Terms of the Trade: What Is OSB?

A close-up image of oriented strand board, or OSB.

OSB is short for oriented strand board. (Yeah, that still didn’t clear much up.) Found in the lumber area of home improvement stores, OSB is a manufactured board of compressed wood chips cross-layered in a specific pattern and bonded with a resin/wax combo. (OSB is not to be confused with particle board, which is made of wood particles and shavings bound together at random and inherently subpar.) OSB gets its strength from the organization of the wood strands, making it suitable for use in residential flooring, walls and roofing.