Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Melville, NY 11747, Terms & Conditions Is Rain on a Steel Roof Louder than on an Asphalt Roof? This is because the glue and resin used in its processing prevent it from absorbing water even during the extremely humid and wet seasons. The glue and resin make it harder for the wood to absorb the water, allowing it to stand up better under harsher weather conditions. Others, however, prefer to stick with plywood. Without veneers applied to the exterior, OSB board is much more affordable than CDX plywood. It isn’t ideal to use for sheds, roofing, or other areas that see consistent rain. On the other hand, OSB is produced very differently. For a decking, or substrate underneath shingles, you can usually use either material. The first piece of wood is placed so that it rolls “up” while each subsequent layer is laid 90 degrees to the one below it, and upside-down. (339.26 kB) Q: What are the concerns about VOC emissions from exterior plywood and OSB? However, it needs to be covered and protected long-term. Each of these materials has its own unique properties and qualities, and so each is used in specific applications. This price spread means that a builder can save $700.00 on a 2,500 square foot house if osb is substituted for plywood sheathing on floors, walls, and roofs. By Clayton DeKorne Download the PDF version of this article. Plywood and OSB manufacturers try to improve this by sealing the panel edges, but the sealant, whether it is a wax or a paint, tends to get scuffed off. What is the difference between CDX and OSB? Before you can really grasp the different ways to use CDX plywood vs. OSB, it can help to have a better understanding of what each of them is. This is a question most people seem to seek answers to. The only exception to this can be the pressure treated CDX, because it can survive outside for decades without a protective finish. Despite these disadvantages, OSB is still commonly used for roofing. This is to prevent the wood from absorbing water because when they do. The biggest difference is how both react when exposed to large amounts of moisture over an extended period of time. Many of these abbreviations that you hear will represent different types of plywood that are used for subflooring, roofing, and everything in between. Other engineered wood panel types, such as particle board or OSB, contain a much higher percentage of glue, and since glue is heavier than wood, these panels tend to be significantly heavier than plywood. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. One of the main areas that people tend to run into these issues is when they are trying to find plywood for their roofing. On page 6 is OSB Sheathing info and a 24/16 L/180 has a uniform load of 68 at 24″o.c. This means that the plywood allows being exposed to moisture, but just for a limited period of time A prolonged exposure will lead to water damage. The National Roofing Contractors Association and the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association both gave the thumbs-up of approval to use OSB for roof sheathing, provided that each sheet has approval from the APA – Engineered Wood Association. The glue and resin that is mixed in with the wood chips makes it much less permeable, so OSB holds up longer in harsher conditions. The major differences make them suitable for unique applications, though you may find some overlap between them. While this may sound similar to CDX plywood, it is a very different composition process, and OSB board is generally much less durable than CDX plywood. When it dries, it is more likely to return to its … However, OSB does not absorb water easily, but when it does, it takes quite a while to lose the water. While construction codes regard all materials similarly as "structural panels," the structure of the plywood and the oriented strand board (OSB) is somewhat different. In fact, recent price quotes from Denver, Boston and Atlanta put 7/16-inch osb $3.00 to as much as $5.00 per sheet lower than 1/2-inch cdx plywood. Alternatively, OSB tends to be more waterproof than traditional plywood. There are real differences between the various grades of plywood. Plywood absorbs water more quickly, but it also dries more quickly. ACX, CDX, and BB Formply are the most common types of plywood sold. Next time you find yourself in the middle of a construction project, make sure that you understand the real differences between CDX vs. OSB plywood. Plywood is made by cutting thin layers of a tree all the way around its circumference. However, once it has absorbed water, it dries more slowly. The result is a wooden sheet that is proportionally as strong as steel, without the weight that comes along with concrete or steel. CDX PLYWOOD vs. OSD PLYWOOD OSD and CDX plywood are both commonly found on construction sites, because builders and contractors rely on both types of plywood to get the job done. But, there is an exception to pressure-treated CDX; they can withstand extreme moisture without getting water damaged. Should they go with OSB vs. CDX plywood for the roof? OSB production in the United States and Canada totaled 25.4 billion square feet (3/8-inch basis), or 59 percent of the total combined production of structural plywood and OSB in 2004. It is made of wood chips, resin and glue, cast and baked together to produce a CDX-like sheet. first, i would just go with cdx but i just started college so money is a bit tight, anyway my room is small (still living with my parents) and im thinking about putting a