although OSB is more popular than plywood, plywood is still a more common term, often being used in place of OSB. Plywood is made differently than OSB. Plywood is made with plies of wood that are piled on top of each other.

This wood is a wood veneer and it is glued to the other pieces with formaldehyde. The layers are piled on in a cross-graining pattern so that the wood won’t split. The better the plywood, the more angles used. 

What Is The Difference Between OSB And Plywood?

Via A.W. Hobor & Sons, Inc.

OSB has only just recently overtaken plywood on the sheathing market. Before a few years ago, plywood was much more popular. Now, OSB has over 70% of the market shares, which is more than twenty percent of what it was twenty years ago. 

But does that mean it’s better in every way or should always be the number one choice? Of course not! Or else plywood would be extinct. The only way to compare OSB and plywood is to look at the pros and cons of each. 

Pros And Cons Of OSB



Pros And Cons Of Plywood

Via Ricchetti Builders, Inc.



Unfinished Plywood 

One of the biggest downfalls of OSB is that it’s not great for use on its own, uncovered. Plywood, on the other hand, can be used unfinished for siding, floors, and more. It looks nice and can be varnished for a sleek look.

There are many projects that use unfinished plywood without covering it. If you are considering doing this, then take a look at these ideas for inspiration. 

Plywood Cabinetry 

Via Buckminster Green LLC

Plywood can make surprisingly gorgeous cabinets. It will take an expert cabinet maker to make them look perfect, but even an amateur can take a stab at it. Follow guides online or plan it out beforehand and get creative. 

Full Sheet Walls

Via Nick Noyes Architecture

If the studs match up, as they should, you can use full sheets of plywood to cover your walls. If you like the look, you won’t find an easier way to cover your walls. It will also save money as you won’t have to pay for wall coverings. 

Pieces Walls With Trim

Via Lawrence Architecture

You can also cut the plywood and cover the seams with trim. This gives a more finished look but still doesn’t require an extra wall covering. Finish it out with a soft varnish to transform it into something special. 

Modern Designs

Via Prentiss Balance Wickline Architects

You can even create something new with plywood. Piece it together in an eclectic way or paint designs on it. If you get the right paint, you can paint it outright, which isn’t possible with other particle boards. 

Plywood Countertops

Via Studio Zerbey Architecture + Design

This may be the best idea yet. Using plywood for a countertop is genius. It’s nearly waterproof so no harm is done there. Cover the edges with trim for a finished, modern look that will look nothing like construction plywood. 

Making Your Decision

As with any decision in life, the choice is ultimately yours. Look over the pros and cons a few times before deciding. If waterproof wood is important to you because you live in a hurricane zone, choose plywood.

If you have a strict budget, OSB is the only way to go. Continue on with this strategy until you find what works for you. Or, consult a professional you can trust to lend a hand in making your final decision when choosing between OSB and plywood

The post OBS Vs. Plywood: What Is The Difference? appeared first on Home Decorating Trends – Homedit.

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