Norbord structural panels are to be installed according to the APA’s (The Engineered Wood Association) Construction Guide E30V (downloadable PDF available in APA Publications section) and the appropriate building code. Below are some key installation points.

Solarbord on Roofs

  1. Make sure rafter alignment is uniform and square.
  2. Allow a minimum of 1/8” spacing between ends and edges of panels.
  3. Check local building codes for roof ventilation requirements.
  4. For maximum performance, protect Solarbord panels from moisture prior to and during installation. Exposure to certain moisture conditions could result in development of mould & mildew.
  5. Place Solarbord Radiant Barrier Sheathing panels on rafters – foil side facing down, toward the attic air space.
  6. Do not allow insulation or other materials to come in contact with foiled surface of Solarbord. Maintain minimum 3/4” airspace. The use of baffles may be required to maintain the air space.
  7. Use 8d nails to fasten Solarbord panels to rafters at a minimum of 6″ on center at supported panel ends and edges, and 12″ on center at intermediate supports.  Check your local building codes.
  8. Cover roof as soon as possible with shingle underlayment (or #15 roofing felt) to protect panels from weather. If construction delays are anticipated, cover with #30 roofing felt.
  9. Allow Solarbord Radiant Barrier Sheathing to adjust to atmospheric conditions before installing shingles. (Heavier weight or textured shingles provide better performance than lightweight fiberglass shingles.)
  10. Fastener spacing*

Solarbord on Gables

  1. Install the Solarbord panels with foil side facing in, toward the attic space.
  2. Allow 3/4″ air space between foiled surface and all other building materials in the attic.
  3. Maintain 1/8″ spacing between panel ends and edges.
  4. Keep Solarbord panels protected from the elements prior to, during and after installation.
  5. Make sure the support alignment is uniform and square.
  6. Fastener spacing*

*Consult your local building codes for local requirements and specifications and the APA Construction Guide E30V

Click here for the APA web site

Download our free app called Onsite.  I-Phones and I-Pads can download from the Apple store and Android devices from Google Play.   Great while on the jobsite or training new employees, the app has lots of videos and info and focuses on the 3 most common mistakes installing OSB.   There are videos for Sub-Floor, Wall and Roof applications plus a Trouble Shooting section.  The app is a guide only. Always consult the local building codes, design professional’s specifications or the APA’s E30 for details that may apply to your application. 

End Uses

The main application for Solarbord is for roof sheathing and external walls.

Installing Solarbord on gables reduces heat gain through the attic even more. Solarbord is particularly effective on gables with southern exposures that endure solar rays for prolonged periods. (Please see installation guide.)

Installing Solarbord as exterior wall sheathing may provide benefits but there are important aspects to consider.  A minimum of 3/4″ air space must be maintained in front of the foil surface for any radiant barrier to work.  If the foil faces the inside of the building, it will be very difficult to ensure there is the required air space between the foil and the insulation so in wall applications it is best to install the foil facing out.  To maintain the required 3/4″ airspace strapping/furring strips must be installed to the foil side.  Install the house wrap (if required by your local building code) on the outside of the strapping/furring strips.  The wood strips will create the required air space depth and then the finished siding can be installed.


  1. Solarbord is not considered a house wrap or moisture barrier.
  2. The extra thickness resulting from the strapping/wood strips may impact the window and door frame depths.
  3. Any spacing at the top and bottom of the wall created by the extra depth may require the steps to prevent insects, etc., from getting behind your finished siding.
  4. Be sure your finished siding is acceptable over this method.

Prevent Buckling with Proper Spacing


Visit the resources page for more information on product documents, forest certification, APA publications, seminars & trade shows.