floor in my attic to give my self some more room. Even as affordable as they are, well-reputable stores like Sherwood Lumber still offer insane deals and discounts. ACX and CDX are both exterior plywoods and aren’t specifying the type of wood. Because the adhesive and resin make it more difficult to absorb water, OSB is less likely to expand and contract with exposure to moisture. But, as we have seen each one of them has its strengths and weaknesses, making each one of them, best for different tasks. You will need to remove everything and start all over or ask a specialist to correct the mistake. Within 10 … Plywood is composed of approximately 92% - 97% wood, with the remainder made up by primers, sealants, and adhesives such as phenol formaldehyde resin. L Plywood vs. OSB New-generation structural panels mean decade-old notions are no way to choose sheathing. OSB, on the other hand, stands for Oriented Strand Board which is a cheaper version of CDX. OSB absorbs water more slowly than plywood, which can be beneficial in areas of low dampness. It is only manufactured to hold up to water for a short period of time. The edges of the boards may swell and cause ridges on the roof beneath the shingles. Here’s what you need to know. The major distinction between these categories is the actual construction of the sheets. Plywood vs. OSB Protect an unfinished home from the elements—and a finished home from the consequences of plumbing disasters—by starting with a … Each layer is held in place by quality binders and adhesives. A 3 / 4 ” sheet is actually 23 / 32 ” thick. One of the main grading systems when talking about the plywood is the smoothness of its front and back sides. The ‘best is classified by the least knots, shown grain, etc. If you have to choose, you need to know the difference between CDX vs. OSB. This provides an inherent system of checks and balances that makes plywood a relatively stable material. What’s a roofdeck? In 2001, oriented strand board surpassed plywood in terms of square footage produced. The main difference between the two is how they handle moisture, and oddly enough there are wildly varying conclusions - from very reputable sources - as to just how vapour permeable they are. Imagine when you want to do your subfloor or roof sheathing and you confuse the two, then two months later, the wood start cracking and rotting, due to water damage. There you will see that a 24/0 plywood panel has a uniform load at L/180 of 57 at 24″o.c. In the case of CDX plywood, the X at the end denotes that it is rated for exposure. (Most people mistakenly think that it stands for “exterior”.) Unlike OSB, plywood has been developed into different types over the years in different ways to be used for different purposes. Alternatively, OSB tends to be more waterproof than traditional plywood. Sherwood Lumber uses cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. The glue and resin make it harder for the wood to absorb the water, allowing it to stand up better under harsher weather conditions. This comes as a surprise to many consumers because OSB looks simply as if lots of pieces of wood were glued together. Moisture resistance ... with less glue than plywood. One of the nice things about plywood is the variety of options you can buy. Plywood is often sold in 1 / 4 “, 1 / 2 “, or 3 / 4 ” nominal thicknesses, but the actual thickness is often 1 / 32 ” thinner. comparing the quality of luan and pecan tree, but rather the finish of surfaces. While CDX is strong and will give good results, it is important that you take care of it. OSB is ideal for these applications where the CDX simply will not work. Because the actual thickness may vary measuring the plywood is the only accurate way to determine its thickness. As a result, OSB floors are more li… OSB or CDX plywood for subflooring? I recommend that all roofdecks, especially in moist climates like Seattle, are CDX plywood and not OSB. The sheets can also have started out with grades ranging from AA to E depending on the quality of the veneers on the sheet. In the end, many people opt for OSB because it is lower in price and more stable than CDX plywood. OSB holds up to water quite well, and it is easily seen as water-proof. The result is that the tendency for the boards to warp into their original shape is diminis… Specializing in building and renovating homes, Thomas Luttrell has worked in homebuilding since 2002. What is the Actual Thickness of a Sheet of Plywood. However, in as much as CDX is more expensive in relation to OSB, generally, they are both affordable and easily available in lumberyards and stores. If you are not among the people searching for such answers, then you should be because it is important to know what the two are and their differences. OSB is best for substrate underneath shingles or decking. It also warps or swells after water absorption and will not return to its original shape. Are there any roofing situations where osb should NOT be used? It may also make it more likely that the roof will rot over time. While plywood is generally limited to 8 to 10 feet lengths, OSB panels can be manufactured in lengths up to 16 feet. This includes interior and exterior plywood of any thickness. For example: Marine plywood is more moisture resistant than standard plywood, is better used in constructions where exposure to water is likely (e.g. than CDX plywood. Don’t get frazzled and confused during the construction or repair of your home. Well, when used as exposed decking or subflooring each has its strengths and weaknesses. OSB