Thermo Ply Vs OSB : Which Is Perfect For You?

Among construction materials, people get acquainted with several building materials. Among them thermos-ply and OSB (Oriented Strand Board) are famous engineered wood. Because both these materials are great as boards, they almost have the same features. Yet, a comparison between thermo ply Vs OSB reveals a lot of prominent differences that they carry.

The Primal Differences

Even though both thermo-ply and OSB contribute to construction and building-making jobs, the former works as a management system for moisture and thermal resistance. The latter is mostly a master for sheathing and it is not concerned about controlling moisture in the weather. However, OSB has multiple uses, unlike thermo-ply for its impressive strength. But for exterior sheathing, OSB cannot beat thermo-ply wood. Also, because OSB is almost made with heavy toxic chemicals, thermos-ply offers way better eco-friendly service than the former.

Apart from these prominent differences, there are more that defines their individuality. Both come and offer their benefits and drawbacks. That’s why do not decide your bias just yet. See this comparison table and discussion onwards to help yourself to have more knowledge about them.

Quick Comparison Table Between Thermo Ply Vs OSB

UseFor constructionFor construction
StrengthMore                    Less

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What Is Thermo-Ply Used for?

Thermo Ply

For sheathing jobs in the construction of a building, the use of thermos-ply is huge. Its flexibility allows it to have different designs for the making of sheaths. Also, it’s easier to work with thermos-ply boards as they are incredibly lightweight.

For durability, thermos-ply boards have already won so many hearts of users with their powerful cellulosic fiber. The best fact about this thermos-ply wood is its way of controlling air and moisture. It works as the best barrier to moisture and thus keeps the interior healthy.

For both exterior and interior use, thermo-ply wood is great to provide its service. This engineered wood panel can stand huge hassles with its properly-made structure. The wood chips within it are properly bonded with high-quality adhesive which is water-resistant.

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Things We Liked about Thermo-Ply

  • The polymer of it assures its ability to provide great protection
  • Comes with an air barrier agent and works as a waterproofing component too
  • Structured with high-strength cellulosic fibers for a strong settlement
  • Its components are eco-friendly and offer three different types of thermo-ply

Things We Didn’t Like about Thermo-Ply

  • A little bit expensive

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What Is OSB Used for?

Oriented strand board

OSB which stands for oriented strand board is another great engineered wood panel that mostly contributes to the sheathing. This wood panel is structured in such a way that it assures its durability and capability to a great extent. With the help of wood scraps, people make OSB.

The cross-grain pattern of the surface of this OSB panel looks also amazing. To make the whole panel strong, several layers of wood scraps are used in a rectangular manner. Besides, from width and length, OSB will not disappoint you. But OSB panels cannot control the moisture efficiently though it has the ability to act as a barrier to air.

You will not be overtly disappointed using OSB wood panels but you need to choose a dry space for using these panels. This way you would not have trouble regarding moisture. But because some people use it in damp places, OSB panels don’t survive long in such places.

Things We Liked about OSB

  • Comes in a great price range
  • A great cross-grain pattern makes the panel look beautiful
  • Offers impressive durability and perfect sheathing material
  • Assists in other multiple jobs and proves its versatility

Things We Didn’t Like about OSB

  • Does not come with a waterproof agent
  • Lacks in strength and durability

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Difference between Thermo-ply and OSB

Thermo Ply Vs OSB

Thermos-ply and OSB, as two sheathing materials for commercial or residential construction, have many similarities. Yet, their differences make them distinct from each other. Despite their engineered structure, they vary from each other in different aspects. Now it’s time to discuss their differences to get ourselves to the conclusion.

Structural Difference

There is a lot of difference in the structure of both thermos-ply and OSB wood panels. The former comes with great celluloid and high-strength fibers. Besides it is almost the better version of OSB. Conversely, OSB panels are structured not as strongly as thermos-ply panels. Its celluloid and fibers are not strong enough to compare with thermos-ply.

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From the structural differences, you can already tell that it is thermos-ply that lasts longer than OSB. That’s why even though people simultaneously use both wood panels, for exterior sheathing, it is hard for OSB to beat thermos-ply panels. Even the lowest grade of thermo-ply performs pretty well and survive longer than OSB.


In terms of versatility, we cannot deny that both thermo-ply and OSB have great potential. There are three grades of thermo-ply available in the market and each of them is top-notch. What is more significant about it thermo-ply cardboard to its panels, has extraordinary versatility to fight hassles.

On the other hand, OSB is not that much weak compared to thermo-ply. People have been using this as a traditional material for constructing commercial or residential buildings. In fact, OSB offers a lot of advantages apart from contributing to sheathing only.

Resistant to Water

Moisture is a great problem as it seems to dampen the buildings. And that’s why thermo-ply panels are structured to control this problem to keep the interior of the building safe and healthy. There are a lot of types of thermo-ply active in the market, but mostly DR Horton thermo-ply is what most experts suggest.

However, OSB does not offer you such amazing benefits efficiently and that’s why many people get demotivated to adopt OSB. Yet you can get a little amount of water-resistant benefit from OSB if you trade it in a trustworthy shop. But over time, an OSB panel seems to absorb moisture and swell and at a point bursts and create an unhealthy interior.

Air Barrier and Waterproof

Thermo-ply is beneficial because they prevent air to damage the building and also has a waterproofing agent. As a result, between exterior thermo-ply sheathing Vs OSB, people overlook the trivial thermo-ply problems and adopt it for its top-notch service. Conversely, OSB cannot act as an air barrier and it legit does not have any waterproofing agents.

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Size and Weight

You will be glad to hear that you can have custom sizes of thermo-ply wood according to your requirements. Meanwhile, OSB does not provide you with such an offer. It almost comes with a fixed size and its overlapped stack of wood makes it weighs much more than thermo-ply.


Thermo-ply has great natural agents in it and also you will find recycled components in it. All this makes thermo-ply more convenient for nature and its eco-friendliness is evident here. But OSB is mostly made with poisonous components like formaldehyde and this affects badly on eco-friendly nature.    


Thermo-ply sheathing price is obviously higher than OSB. OX thermo-ply price is also high. Similarly, red thermo-ply offers great sheathing and naturally, it also asks for a high price. Conversely, you can get OSB in less price range.

So, which one is better?

It is now evident that thermo-ply wins as the best construction material compared to OSB. If you don’t want to look into the budget and proper care for both your interior and exterior wall, adopt thermo-ply cardboard or panels without any second thought.

But if you think that your area is less exposed to rainy season or moisture, and want to have budget-friendly sheathing on your exterior wall, then go for OSB without hesitation.


Is thermo-ply sheathing good?

The thermo-ply sheathing is in fact very good for exterior walls. It can control moisture professionally and works as an air barrier. Besides, the long-lasting service will save you money to a great extent.

What is the best sheathing system for a house?

The ancient or mostly, traditional sheathing system for a house was made from OSB. Today, most people acknowledge thermo-ply wood to sheath their exterior walls to get the sheer advantage of waterproofing and moisture-resistant agents.

Which is better OSB or plywood?

In several aspects, OSB performs better than plywood. The former has better strength, durability, and shear values than the latter.

Is zip system better than plywood?

A zip system is the new advantageous way of keeping your wall protected. It is way better than plywood as the zip system does not require hard work for installation. It has simple ways of application and that saves a lot of energy and time.