Let us introduce you to orientated strand board (OSB). For those of you who are wondering what exactly OSB is, it’s a board made by compressing multiple strands of wood together with adhesive. If you already knew about OSB, it’s likely that you associate it with construction. However, while it is true that OSB was traditionally used to sheath the metal frames of buildings, OSB has taken many new forms in recent times.
It is a cheap, durable and sustainable material that, with the right treatments, can make for lovely flooring or decorative furniture. In fact, this innovative look is becoming increasingly stylish. OSB is ideal if you would like to create unique décor within your home at an excellent value. That’s why we’ve made a guide with all the reasons worth considering OSB for your next decorative project.
Orientated strand board is actually an ideal alternative to many other wooden or metal furnishing materials because it is lighter in weight. Thus, it harbours an optimal balance between lightness and durability, but more on the second part later.
Fabricating or purchasing a new piece of furniture constructed in OSB will allow you to manoeuvre it better without sacrificing in quality or durability. This is ideal for large pieces of furniture like this shelving unit, a bookcase, or a wardrobe. You can choose to leave the OSB bare for a decorative touch as we’ve seen here, or you can simply paint over it. In the latter case, just be sure to sand and apply a couple of coats of finish before painting.
OSB is highly resilient, which is why it is used so often in construction projects. Once sanded and treated with a few coats of floor finish, OSB creates a very hard-wearing surface. Made up of around 50 layers of material and sealed with wax adhesive, OSB is water resistant all across the board.
OSB is used in construction largely because it can stand up against the elements. This is consistently the case with OSB materials. That is why it makes a great floor for high traffic areas of your home. For example, this kitchen by Granorte would be ideal for a large family with children and pets – the OSB won’t flinch at the sight of spills or scuffs.
Orientated strand board is not only cost effective, it's also environmentally sustainable. This is because OSB can be made of recycled pieces of wood. When it is created from fresh lumber, OSB is a type of wood material that uses the majority of wood fibres in its formation process. Plus, the trees used are typically farm raised, which means that OSB production does not necessitate cutting down trees in forests. With OSB you can lower your carbon footprint while also acquiring an aesthetically pleasing new style.
Speaking of aesthetic appeal, OSB can be used for decorative purposes. With the right finish, it can be a smooth surface with a fascinating design. Further, each board of OSB is completely unique given that it is made from thousands of individual wood shavings.
OSB works for walls and floors as we have seen in the above photos, but it is also becoming increasingly popular in furniture. For instance, this handmade table uses OSB to add rough and ready character to the classic retro shape of the table top. OSB can also come in darker shades if made with different wood or covered in another type of finish. For this reason, OSB is highly versatile and can be paired with a multitude of different colours.
Something we haven’t delved into yet is the benefit of using OSB for its more traditional purpose as a construction tool. OSB is typically used to sheath the metal frames of buildings, but why is this so? Well, OSB has emerged on the market as a cheaper, more durable, and sustainable alternative to plywood. It comes in large sheets, is weather resistant, and strong.
Additionally, OSB is a highly versatile material because manufacturers can alter the material to fit the needs of the construction team. This is useful because it allows construction companies to tweak the OSB to fit different climates. OSB can also help to lower the costs of building a new home.
While we’ve already discussed the fact that OSB makes for a durable floor, it also adds a creative modern touch to a room. For example, this living room with a photo of a dapper gentleman and a brick fireplace would look much more traditional paired with a darker hardwood. Instead, the look is youthful and fun.
OSB is an excellent way of adding a bit of upcycled chic to your space, as the boards are often used and then disposed of. Alternatively, you might have OSB beneath your existing hardwood. Opting for the OSB below is an environmentally friendly and economic solution to swapping out your worn hardwood for something else over the top of the OSB. The possibilities just go on and on!
If you found this article useful, check out these six ideas for innovative flooring. Happy decorating!