Chipboard flooring, also known as particleboard, is a popular choice for subflooring in many homes across the UK. Its affordability and versatility make it a top pick for both DIY enthusiasts and professional builders. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into everything you need to know about chipboard flooring, from installation to maintenance.
What is Chipboard Flooring:
Chipboard flooring is made from compressed wood particles bonded together with resin. It comes in various grades, with the most common being P5, which is suitable for use in humid conditions such as kitchens and bathrooms. Before diving into the installation process, it's crucial to understand the basics of chipboard.
Grades of Chipboard Flooring:
- P2 Grade: Suitable for interior use with low humidity levels, such as furniture manufacturing.
- P5 Grade: Designed for humid conditions and commonly used as a subfloor in residential / house construction.
- Chipboard flooring typically comes in thicknesses ranging from 18mm to 22mm. The choice of thickness depends on the intended use and the spacing of the joists.
Why is Chipboard Used for Flooring?
Chipboard has gained popularity as a flooring material for several reasons, making it a preferred choice for many construction projects:
- One of the primary reasons chipboard is used for flooring is its cost-effectiveness. It is more budget-friendly compared to other flooring materials, making it an attractive option for both DIYers and professionals working within a budget.
- Chipboard is a versatile material that can be used in various applications, including flooring. Its adaptability makes it suitable for different environments, from residential homes to commercial spaces.
Ease of Installation:
- Chipboard is known for its ease of installation, making it a practical choice for DIY projects. The straightforward installation process saves time and effort, making it accessible for individuals with varying levels of construction experience.
Strength and Stability:
- Despite its affordability, chipboard offers a high level of strength and stability. It can effectively support heavy loads, making it suitable for flooring in residential and light commercial settings.
Suitable for Underfloor Heating:
- Chipboard is a good conductor of heat, making it compatible with underfloor heating systems. This makes it an excellent choice for modern homes where underfloor heating is a common feature.
- Many chipboard products are made from recycled wood, contributing to its eco-friendly profile. Choosing chipboard for flooring can be a sustainable option for those concerned about the environmental impact of construction materials.
Browse & buy the Harlow range of chipboard flooring HERE
How to Lay Chipboard Flooring
Proper installation is key to ensuring the longevity and stability of chipboard flooring. Follow these step-by-step instructions for a successful installation.
Gather Your Tools and Materials:
Before you start, make sure you have the following tools and materials:
- Chipboard sheets
- Joist adhesive
- Tape measure
- Safety gear (gloves, goggles, ear protection)
Prepare the Subfloor:
- Ensure that the joists are level and free from any debris.
- Lay a damp-proof membrane if needed to protect against moisture.
Lay the First Sheet:
- Begin in one corner of the room and lay the first sheet perpendicular to the direction of the joists.
- Apply joist adhesive to the top of the joists before placing the chipboard.
Stagger the Joints:
- Stagger the joints of adjacent sheets to increase the stability of the flooring.
- Leave a 5mm gap around the edges to accommodate for potential expansion.
Fixing the Sheets:
- Secure the chipboard sheets to the joists using screws, ensuring they penetrate the joists by at least 25mm.
- Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for screw spacing.
Repeat the Process:
- Continue laying sheets until the entire floor is covered.
- Trim the last sheet to fit using a saw.
How to Lift Chipboard Flooring?
Whether you're making repairs or renovating, lifting chipboard flooring may be necessary. Follow these steps to ensure a safe and efficient process.
- Wear appropriate safety gear, including gloves and goggles.
- Use a mask if the flooring has been treated with chemicals.
Locate the Screws:
- Identify the screws securing the chipboard to the joists.
- Use a drill to remove the screws, starting from the edges and working towards the centre.
Lift the Sheets:
- With the screws removed, carefully lift each sheet.
- Enlist the help of a partner for larger sheets to avoid damage.
Inspect the Joists:
- Examine the joists for any signs of damage or rot.
- Make necessary repairs before laying new chipboard.
What Glue for Chipboard Flooring
Choosing the right adhesive is crucial for a secure and durable chipboard floor. Consider the following factors when selecting glue:
- Use a high-quality joist adhesive to bond the chipboard sheets to the joists.
- Ensure the adhesive is suitable for use in the intended conditions, especially in humid areas.
- PVA (polyvinyl acetate) glue is suitable for bonding chipboard joints.
- Apply a thin layer to the edges of the sheets before fitting them together.
D4 Wood Glue:
- D4 wood glue is a waterproof adhesive ideal for chipboard flooring in areas prone to moisture.
- Apply it to the joints and edges for a strong and water-resistant bond.
You can purchase your joint & joist adhesive but selecting from our range HERE
Mastering chipboard flooring is a valuable skill for anyone involved in construction or DIY projects. From understanding the different grades to the step-by-step process of installation and removal, this comprehensive guide equips you with the knowledge needed to tackle chipboard flooring projects in the UK. Remember to prioritise safety, choose the right materials, and follow the recommended guidelines for a successful and long-lasting result.