OSB or Plywood?

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Old 01-15-09, 11:48 AM
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OSB or Plywood?

Putting cost aside,would you rather use OSB or Plywood as an underlayment for hardwoods and/or carpet? I've read conflicting reports, some saying there interchangable and basically perform the same, and other reports saying plywood is better hands down. What's your experience and/or opinion?
 
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Old 01-15-09, 12:09 PM
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Most will tend to tell you that plywood is preferred over OSB. But, OSB sheets tend to be more square and dimensionally stable than plywood, according to contractors. There are no soft spots like those than can sometimes be found in plywood. OSB is stronger. The ability to hold nails, staples, cleats is about the same for plywood and OSB. And, it's less expensive.

But, because OSB is made of wood chips, wax, and glue, when it gets wet, it will swell. If home is dry, well ventilated, and OSB properly installed this tends not to be a problem. If installed over wet crawl space or basement or if you have a plumbing leak, then, you will wish you had installed plywood.

OSB is fine for under hardwood flooring and carpet. Do not use under ceramic tile. You need concrete underlayment board (CUB) for that. If you have an area where you think you might want ceramic tile in the future, you may want to consider going ahead and installing CUB.
 
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