Which is better, OSB or Plywood?

Roger compares OSB 3 board and plywood and gives his opinion on the best option.

OSB board vs Plywood
(from Champion Timber)

OSB board and plywood are both hugely popular sheeting materials used in modern-day property builds. Whether they’re being used in wall sheathing, flooring or roofs, they both have their own particular suitability and also their own downfalls. So which is best to use in your project?

OSB board

OSB board was introduced in the 70s as an alternative to plywood for load-bearing building applications. It’s made up of layers of cross-oriented strands of timber and bonded with a waterproof resin. Their unique formation allows them to withstand high levels of stress. They are more often than not covered by layers of plaster and paint to achieve a polished look.


Plywood has been around much longer than OSB board and was the favoured sheeting material until the cost savings of OSB became apparent. Flexible, durable and hardwood plywoods are suitable for a variety of applications.

Both OSB board and plywood are flexible and durable options for any project. They are ideal for property builds as sheet materials for walls, floors and roofs and are also great for use in smaller projects.

Environmental factors

OSB board is made from a FSC mix 70% timber, meaning that it is composed of a minimum of 70% FSC certified wood/pulp and the balance is controlled wood or reclaimed material. Plywood is certified as FSC 100%.

The majority of the time OSB boards are the cheaper option and for this reason, are now favoured in most building applications. However, when it comes to DIY plywood still reigns supreme – most probably due to the natural wood appearance of ply.


About Dylan Garton

Dylan Garton is a co-founder, video producer and editor for the Skill Builder social media platforms.

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