OSB Vs CDX: Which Wood Board Should You Choose?

Tiling the house’s inner surfaces with wood boards has become a popular trend for many people. This style brings a natural but premium look to the house. However, if you can’t afford to buy original wood tiles, laminate boards are not a bad choice. 

This article will show a detailed comparison of OSB vs CDX, two popular industrial wood types in the market, and then you can pick your favorite style. 

An Overview Of OSB And CDX

As mentioned, OSB and CDX are two industrial wood types that are used a lot in housing. So, why do we call them OSB and CDX, and what are their materials?


OSB stands for ‘oriented strand board’; it is made by compressing lots of tiny wood pieces with water, glue, and wax into thin boards. Therefore, we don’t need to use big trees to produce OSB. Instead, small trees that are easy to grow and harvest are enough.



This material is also called plywood. In the abbreviation CDX, C and D stand for the quality grades. These letters seem to refer to the average or low levels, but the quality of plywood is significant. ‘X’ stands for ‘exposure.’ This is to say, a CDX board can resist a certain level of moisture (but not wet).


OSB Vs CDX Wood Board: Detail Comparison


OSB wood is made from lots of wood chips. These chips are formed by cutting logs into small strips with the required dimensions. After that, workers make stacks of wood chips layers, then add some chemicals before compressing. The proportion of adhesive substances in OSB is 5%. 

For the whole production of OSB wood, see this video published by Mktg BD: Oriented Strand Board  – How it is made

The production of CDX wood is similar to OSB. However, instead of making wood layers with consistent quality, manufacturers put a C-grade layer on one side and a D-grade tile on the other. That’s why we have the name CDX. Sometimes, one of the two kinds is used for the core layers, and the other is for the outers. 


Both materials are excellent for home decorating. However, CDX is sturdier and more consistent than OSB, although OSB wood is a little heavier. Next, excessive resin on an OSB board often makes this industrial wood more challenging for nails and screws, which we don’t usually see on a CDX panel. 


However, OSB dominates the other in moisture-resistant ability. This wood can stand against humid conditions for a period, and water may take a long time to penetrate it. On the other hand, CDX wood absorbs water and is easier to swell, although it may dry out quickly under the sun or by the wind.


There are four kinds of OSB wood numbered from 1 to 4. The number 1 is mainly used for furniture put in dry conditions, while the highest grade is used for outer surfaces that frequently contact moisture or sun. 

For a detailed description and specification of OSB wood, please refer to this article.

On the other hand, because the letters C and D refer to CDX wood’s quality, this material is mainly categorized by size and thickness. If you go to the manufacturer, you are often offered CDX boards with a thickness of 3/8, 1/2, 5/8, and 3/4 inches. 

OSB And CDX: Which Material Should You Choose?

Both are excellent materials, but it is hard to say which one is better under all circumstances.

CDX seems to be the higher-quality wood, but OSB is the better one for humid conditions. Therefore, CDX is mainly used for furniture and objects, while we can see most laminate floors or outer walls made of OSB. 



Can we use CDX instead of OSB?

Yes, but make sure you don’t intend to use CDX panels in a humid environment. In that case, these two materials are interchangeable because they are both industrial wood made with similar processes and have some common characteristics.

Can we use OSB for subfloors?

OSB wood is an excellent choice for subflooring. Although it is not as strong as CDX, OSB is cheaper and made in larger units that significantly reduce installation costs. 

If you want to know the pros and cons of OSB flooring, click here

Is OSB waterproofing?

OSB is better than CDX in humid conditions, but it doesn’t mean this wood is waterproof. OSB has glue and resin in the content but no water-resistance layer on any surface. Therefore, if water has enough time to penetrate OSB, this wood will swell.


In conclusion, comparing OSB vs CDX may not show us which wood board material is better, but when we should opt for either of them. If you think this article is helpful, share it with your friends, colleagues, and relatives.