Chipboard Flooring: How to Install a Chipboard Subfloor Part 1

What You'll Need
Chipboard selection
Cement Mix

Installing chipboard flooring is complicated under any circumstances, but if you want to install chipboard flooring onto a subfloor layer, then you have other things to think about other than the look of the board. As chipboard is made of sawdust, there are a number of different types of chipboard that you can use in flooring. In the first part of this installation, you will learn to choose the right kind of flooring, to support the flooring using techniques such as wood joists, and cement. In the second part of the installation, you will learn how to lay the chipboard subfloor itself. (To move ahead to Part 2, click here.)

Step 1 - Choose the Board

There are many different types of chipboard, so if you are wanting one for a subfloor, it can be difficult to know which is the best for your needs. There is one solution to this question, which is to visit a chipboard manufacturing site, and see if they can assist you in selecting a board. You can also choose for yourself. If you are doing the latter, then avoid a low or normal density chipboard, as these will be too light to support the weight of the floor. It can also swell when touched by water, which can be a problem in a subfloor. High density is significantly thicker, tougher and more water resistant than most, and is often used for subflooring. You should also check that the chipboard you select meets the required building codes for your area.

Step 2 - Install Wood Joists

When you are installing your chipboard, you may find that you need to lay down more joists than you currently have in your underflooring. Resolve this by adding some more of your own, particularly in large gaps where no joists were previously fitted. Lay out your wood beams, and attach them to the original joists using a screw and a bracket. If you wish to, lay a series of beams over the joists, and caulk the surface.

Step 3 - