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Innovation Abounds Among OSB, Plywood And Lumber

Though often seen as commodity products, the categories of wood structural panels (OSB and plywood) and lumber are not short on innovation—and they’re categories where educated dealers can truly serve their customers.

Manufacturers continue to unveil improvements on these wood staples, along with offering fresh ways to keep pros informed on best practices, design, and application. Though trade articles often wage an either/or scenario with plywood and OSB, both can be used in similar residential applications.

OSB holds the majority share of the structural panels market for residential construction, in part due to its lower price point. But plywood’s premium finish and advantage on the moisture front give it a stronghold in markets that have always used it and always will.

Plywood manufacturers are increasingly supplying panels for industrial applications such as concrete forming, for doors and windows, furniture manufacturing, and more.

“What we would recommend is that dealers talk with their customers,” says Judy Haney, plywood sales manager for Boise. “Find out what their customers want, what they need, and why. They may be surprised that builder preference changes over time, partly related to what they’re building, where they’re building, where they have to transport it, market pricing, and other factors. There are many considerations, and the more a dealer understands what a customer wants and needs in a structural panel the better prepared they’ll be to fill those needs.”

From LBM Journal:

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