Subfloor: plywood vs. OSB

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Should I use plywood or T&G OSB for subfloor in new addition I am building? The addition is on second story, floors are 2 X 8 16 O.C. I checked prices and 3/4" T&G OSB is more than twice cheaper then 3/4" plywood. I will have hydronic heated floors. There will be another plywood or OSB subfloor on top of base one with grooves for PEX tubing. My original idea was to use OSB everywhere except for bath subfloor where I was going to use plywood.
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ls02 wrote:

Hi, Plywood is better choice. I never have used OSB building our houses more than 5 times over the years. Only used plywood of proper dimension for walls, floor, and rood decking.
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On 3/6/2010 9:44 AM, Tony Hwang wrote:

My builder uses a product called AdvanTech, which seems to be super strong. It is T&G and comes with a 50 year warranty, whatever that means. Here are a few pics taken in my house during construction: http://picasaweb.google.com/actodesco/FranklinHouse#5445554605034859634 http://picasaweb.google.com/actodesco/FranklinHouse#5445554612113782098 http://picasaweb.google.com/actodesco/FranklinHouse#5264937589638078914
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Art Todesco wrote:

Hi, That is another OSB product.
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Art Todesco wrote:

I think that was the only OSB Lows had when I needed it for a floor. I believe their was a 100 day exposed to weather guaranty but when I bought mine I was told they raised that to 300 days out in the weather without falling apart. The part that looks confusing is the smooth side goes down, the rough side up.
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They're basically interchangeable. Check the span ratings stamped on the sheets to see what would work for your application. Standard plywood is slightly stronger than OSB, which means you might need to use a thicker OSB for the same application. But it really depends on the usage. In many cases you can use either in the same thickness.
I used 3/4" T&G OSB for the subfloor of our house and it works very well (16" OC joist spacing). I've heard it can be slightly more sensitive to moisture during construction, but our subfloor was exposed to the weather for a few months while we built our house, with no signs of swelling anywhere. But we did sweep off the subfloor each day to remove any standing water. If you think it will take you a long time to build, plywood might be a better choice (or just cover everything with plastic).
Another thing to consider is weight. OSB is a bit heavier than plywood, so I used plywood for our roof sheathing. It's not a huge difference, but I appreciated the lighter sheets when I had to hoist them up to the roof solo.
I used OSB sheathing for the walls of a remodel at my in-laws, since it was being covered with siding anyway. For our own house we wanted a rough-cut face which was only available in standard plywood at the time (though I did buy an OSB version later for our shed).
I generally choose whichever is available at the lowest price that meets the span and appearance ratings I need. In most cases, OSB works fine.
Anthony
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Maybe today's OSB is better than older material, but having removed a lot of it from rehab projects, and replaced with plywood, it is no longer anything I care to use. It is much heavier, meaner to cut, and too rough surfaced for me. In addition, saw blades suffer early wear- out and need to be sharpened or replaced too soon. Roof decking and siding will often see nail blowouts underneath, and my unscientific opinion is that OSB doesn't hold nails as well. The resin rich character of OSB would, to me, be a real no no by having a negative effect on the hydronic system. A heavy dense material just doesn't seem right for that, but I may be totally wrong about that.
Joe
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OSB is slightly more expensive than plywood here, so I was planning on using plywood for the room I'm building over the garage. I wanted to use plywood anyway because I'm not planning on finishing the floor right away (it's going to be used for a shop). Plywood, with a coat of floor paint, should be easier to sweep clean than OSB. Before I sell, I'll turn the room into another bedroom.
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On 3/6/2010 2:55 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

The Advantech stuff I talked about earlier and someone explained that is was an OSB-type product has a very smooth surface. It's nothing like the OSB stuff you find at HD or Lowe's. It seems to be much harder than the regular OSB stuff. I know my builders carpenters complained about how difficult it was to drive nails or screws. And, as was pointed out, it has ratings for various spans, like 16" or in my case 19.2".
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Lowes and HomeDespot are about the only places around. I'll keep my eye out for it though. It sounds interesting.
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Advantech is pretty much the material of choice around here even in high end homes...It is on my addition and garage...As far as builders complaining about "driving nails and screws" , I haven't heard that but I don't know any builders that don't use nail guns...Even I as a homeowner have nail guns now...Cutting plywood isn't any fun either...They BOTH suck about the same in that regard..If you're going to paint it for a shop floor plywood would be the best choice....FWIW....
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On 3/7/2010 12:35 AM, benick wrote:

My builder, even though he's a young guy, has some "older" ideas. For instance, he makes the carpenters hand drive all the deck nails. I'm not sure if the Advantech was put down with nails or screws. I think it was grooved nails.
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"older ideas" aren't always the best ideas...Ever try to take something apart put together with a nail gun ??? Try it sometime....
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Yup. Homeowners need them. ;-)

Why do you say that? Plywood doesn't dull blades any more than wood. It doesn't gum them up like wood, either.

Thanks. That is looking like the best alternative. I want to be able to finish the floor later, so painted plywood seems like the way to go.
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Ripping either OSB or plywood with a skilsaw showers you with sawdust and slivers of wood at the speed of sound ..It just plain SUCKS...LOL...
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Come on. It's not *that* bad, in comparison with other building materials. The sawdust from either is fairly large so you don't end up breathing it. Plywood is easy on blades and I suspect OSB is about the same (haven't cut enough to go through a blade). MDF is a lot worse than either and Hardi-Backer dust is tough on both tools and operators' lungs.
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snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

Hi, I may use OSB panels on vertical application, never on horizontal application.
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I've heard to use tongue and groove plywood. Because the seams between the two boards interlock, and you have less creaking and unstable feeling when walking across the floor.
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On 3/8/2010 7:10 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Actually, I had T&G plywood in my previous house circa 1971 and I can tell you the squeaking was just as bad or worse than anything I have seen. I think, and that all it is, think, that the tongue actually squeaks rubbing in the groove. I re-nailed many places and used those break off screws that go through the carpeting to quiet things down. When replacing the carpeting, you know, for the potential new owners, I put in a bunch of screws. I figured that I would still be living there for a time and I actually did for about 6 months until it was sold.
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I replaced the carpeting in my previous hocus before I sold it. I ripped up the old stuff before the installers came and put down 1800 2" screws. No squeaks - house sold. ;-)
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