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SterlingOSB Zero FAQs

Yes, in fact OSB3 15mm has the same strength properties as 18mm P5 chipboard flooring. In addition, 18mm OSB3 can be a substitute for 22mm P5.

Absolutely – OSB flooring is used successfully throughout Europe. If using a battened floating floor, you must ensure that battens are used for the substructure and are appropriately spaced at 400mm centres for 15mm and up to 600mm for 18mm.

All floating floors will need to use a DPM (damp proof membrane).

SterlingOSB Zero does everything that softwood plywood does and has many additional benefits:

  • OSB is more environmentally friendly
  • OSB generally costs slightly less
  • OSB is homegrown and is always available
  • OSB performs consistently well – plywood has variable performance
  • OSB has no core gaps, voids or weak spots

OSB stands for ‘Oriented Strand Board’ – in layman’s terms this means strands of timber that are laid in cross directional layers and mechanically pressed to form a structurally engineered board. Oriented Strand Board (OSB) is an engineered wood-based panel designed for construction and other industrial use. SterlingOSB Zero or ‘Sterling Board’ as it is often called is one of Europe’s most widely used and trusted structural panels.

Yes! Our OSB3 board is available T&G, ideal for many jobs such as roofing, timber frame and flooring.

OSB3 is moisture resistant, suitable for use in humid conditions. For use outdoors where the OSB will be exposed long-term, a protective varnish or coating should be used to protect the panel. 

Our OSB3 is BBA certified, OSB3 is certified for load bearing in humid conditions. Manufactured to EN300 and EN 13986.

SterlingOSB Zero can do the same jobs softwood plywood can – including roofing, timber framing, hoarding, boarding up and sheds. OSB has the benefit of having no weak spots and a high board strength thanks to the 50 layers and cross-oriented strands that make up the board. 

8mm – 112 boards

9mm — 100 boards

11mm – 82 boards

15mm – 60 boards

18mm – 50 boards

22mm – 40 boards

25mm – 36 boards

All our product safety data sheets can be found in our resource library, where you can filter by product. Click here to go there now. 

Yes, OSB can be painted using oil-based paints. 

OSB should be laid with the black print side facing downwards. 

The resin now used to bind the flakes of our SterlingOSB Zero boards now contains zero-added formaldehyde. This means the board is “greener” – using less resin and more wood, and safer with less emissions compared to standard OSB. 

The technical and physical properties of SterlingOSB Zero are the same as the previous OSB – all meeting standards.  SterlingOSB Zero is paler in colour and also significantly smoother on the surface – this means that it no longer needs to be sanded for GRP systems. 

  • Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring substance. It can be added to food as a preservative, and also can be produced as the result of cooking and smoking.
  • In high doses it is suspected that it may cause cancer.
  • Many resins used to manufacture wood panel products are formaldehyde based.
  • SterlingOSB Zero is made with resins that do not contain formaldehyde therefore its is more environmentally friendly and consistent.

Definitely not. The previous SterlingOSB had low levels of formaldehyde and was compliant with formaldehyde Class E1.

It complies with E1 Formaldehyde classification. 

  • No, it does not. The board is made to the same standard (EN300 & EN13986).
  • The board’s performance remains the same and should be used as it was before. 
  • It is still perfect for structural applications including roofing, flooring, dry lining and timber frames. For more information, click here.

No, the new mill produces the boards to a much tighter tolerance and sanding is not required. The new board has a smooth surface which has been tested with various coatings: e.g. GRP (Tuff Stuff & Cure It), rubber and felt, and performs well using the natural board without sanding. 

When choosing a coating system, the desired longevity, decorative effect and level of maintenance should be considered. Priming and top coating with a spirit based coating, as directed by the manufacturers, will give the highest quality finish. Where the final appearance is less important, water-based products may be used. These may cause some slight swelling of the surface wafers emphasising their outline. Small test areas are recommended and manufacturers’ guidelines on applications should always be followed.

If requires SterlingOSB Zero can be treated further to protect against fungal and insect attack. It is recommended that a 3-minute dip cycle rather than a double vacuum cycle should be used in preference to a water-based system.

CaberFloor FAQs

Yes. When using our Joint&Joist glue, this practice reduces the chance of squeaking associated with joist shrinkage. Gluing the panel allows the board to move with the joist.

Yes, our CaberDek and CaberShieldPlus flooring panels are both BBA approved when installed using out CaberFix adhesives and/or tape, and as per instructions. 

When laid in accordance with our fixing instructions CaberDek and CaberShieldPlus provide a safe working platform during construction prior to roof installment. CaberDek is protected from weather and dirt for up to 42 days, while CaberShieldPlus has full BBA approval for 60 days exposure.

We recommend that both panels are laid, fixed and joints sealed in dry conditions. If excessive wetting occurs, ensure that any ‘ponding’ is cleared. Also ensure all board joints and perimeters are taped using CaberFix tape or X-treme tape (for CaberDek) or CaberFix D4 glue (for CaberShieldPlus). 

They are both very strong and design for fixing chipboard flooring. Joint&Joist is a mastic glue whereas D4 is a foaming glue.

Joint & Joist is slightly flexible, ensuring a silent floor, with good cohesion strength. This required a skeleton gun and can require additional products (tape) to seal the flooring.

CaberFix D4 forms a brittle bond line and is less flexible. However, it omits the need for tape as the glue can also be used to seal the edges of the boards. The bottle is hand-held and provides a one-bottle solution for all sealing and fixing – no need for tape!

18mm panels – 80 boards

22mm panels – 66 boards

Taping joints provides superior moisture protection compared to glue alone. Taping the perimeter ensures the BBA guarantee is valid on the floor and provides protection from moisture and construction mess. 

We have a CaberFix Pro fixing kit available designed to comprehensively cover 50m² area. This equates to approximately 35 boards (or roughly half a pack).

6 rolls of tape would be needed to secure and entire pack of boards. 

Recommended expansion gap is 2mm per metre run. The usual practice is to leave this gap at the perimeter so it can be covered by skirting boards.

A 2mm gap must also be provided at any abutments, i.e. internal partitions, door thresholds or pillars.

The immediate effect would be a more “springy” floor. It is not expected that failure would occur in domestic circumstances, however it must be recognised that NHBC guarantees may not apply and hence the client may wish to put the floor in order. This would be our recommendation in this instance.

Our particleboard flooring panels should be laid text-side up.

It is common in new build situations for boards to increase in moisture content. Fortunately, this behaviour is predictable and as a guide an increase in moisture of 3% increases length and width by 0.1%. This is normal and given building operations continue 12 months per year – levels do tend to be higher in October to March in the UK compared to the summer months. Typical levels of moisture content in flooring panels in an unheated building tend to be up to 15%. Intermittent heating will typically reduce this level to 9% to 12% and a typical further reduction would be 7% to 9% in a continuously centrally heated space.

For water exposure during construction, wipe dry as soon as possible. If water is a future concern, consider one of our waterproof chipboard flooring solutions – CaberDek or CaberShieldPlus.

The durability of CaberFloor P5 Moisture Resistant is excellent. This is due to specially developed melamine fortified resins being used during the construction process.

On exposure to intermittent rain and dampness the product retains a high percentage of its original strength. It is recommended that CaberFloor is installed in dry conditions. It is important to understand that CaberFloor P5 is not ‘waterproof’ and should never be used as such.

For all first floor and above applications, 22mm CaberBoard flooring should be used (CaberFloor P5, CaberDek or CaberShieldPlus). This satisfies building control and NHBC requirements.

In connection with joist centres, the maximum spans are 450mm for 18mm and 600mm for 22mm. These are for domestic applications only.

It is more usual to use 400 or 600mm joist spacing as they “fit” the most commonly used board lengths of 2400mm.

For a silent floor we recommend use of our Joint&Joist adhesive to glue boards to joists (5 times stronger than nails). Alternatively, our one-bottle solution CaberFix D4 can be used for all panel fixing and sealing.

However panels can also be screwed or nailed to joists, battens or existing timber floors. Panels should be nailed at 200 – 300mm centres along the edges and 300mm elsewhere along the joists. Fixing should be at least 9mm from the edge of the panel and nails should be 10 gauge.

In practice this equates to 3 fixings on short ends and 2 fixings at intermediate joist positions. When gluing boards with Joint & Joist, only 5 fixings per board are required, one at each joist position.

Yes – CaberFloor P5, CaberDek and CaberShieldPlus all meet the requirements of latest E1 definition when tested according to EN120.

Our board are designed to be laid the right way up. The floor will not be a strong if upside-down, even if correct adhesives have been used.


Yes – CaberMDF all meet the requirements of latest E1 definition when tested according to EN120.

No – this is a common myth, all wood related products create dust when cut or machined. We advise the use of appropriate PPE and ventilation when machining, cutting, drilling, sawing any timber product including MDF. For further information on working with MDF and wood panels, download our MSDS sheet.

Most types of screws can be used. Best results are obtained with parallel thread screws.

Product / Application General purpose joinery Simple designs with minimal profile Humid conditions Architectural mouldings – skirting architraves Deep routed profiles
(e.g. membrane pressed PVC doors)
Designs with advanced deep routed profiles and painted finishes
CaberMDF Trade        
CaberMDF Trade MR
CaberMDF Pro      
CaberMDF Pro MR    
CaberMDF Industrial

Yes, you can paint onto MDF using oil-based paints. 

CaberMDF is available in five main grades – Trade (Light), Pro (Standard), Trade Moisture Resistant, Pro Moisture Resistant and Industrial. Colour is a means of identification between the MR and non-MR grades and does not correlate to the board performance.

