Oriented Strand Board (OSB) is a highly durable and stable wood product
Plywood oriented strand board, commonly known as OSB, is an excellent choice for construction projects that require a flexible, reliable, and safe wood panel. It is an engineered wood product that is widely used due to its high durability, good performance, and exceptional versatility. If you are still unsure about what is osb plywood and how it can be used, VINAWOOD’s article below will provide you with all the necessary information.

What Is Oriented Strand Board (OSB)?

Plywood oriented strand board is a type of engineered wood panel consisting of rectangular wood fibers, 8 to 15 cm long, arranged in layers in a diagonal direction. These wood fibers are joined together with a waterproof, heat-treatable adhesive.

Plywood oriented strand board is an excellent choice for construction projects 
Plywood oriented strand board is an excellent choice for construction projects

Wood fibers are mixed with waterproof resin and then stacked together to form a thick mat. This mat is then bonded together under heat and pressure. In Canada, Plywood oriented strand boards are manufactured to meet the requirements of the Canadian Standards Association. These criteria create performance rankings for specific uses such as roofs, walls, and floor coverings in light-frame wood construction. The design values for OSB building coatings are listed in CSA O86, which allows the engineering of roof, wall, and floor coverings using OSB following CSA O325.

There are four distinct types of OSB panels regulated by European standards, about both durability performance ratings and moisture resistance:

  • OSB1: OSB board is a multi-purpose board, made for interior use such as furniture, especially in dry conditions.
  • OSB2: Bearing plate used in dry conditions.
  • OSB3: Heavy-duty board used in humid conditions.
  • OSB4: A heavy-duty load-bearing board for use in humid conditions

OSB is an engineered wood panel that has many of the durability and performance properties of plywood, it is resistant to deformation, warping or delamination. The combination of wood and OSB adhesive also creates a sturdy, dimensionally stable panel that is light in weight, and easy to handle and install.

Plywood oriented strand boards tend to be produced as large, hard mats that are consistent in quality and do not have any gaps. These OSB panels have almost no gaps between joints, so they can resist heat and limit airborne noise. In terms of performance, OSB is comparable to plywood, making it a popular choice among builders and architects.

What is OSB used for?

Oriented Strand Board (OSB) is a highly durable and stable wood product that is widely used in construction projects. It has numerous applications, including:

Oriented Strand Board (OSB) is a highly durable and stable wood product
OSB oriental strand board – sheet materials


Plywood oriented strand board is a popular material for flooring due to its consistent durability and high aesthetics. It provides solid support in crowded environments with high traffic density. However, it is important to choose a moisture-proof model for environments with high humidity such as the kitchen or bathroom.

Roofing panels:

OSB is an ideal choice for roofing panels because of its strength, stability, and ability to withstand wind and seismic loads. Premium roofing panels are durable and moisture-resistant, making them a great alternative to plywood roofing at a lower price.


OSB boards are a top solution for interiors that require high durability. They are light, strong, and flexible, making them suitable for producing tables, chairs, or cabinets. OSB furniture retains its unique appearance, and its ability to absorb dyes makes it perfect for customization.

Wall Sheathing:

OSB boards are widely used to make wall panels, especially for wooden houses. Its high durability and ability to hold nails well make it popular for making exterior house coverings. For moisture-resistant wall panels, choose OSB3 or OSB4.

Internal Wall Sheathing:

Plywood oriented strand board is also a great choice for interior wall sheathing. You can decorate it according to your preferences, making your space highly aesthetic.

Loft Boarding:

OSB boards are highly durable and very useful as pedestals to support objects. It can be lofted, however, use sturdy struts that are held securely in place

Why is OSB so expensive?

There is a lot of discussion around the high cost of plywood oriented strand board and why it is expensive. The reason is simple – the demand for OSB is higher than the supply. Several factors contribute to the growing demand for OSB, including an increase in the number of stronger storms in the US, which requires more home repairs or shields to be built.

Plywood oriented strand board is more expensive than other Plywood
Construction worker, plywood / osb panel (oriental strand board)

Moreover, over the years, many smaller OSB manufacturers have been acquired by the top 10 companies in the market. The main players in the market are all trying to optimize their supply chains to maximize profits and minimize investment waste. They look at historical demand and predict future demand based on market forces they can see. Demand for OSB has increased by about 20% from 2008 to 2018.

It is observed that the number of buyers in the Oriented Strand Board (OSB) market is increasing while the number of main suppliers is decreasing. This trend of consolidation is likely to continue as new OSB factories become larger and investors employ more advanced technology to produce innovative and versatile OSB products.

Now, how does this consolidation trend impact the prices? Well, in an oligopoly, there are few producers but many buyers. When the demand for the product reaches its capacity, buyers may become desperate and accept the price set by the manufacturer to ensure they have access to the product.

The demand can reach capacity in two ways. Firstly, buyers may suddenly decide to place orders simultaneously, such as wholesalers, retailers, builders, and even the Ministry of Defense to rebuild Iraq, for instance. Secondly, production capacity may be reduced at the manufacturer’s level, either voluntarily due to scheduled plant maintenance/upgrades or involuntarily due to accidents, fires, or raw material supply interruptions.

In conclusion, the high demand for plywood oriented strand board is driven by both environmental and market factors.

What are the disadvantages of oriented strand board?

Plywood oriented strand board is easily damaged by high humidity
 Plywood oriented strand board is easily damaged by high humidity

Although Plywood oriented strand board has many pros, there are also some cons that OSB has such as:

  • Less fire resistant: Although OSB can provide some fire resistance, it is not as fire resistant as some other building materials, such as gypsum board (drywall) or some types of other plywood
  • Sensitive to humidity: OSB is easily damaged by high humidity. If left in a humid environment for a long time, OSB will tend to warp, blister, and peel. This leads to the breakdown of its structures
  • Low nail-holding capacity: Plywood oriented strand board does not hold curb boards as firmly as other types of plywood because its nail-holding capacity is not as high.
  • The surface is not smooth: the surface of Plywood oriented strand board is not as smooth and hard as other types of plywood. This will cause some limitations for some applications that require a smooth surface
  • High brittleness: When in a cold climate, OSB will gradually become brittle over time, and cracks will begin to appear on the surface. Especially if subjected to impact or sudden high pressure, the OSB will be damaged
  • Formaldehyde Emissions: OSB will likely emit formaldehyde, which is a volatile organic compound, especially when newly manufactured. This substance can be a factor in indoor air pollution and harm family health.
When treated with resin, plywood oriented strand board can resist water
When treated with resin, plywood oriented strand board can resist water


Will OSB burn rot or mold?

When treated with resin, plywood oriented strand board can resist water. For insect or fire resistance, OSB must be treated with chemicals. Manufacturers must test their products for flame retardants or other chemical effects.

What is the difference between MDF and OSB?

When it comes to size, plywood oriented strand board are much larger than plywood. However, OSB is heavier and swells more when exposed to moisture. It also tends to retain water for a longer period than plywood. Despite these drawbacks, OSB offers exceptional strength and durability while remaining lightweight, making it a popular choice among other types of plywood.

Is OSB stronger than plywood?

OSB and plywood are two types of engineered wood panels used in construction. While osb and plywood are durable, plywood is generally considered to be slightly harder than OSB, with a difference of about 10%. This means that nails and screws are more likely to remain securely in place over time when used with plywood rather than OSB.

At VINAWOOD blog, we provide you with all the information about what is osb plywood. Hopefully this article will help you in the process of choosing the right plywood oriented strand board for your project. If you would like more information about Plywood types, check out our website.