Is OSB Stronger Than Particle Board?( Yes! See Why)

OSB Stronger Than Particle Board

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Is OSB Stronger Than Particle Board?

There is a difference between Oriented Strand Board (OSB) and Particleboards as manufactured wood products.

In the instruction projects, these materials are being used increasingly since they are cheaper than wood and other engineered wood products including, plywood and timber.

With some sealing and protection, Oriented Strand Board and particleboard have a fairly attractive look.

So you might be asking, is OSB stronger than particle board? Yes, OSB is more sturdy than particleboard.

But particle board comes as a cheap alternative for short-term projects. If a project requires longevity, then you will want to use Oriented Strand Boards.

Particleboards are highly susceptible to moisture damage.

Additionally, you will not be able to secure them using regular screws as they may cause damage. Consequently, you will not find them useful for outdoor conditions.

However, many users lean towards them because of the price incentive in small projects.

As the name suggests, OSB is essentially a board composed of wood strands, all of which are oriented or arranged in a manner to maximize durability and strength.

The wood strands are manufactured from softened wood pieces bonded together to form the boards. Resin is used as the adhesive to cover the wood strands.

Ultimately, Oriented Strand Board is coated with a sealant for moisture protection.

Which Is Better, OSB Board Or Particle Board?

As we have seen, OSB has many things going for it. Indeed, an Oriented Strand Board is environmentally friendly as it doesn’t give off toxic emissions.

Additionally, OSB manufacturers use fast-growing, younger trees which can be replanted and replaced easily and quickly.

Consequently, the rate of deforestation from OSB manufacturing is much lower than that from other wood products. Still, with OSB, wood wastage is minimal.

Additionally, while OSB is much cheaper than timber and plywood, OSB is comparable in strength and quality to both of these products.

However, there are several drawbacks associated with OSB. First, OSB has low moisture resistance.

This means that after a carpenter or installer cuts off a piece of OSB, the cut edge needs to be coated with sealant.

Failure to do this will cause moisture to infiltrate and cause the OSB to swell up and weaken.

On the other board, particleboards are made of small wood particles glued together to form a sheet. Yes, particleboards are composed of wood chips, sawdust, and shavings.

These would otherwise be disposed of as trash. Particleboards come as some of the most environmentally-friendly products out there since it reduces waste that ends up in landfills.

Is OSB Stronger Than MDF?

Yes. When it comes to selecting the right engineered wood for your project, it might turn to be both an overwhelming and tricky endeavor.

This is especially true if you are considering two or more products that have similar properties.

The confusion that ensues might be hard to handle unless you are armed with the right information about such products. For instance, it’s easy to confuse MDF and OSB.

But did you know that these are distinctively different products that have diverse uses?

It’s necessary to understand that composition to ensure you are picking the appropriate material for your project.

Indeed, this is an important aspect of your project. And it would be best if you got it right.

Usually, OSB is considered stronger than MDF.

Due to its capability of withstanding moisture, water, and weather conditions better than MDF, OSB is suitable for structural projects.

But still, MDF is more versatile and easy to work with compared to OSB. Consequently, MDF is preferred for projects requiring a smooth finish.

From conducted studies, the lifecycle of MDF is significantly longer than that of MDF.

Indeed, OSB was found to be structurally sound for over 10,000 cycles, while MDF was confirmed to fail at an average of about 405 cycles.

Although OSB and MDF are similarly engineered woods, they have significance.

The first step to picking the right one for your project is understanding what makes each of the two unique.

Generally, OSB is considered an ideal material for completing larger-scale structural projects, unlike MDF.

Depending on your project’s scale, you might find that one of the OSB types available today is perfect for your needs.

These include OSB2 (ideal for structural, non-load bearing projects or dry conditions) and OSB3 (best for load-bearing projects and humid conditions).

Due to OSB’s water-resistant properties, it’s usable for both outdoor and indoor projects.

Why Is OSB So Expensive Right Now?

Currently, there is a spiraling increase in the prices for OSB. This is not driven by anything serious as ordinary market forces drive it.

Indeed, the law of supply and demand has everything to do with the increasing OSB prices. In this law, the relationship between buyers and sellers is explained.

Generally, the law states that with an increased supply with no matching demand, prices will go down.

But when demand is high and there lacks enough supply to match the demand, prices go up.

This is the situation with regard to OSB, where the demand is higher than the supply, forcing the prices to reach sky-high.

Due to demand oversupply, several natural disasters that hinder the manufacturing of OSB, and increasing construction starts, OSB prices are currently too high.

Fortunately, an alternative sheathing product (Barricade Thermo-Brace) is being offered at a lower price to meet the shortfall in OSB supply.

On the other hand, plywood will not be an option as it comes as a more expensive product to use in construction than OSB.

Comparing the price of plywood for a 4×8-foot sheet of construction-grade plywood ($10 a sheet) with the same size sheet of OSB costing only $6 a sheet.

You might be persuaded to use OSB. Interesting, Oriented Strand Board has an ancient reputation of being used as a low-cost alternative to plywood.

However, the same product now attracts a higher price as increased demand coupled with tight supplies occasion delivery delays and sky-rocketing construction costs in Canada and the United States.