Trade, Pro and Industrial grades are the traditional ‘sandy’ colour, whereas Pro Moisture Resistant and Trade Moisture Resistant are distinguished by a green identification dye.

We do not currently produce this product. We do, however, make a fire-resistant OSB – SterlingOSB Zero Fire Solutions.

We do not currently produce this thickness of MDF. We currently go down to 6mm.

General FAQs

All our product safety data sheets can be found in our resource library, where you can filter by product. Click here to go there now. 

Our products can be found in builders merchants and distributors across the UK and Northern Ireland. For details, see our stockists page. For search by postcode, please visit the individual merchants’ website. 

Yes, all of West Fraser’s wood panels can be recycled where wood recycling facilities are available.

Housebuilders FAQs

A distinct advantage of the weatherproof CaberDek and CaberShieldPlus P5 chipboard flooring panels is the ability for the products to be laid in various weather conditions. Dryness can’t always be guaranteed, but our weatherproof flooring panels can be laid in damp conditions meaning less time wasted on the build.

Yes. Our products are available from UK distributors of engineered floors and are compatible with I Joist and metal web joists within their designs.

One of the biggest benefits of West Fraser’s chipboard products is the security and stability whatever the weather. The CaberDek® flooring panel comes with a 42-day weather resistance guarantee and the CaberShieldPlus® P5 chipboard panel offers and impressive 60 days of weather resistance when laid in accordance with fitting instructions.

Yes. The CaberDek protective film is a solid compound, not a woven product and will not cause this issue.

Carbon negative FAQs

All our products manufactured in Europe have been certified as net carbon negative.

This is when more carbon is removed from the atmosphere than is emitted and locked up into long term storage. This should be is the ultimate goal for businesses of all sizes.

Carbon negative is better than being carbon neutral. Some manufacturing emits more CO2e into the atmosphere than it locks up in the product it’s making. This is carbon positive and is contributing to climate change. Being carbon neutral means the CO2e being emitted is equal to the CO2e locked up. Net Carbon negative is where more CO2e is locked into the product than is emitted in manufacturing them.

Carbon dioxide (known as CO2) is a greenhouse gas that is produced by almost everything humans do. It increases the amount of heat that is trapped in the atmosphere, one of the major causes of climate change.

‘Carbon dioxide equivalent’ or ‘CO2e’ is a term for describing different greenhouse gases in a common unit. For any quantity and type of greenhouse gas, CO2e signifies the amount of CO2 which would have the equivalent global warming impact.

In simple terms, we lock up more CO2e in our UK made products than we emit making them.

To be certified net carbon negative, our data from 3 years was analysed.

A lot of data analysis! Data was collated and evaluated by independent consultants and then verified by independent certified verifiers. This data included cradle to (customer) gate, including scope 1 (Direct Emissions), scope 2 (Energy Indirect) and scope 3 (Indirect) data. To be net carbon negative, the sum of the greenhouse gas emissions (not just carbon, but carbon equivalents too like HCFCs) needs to be less than the carbon sequestered by our activities (in our case, the carbon locked into wood for the long term).

West Fraser’s panel products are predominantly made of wood which naturally absorb carbon as part of its natural life cycle. In the UK, SterlingOSB Zero sequesters 828kg CO2e per cubic metre.

We sequester (lock up) 1.18 million tonnes of CO2e per year.

828kg of CO2e is sequestered per m3 of SterlingOSB Zero made in the UK.

74% of our primary energy use is from renewable sources. We use 1.5 million metric tons of biomass every year for energy, mostly from process residues – that’s the equivalent of about two million barrels of oil.

At a corporate level, a journey towards sustainability across all areas is underway. This is led at board level and includes impacts like water use, waste, resource efficiency, energy conservation, transport etc.

Norbord’s net carbon negative status applies from cradle to gate, so everything from a tree growing, being harvested, raw material production, transport to West Fraser’s UK sites, production, waste, and transport of our products to our customers’ gates.

In the EU it was a consultancy called Wood. This was independently verified and certified  by the international EPD system Secretariat in Sweden.

The fewer carbon emissions we produce, the better it is for the planet. Without action, global warming will irreparably damage the planet.

The UK government has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050. This target will require the UK to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

Our engineered wood panel products can help UK construction comply with net zero targets. The carbon negative value of Norbord’s products can be used by building designers to off-set the operational emissions of a building. By 2030, all new buildings, infrastructure and renovations will have at least 40% less embodied carbon with significant upfront carbon reduction, and all new buildings will be net zero operational carbon. By 2050, new buildings, infrastructure and renovations will have net zero embodied carbon, and all buildings, including existing buildings must be net zero operational carbon.

In-depth life-cycle assessments (LCA) of carbon emissions in buildings is giving rise to growing advice to the building sector to design and build with wood as a replacement for concrete and steel due to their high levels of embodied carbon.

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