In addition to dimension lumber, other wood products in the form of sheets and panels are used in wood-frame construction. Plywood, oriented strand board and waferboard, for example, are used to add stiffness to the structural components of the roof, wall and floor, apart from forming a uniform surface for the application of other materials. Fibreboard, parti-cleboard and hardboard are also used in many aspects of interior and exterior finishing.
Plywood, one of the most commonly and extensively used wood products, is used in constructing the shell (subfloor, roof sheathing, and so on), exterior finishing, some interior finishing and cabinetry.
Plywood is made of thin layers or plies of wood glued together with the grain of each ply running in a counter direction. Common thicknesses range from 1/4 to 3/4 in. (6.0 to 18.5 mm). Like dimension lumber, plywood is graded for particular uses. Douglas fir plywood (DFP) and Canadian softwood plywood (CSP) are the two most common softwood plywoods produced. All sheathing grade plywood, waferboard and oriented strand board is made with an exterior grade glue. Pre-oiled or overlaid plywood is used for concrete form-work.
Waferboard has the same use as plywood: subflooring, roof sheathing and wall sheathing. Waferboard is made of wide wood shavings and glued together.
Oriented strand board (OSB) is similar in appearance to waferboard, but uses strands instead of wafers. The strands are mechanically oriented in layers, with the outer layers running parallel to the long dimension of the sheet, and the inner layers having a random or cross alignment. OSB is primari ly used for roof or wal I sheathing, sub-flooring, siding and the webs of wood I-joists.
Fibreboard is made of wood fibres bonded together under pressure. It is available both in a plain and an asphalt-impregnated form. The impregnated version is used primarily for wall sheathing.
Particleboard is generally used in underlay or interior finishing such as shelving and other cabinetry. Often covered with a plastic laminate or other protective and decorative material, it is used to manufacture cabinet doors. The same material is often used as the base for plain or preformed kitchen countertops.
Hardboard is made of wood fibre, like fibreboard, but is denser and harder. It is present in many furniture and cabinetry products. Hardboard siding with a prefinished colour is an alternative to wood, vinyl or aluminum siding. Large panels with prefinished and textured surfaces are often used to create special effects inside or outside the building.
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