Back to Basics: Prevent Buckling with Proper Spacing

Printer-friendly versionSend by email

APA - The Engineered Wood Association introduces the first article in its Builder Tips series of publications.

December 30, 2013

Photo credit: APA - The Engineered Wood Association

Like all wood products, plywood and oriented strand board (OSB) will expand or shrink slightly with changes in moisture content. If wood structural panels are tightly butted, leaving no room for expansion, buckling can occur. While buckling is not a structural deficiency, it may result in aesthetic or serviceability issues, such as the appearance of wavy roofs and walls or uneven floors. This can mean costly, time-consuming callbacks.

To avoid buckling, follow this simple guideline: Install plywood and OSB with a 1/8-inch space between panel edge and end joints. Determining proper spacing is as easy as keeping a 10d box nail handy; slip the nail in between panels, snugly but not forced, and if it stays put, you’ve created the proper gap.

First and foremost, always follow recommendations and installation requirements from the manufacturer for the panels and application you’re installing.

This how-to article is part of the Builder Tips series of publications from APA-The Engineered Wood Association. To view more helpful strategies, visit www.apawood.org/buildertips.
 

Comments on: "Back to Basics: Prevent Buckling with Proper Spacing"

August 2016

This Month in Professional Builder

Products
Features

Builders and architects say the best way to persuade them to try a new product is by showing how it performs.

Overlay Init