Since the inception of LP Legacy® premium sub-flooring, LP has committed to putting the panels through rigorous, and sometimes extreme, testing beyond industry requirements to truly measure and showcase the product’s superior moisture resistance, strength, and stiffness. This mission continued at the University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center, where wood scientists tested LP Legacy panels alongside commodity OSB and plywood in a four-phase, 14-month study designed to simulate the potential extremes of a real jobsite and wear in a finished home.

“Typical tests for OSB look at strength and stiffness; they’re usually really quick and can be done in a lab in an hour. But none truly emulate the conditions you’re going to see in the real world,” says Brian St. Germain, Director of Technology at LP. “What we’re trying to do with this testing is to show builders that this high-performance OSB panel will actually perform better.”

The study consisted of four phases:

  1. Fastener holding capacity tested by creating small-scale floors of oak hardwood flooring stapled to the sub-floor and pulled off with a specially designed test jig. LP Legacy offered a 35% higher withdrawal capacity compared to the other two subjects.
  2. Testers subjected the panels to a simulated rainstorm for eight hours, brought the panels back down to their original moisture content for 48 hours, and then repeated the process two more times. LP Legacy took two and a half times longer to absorb the moisture compared to the other two products, and once again had the highest fastener holding capacity.
  3. For Phase 3, testers simulated seasonal moisture variations that exist in most homes by taking the samples from the Phase 2 wetting cycle, attaching hardwood flooring, and cycling between moisture extremes in a conditioning chamber. After nearly a year, the LP Legacy sub-flooring panels had no significant dimensional changes.
  4. Finally, the panels underwent a 50,000-step-load simulation. Testers looked for floor squeaks, as well as the withdrawal capacity of fasteners after all of the exposures. After four phases of testing, LP Legacy showed no reduction in fastener capacity.

“After all of the exposures, the repeated wetting, the repeated hydrothermal cycling, and the repeated loading, the fastener capacity of Legacy OSB has virtually remained unchanged,” reports Benjamin Herzog, a Wood Technologist for University of Maine who was conducting the tests.