and plywood offer similar (and sufficient) performance in terms of strength and functionality, though plywood is about 7% stronger. Press Esc to cancel. A plywood subfloor generally uses 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch-thick sheets of plywood that have one rough side (which faces down) and one smooth side, which faces up. This is because it is resistant to moisture and therefore, it will not be damaged; at least not for a very long time. This won’t imply the actual quality of wood itself, e.g. Oriented strand board (OSB) and plywood are wood structural panels made by compressing and gluing pieces of wood together. The National Roofing Contractors Association, the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association. Cover it on both occasions and maintain it regularly to ensure it does not get damaged. OSB holds up to water quite well, and it is easily seen as water-proof. 225 Broadhollow Rd.Suite 310W But take care, it also requires that you use water-resistant coating at the edges. The downside to working with OSB on the roof is that it does take longer to dry if it becomes penetrated by the water. Determining how well they can hold up to water also determines what types of applications each one is best suited for. CDX is best for sub-flooring. The best example of this is using the plywood as subflooring during a construction process. Although, OSB typically offers a higher shear rating which adds rigidity to your structure. CDX is veneer plywood, which is manufactured by gluing and pressing together sheets of wood. CDX plywood is created by bundling layers of wood together. OSB and plywood vary in terms of durability. As mentioned above, the X in CDX stands for exposure. CDX vs OSB sheeting. Secondly, OSB panels have a higher shear rating than plywood panels and are thus often installed with greater spans than plywood of the same thickness. Structure or Basic Composition. Plywood is made with an odd number of layers for optimal strength and performance. The letters C and D represent the grades of either side of the plywood, while X stands for exposure. This means that the plywood allows being exposed to moisture, but just for a limited period of time A prolonged exposure will lead to water damage. Not to mention, you don’t necessarily need to pay the veneer that you will get with the CDX grade of plywood. It is also used for roof sheathing. © 2020 Sherwood Lumber Company. In such places, it does not get in contact with a lot of moisture, which prevents it from getting damaged. This makes its dimensional stability better. Which is the better option, plywood vs. Advantech? The protection of the shingles isn’t likely to be enough to prevent the plywood from becoming warped and delaminated over time. AC is used when a very nice finish is necessary. They are known as wood structural panels. Plywood is produced by gluing together sheets of veneer, alternating the grain on each layer. Some design and construction professionals have come to swear by oriented strand board. Similarly, there are major differences between plywood and OSB. Plywood Holds the Moisture Advantage Over OSB. Depending on your location, you might find that it is roughly half the price of more traditional CDX plywood. This costs money and time, but knowing the difference between OSB and CDX does not. Both plywood and oriented strand board (OSB) are equal in strength and durability. While the construction of each type is certainly different, that’s not the only difference between the two sheets. This means that it can withstand some moisture for a limited period of time. CDX and OSB are used for almost similar things, but because they have different features, one is better applied in some tasks and the other one on other tasks. Oriented strand board (OSB) combines wood chips, glue, and resin into the shape of a sheet of plywood and bakes them together. This can result in visible deflection of the panels between the supports and can telegraph through causing a wavy appearance to the roof. While OSB and plywood appear similar and are generally interchangeable, the different ways that each material is manufactured contribute to … Plywood for the Roof: What Should You Choose. OSB is now used for about 70 percent of all floor, wall and roof sheathing in North America. While OSB can pack 50 strand layers into a sheet, plywood only has 5-7, giving OSB a more consistent density, though it does about two pounds or so more per sheet then plywood. It can hold up to the water for a limited amount of time, such as a few months. However, you will want the finished veneer of CDX for projects like cabinets and furniture. Each layer is placed on top of the other with the graining running in the opposite direction for the opposing layer. While you may want to consider a different type of roof sheathing, CDX plywood is still not a great choice for your roof. The sheets are generally 4 x 8 or 4 x 12 feet in size. He also holds a bachelor's degree in English from Iowa University. OSB also seems to be good for roof sheathing. Learn how to tell these two apart and how to use each one. If you are building a home, one of your first choices you’ll need to make is which Sheathing to use for your walls. On page 2 you will see the plywood sheathing info. Construction sites are famous for throwing around acronyms and letters that hold a great deal of meaning to homeowners. Next time I comment it also dries more quickly these boards are then laminated together a! 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