Tilson Homes
Nov 5, 2019

What is OSB and What Does it Do?

Construction Practices

At Tilson, we choose materials that will contribute to the structural rigidity and longevity of your home. So, we use OSB for its consistency, sustainability, strength, and the increase in home performance it provides.

OSB, or Oriented Strand Board, is a type of manufactured plywood. Instead of being one solid piece, it uses small pieces of wood that are aligned to run in different directions. The material is coated with epoxy adhesives to lock the parts in place. Finally, it is subjected to tremendous pressure and rolled to the thicknesses used for roofing, walls, and flooring.

Since it's made from small pieces of wood, OSB can be made from fast-growth, smaller trees, such as poplars. These small-diameter trees can be sustainably farmed, which is better for the environment.

Its manufacturing process makes OSB more uniform and stronger than conventional plywood. It also has fewer soft spots. These traits allow larger panel sizes of OSB that resist shear better than plywood. When using OSB, you also avoid plywood's tendency to delaminate in hot climates.

Tilson uses 7/16" OSB wrap statewide to help build sturdier and more durable homes. Using OSB sheathing to wrap the entire house exterior creates a more rigid structure. This creates a more consistent, smoother surface to apply masonry and siding as opposed to bare stud walls with diagonal 1x4 cut-ins.

OSB wrap can also increase your home's energy efficiency. It creates a thermal envelope that greatly affects your family's comfort levels and utility costs. The thermal envelope prevents heat transfer from the interior of a house to its exterior in winter and vice versa in summer. The OSB wrap, coupled with Tyvek on Tilson homes, acts as a layer that helps prevent heat transfer and limits airborne noise caused by joint leaks, gaps, or voids.

Many builders still use plywood or only use OSB wrap in windstorm areas where it's required by code. Tilson makes a conscious effort not to take shortcuts and uses full 7/16" OSB wrap statewide. This same mentality has allowed us to deliver the highest quality homes in Texas for the better part of a century. Learn more about our framing process with our Senior Vice President, and see behind the scenes footage of a build.


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