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plywood or OSB?

AdrianM's Avatar
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02-04-03, 11:14 AM   #1  
plywood or OSB?

I'm in the planning stages for a new 2 story house and wondered what would be best to use, plywood or OSB for flooring.
also, what about engineered floor trusses ILO regular lumber?
thirdly, what are the pros/cons of 2x6 exterior wall framing over 2x4? I live just outside of Wash DC with hot & humid summers and cold and generally dry (though sometmes very damp) winters.

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02-04-03, 08:40 PM   #2  
For subfloor I recommend neither plywood or OSB. I exclusively use an OSB-type product though called Advantech. If you search around you will find a recent discussion on this product from the last 10 days or so. It is like OSB but does not swell or buckle as other products will. Great stuff.

I also pretty much use only engineered I-joists instead of dimensional lumber (i.e. 2x10's, etc.). Cost is the same but quality is much much better. A lot of folks also use engineered floor trusses that have open webs that make running mechanicals easier.

Personally, for the DC climate, I would skip the 2x6 exterior walls. I am in GA and we don't use them down here and I don't think your climate is that much colder than ours. Now if you were in the true NE or elsewhere cold I would go that route. One thing you can do to increase the R value of your walls as well as creating a very good drainage plane is to do what I do on my houses. I wrap the entire house in 1/2" OSB and then I also wrap them again entirely in 1/2" rigid insulation. Doing this with sprayed in cellulose in the walls, I end up with about an R-19 wall out of a 2x4 framing system. I don't know anyone else that does this though as it is not the cheapest way to go and you have to sell the efficiency of the home to folks that look more at the shiny light fixtures.

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