TYPES OF SHEATHING
The sheathing of a building is used after framing as an underlayment for what you actually see on the surface of a structure such as roofing, siding, and even flooring. It acts as a protective barrier against exterior elements such as air, wind, and rain/snow. The sheathing is also a structurally locking component of the building process that ensures your framing is secure. The better the sheathing, the more efficient and structurally sound a building can be. Paying attention to an invisible element such as sheathing has huge payoffs when it comes to the energy efficiency of your structure. It can significantly reduce your utility costs which in hand decreases your carbon footprint. Keep reading to learn about the types of sheathing that are offered to you and their overall effect.
OSB (Oriented Strand Board)
OSB is made up of wood flakes laid in a cross pattern, that have been heated and pressed together to form a 4×8 board.
Commodity OSB is the most basic form of sheathing for your structure, as well as the most affordable. Beneficial for its pure strength against exterior elements such as the wind. (To protect against rain, commodity OSB must have a moisture-resistant barrier applied on top of it, as this OSB is significantly more sensitive to moisture).
1/2″ & 3/4″
Advantech is an enhanced OSB board that has integrated resin within the manufacturing of the wood, this creates a product that is significantly more resistant to moisture. Enhanced OSB eliminates the concern of swelling that can oftentimes become very problematic for many contractors during the construction of their buildings. Here at B&B Micro Manufacturing, we most commonly use Advantech for the subflooring of our tiny structures.
*See the image to the left showcasing the difference in moisture retention of commodity v enhanced OSB, courtesy of Risinger*
1/2″ , 5/8″ , 3/4″
CDX Plywood is made up of actual cuts from a tree that have been rotated and sliced. Each board has a certain number of layers that correlates with its overall thickness. These layers are pressed together and less reliant on glue than that of OSB.
This option of sheathing is more resilient to the exterior elements than commodity OSB but generally less than that of Advantech. Making it a good middle ground between these options.
*See the image to the left showcasing the difference in moisture retention of CDX plywood v enhanced OSB, courtesy of Risinger*
Hubers ZIP System
Hubers ZIP System is the most unique sheathing option for its innovative combination of building components!
7/16″ (green) , 5/8″ or 1/2″ (brown)
Regular ZIP panels consist of an OSB board with a moisture-resistant barrier already applied to each board. Eliminating an entire step in the building process, effectively making construction more effective and efficient.
R-3 / R-6 / R-9 / R-12
ZIP-R panels take the standard ZIP panels that have been around for almost two decades and introduce poly iso installation to the backside of it. The result is a variety of R-Valued sheathing options that eliminates not one, but two steps in the construction process. This product simultaneously creates a more energy-efficient barrier to all of the exterior elements. Aiding in the increased construction of LEED-certified and energy-conscious buildings.
Videos on Sheathing
Risinger, Matt. AdvanTech Subflooring vs. OSB vs. Plywood. Huber Engineered Wood. https://www.huberwood.com/blog/advantech-subflooring-vs-osb-vs-plywood
Villa, Bob. What’s the Difference? Plywood vs OSB. Bob Villa. https://www.bobvila.com/articles/526-enhanced-plywood-and-subfloor-products/
Zip System. Huber Engineered Wood. https://www.huberwood.com/zip-system#about
ZIP System vs. Tyvek Home Wrap. Dupont. https://www.dupont.com/tyvek-weatherization/zip-sheathing-system.html