A Tilson home exterior during the framing process

What is OSB and What Does it Do?

At Tilson, we choose materials that will contribute to the structural rigidity and longevity of your home. So, we use OSB for its consistency, sustainability, strength, and the increase in home performance it provides.

OSB, or Oriented Strand Board, is a type of manufactured plywood. Instead of being one solid piece, it uses small pieces of wood that are aligned to run in different directions. The material is coated with epoxy adhesives to lock the parts in place. Finally, it is subjected to tremendous pressure and rolled to the thicknesses used for roofing, walls, and flooring.

Since it's made from small pieces of wood, OSB can be made from fast-growth, smaller trees, such as poplars. These small-diameter trees can be sustainably farmed, which is better for the environment.

Its manufacturing process makes OSB more uniform and stronger than conventional plywood. It also has fewer soft spots. These traits allow larger panel sizes of OSB that resist shear better than plywood. When using OSB, you also avoid plywood's tendency to delaminate in hot climates.

Tilson uses 7/16" OSB wrap statewide to help build sturdier and more durable homes. Using OSB sheathing to wrap the entire house exterior creates a more rigid structure. This creates a more consistent, smoother surface to apply masonry and siding as opposed to bare stud walls with diagonal 1x4 cut-ins.

OSB wrap can also increase your home's energy efficiency. It creates a thermal envelope that greatly affects your family's comfort levels and utility costs. The thermal envelope prevents heat transfer from the interior of a house to its exterior in winter and vice versa in summer. The OSB wrap, coupled with Tyvek on Tilson homes, acts as a layer that helps prevent heat transfer and limits airborne noise caused by joint leaks, gaps, or voids.

Many builders still use plywood or only use OSB wrap in windstorm areas where it's required by code. Tilson makes a conscious effort not to take shortcuts and uses full 7/16" OSB wrap statewide. This same mentality has allowed us to deliver the highest quality homes in Texas for the better part of a century. Learn more about our framing process with our Senior Vice President, and see behind the scenes footage of a build.


"With Tilson, we were able to walk in and get exactly what we wanted without any hassle"

— Amanda Srubar, El Campo

"Tilson's Easybuy program helped us out tremendously"

— Rita Middletown, Montgomery

"Tilson's quality of homes exceeded our expectations, it's everything we've dreamed about."

— Michael and Gina Boren, San Antonio

"The materials that they used are quality, they build a sound house and as a result, our electric bills are cheaper.  Our home is 2x the size of our last home, but our utility bills are cheaper."

— Sandra Fithian, Springtown

"Tilson puts their very best quality in all the homes they build."

— Greg and Barbara Nefford, Blanco

"The no construction loan helped a lot financially. We didn't have to dip into our retirement savings to front all the money to get started on our home. "

— Sandra Fithian, Springtown

"The whole experience was just a joy!"

— Charles and Eddayln Bailey, Kerrville

"Building our house was the most rewarding experience and we've had absolutely no problems."

— Carl and Vicki Luckenbach, Fredericksburg

"We've had absolutely nothing go wrong with the house for the 14 years that we've had it. We've had zero in the way of issues so we figured for our next home - no sense in fighting success!"

— Eugene Duffy and Karen Reed, Helotes

"Anytime we know someone who is getting ready to build, we tell them you're making a mistake if they don't talk to someone at Tilson first."

— Michael and Debora Shields, Boerne

"Everyone at the model home center was friendly and courteous and we loved our experience there.  It was why we came back to Tilson. "

— Bill and Patty Whigham, Crockett