It’s expected that the prices for OSB will come down when the seasonal slowdown in home construction comes knocking– with the current supply.

This is the only chance for the price to come down.

Can I Use MDF Instead Of OSB?

Yes, you can use MDF instead of OSB. But as to whether the result will be better is another issue altogether.

For instance, the strength of any board will depend on the thickness and manufacturing quality. This means that by default, OSB is generally stronger than MDF.

When it comes to the best alternative for OSB, MDF might not make it to the top. This is because plywood will beat MDF every time.

Unfortunately, plywood is more expensive, making the cost of the project shoot high.

But performance-wise, regular plywood will perform near OSB, some people even claiming that plywood performs at the same level as OSB.

Usually, OSB is considered stronger than MDF.

Indeed, OSB is best suited for structural projects, withstanding moisture, water, and weather conditions beyond the capability of MDF.

As insinuated earlier, OSB was developed several decades ago, enjoying presence from 1963. This engineered wood has several strands of lumber, set perpendicularly.

Layering is supported by the strategic placing of the wood straps. Thanks to the manufacturing choice, it’s possible for the wood to support 50 layers of wood strands.

This is a board that has given plywood a run for its money in recent months.

OSB Stronger Than Particle Board

If you conceptualize the nature of your project, you will be in a better position to understand what wood you need to use.

But for the sake of reference only, OSB comes as an ideal material for completing larger-scale structural projects, unlike MDF.

Therefore, you will need to choose MDF or OSB based on the size of your project. Again, the nature of your project will play a role in the same setup.

Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) is a good alternative to plywood. This comes as a straightforward product to work with and can yield optimal results.

Unlike regular wood, MDF’s most-loved characteristics are that it does not boast knots or warping. This makes the board most unlikely to crumble or splinter.

Additionally, you can see or tear MDF with precision.

Is OSB Stronger Than Plywood?

Yes, OSB is stronger than plywood. When choosing between OSB and plywood, most builders are guided by durability.

Since OSB is a “bunch of wood chips glued together,” its detractors are quick to say: “OSB falls apart.”  This is a simplistic and popular stance that has a familiar tone.

Indeed, this is the same criticism that was suffered by plywood several years back. But that was then; today, things are different.

The fact that model building codes use the phrase “wood structural panel” to refer to OSB and plywood does not help in the efforts to distinguish between plywood and OSB.

But, while the two products may resemble each other in several aspects, these are undeniably different materials. First, the composition of the materials is different.

To make plywood, thin sheets of veneer are cross-laminated and glued together using a hot press. Plywood is stable and less likely to shrink, cup, swell, or warp.

On the other hand, OSB cannot be mistaken for a chipboard or wafer board. Osb is different since its strands are aligned.

We mentioned that “Strand plies” are positioned as alternating layers running perpendicularly to each other. While the structure mimics plywood, it is different.

This structure mimics plywood. When faced with a situation where you have to choose between plywood and OSB, think of it this way:

OSB is a homogeneous, random composition engineered to have stiffness and strength equivalent to plywood.

When it comes to durability, OSB and plywood vary greatly. Indeed, OSB will absorb water more slowly than plywood, which is beneficial in low damp areas.

But the water dries more slowly, warping and swelling after water absorption, and will not return to its original shape.

On the other hand, plywood absorbs water more quickly, and it also dries more quickly. After the water dries, plywood returns to its regular shape.

Additionally, its edges resist damage better than OSB, which cracks and frays upon impact and over time.

All the same, if treated well, OSB will be better than plywood and will even lie flatter than plywood.

Is OSB More Environmentally Friendly Than Plywood?

Yes, OSB can be said to be more environment-friendly.

OSB is considered the greener option since it’s manufactured from smaller pieces of wood that can be replaced easily, causing less harm to mother nature.

Indeed, smaller diameter trees can be used to manufacture OSB. Such trees can be farmed more quickly as they grow within a shorter time.

On the other hand, plywood cannot be made without the harvesting of large-diameter trees.

These trees are the ones to be cut to provide the layers, like the peels of a pencil that is being sharpened. Growing a tree to get to that desired diameter takes years.

And when it comes to cutting them for the purpose, effects of such deforestation can be felt more sharply.

Therefore, harvesting old-growth forests will always make plywood manufacturing a less green option.

OSB Stronger Than Particle Board

While the manufacture of OSB from younger trees makes it more environmentally friendly, OSB continues to be produced using formaldehyde.

On the other hand, plywood is required to be produced without this chemical as a new environmental law requirement that was effected from the year 2019.

Indeed, hardwood plywood is now available with materials that do not release urea-formaldehyde into the air and soy-based glues.

Naturally, it’s expected that OSB will fall in line. However, no one can tell with precision whether that will happen and when it will happen.

In this aspect, plywood will appear as a more environmentally-friendly option.


Oriented Strand Board (OSB) is stronger and sturdy than particleboard. Their components are different, with OSB enjoying more durability even when exposed to elements.


Hi! I I faced many questions from customers about different products, and there was hardly any help on the internet. After learning all the things about these products as a manager the hard way, I decided to start a blog and help other people.

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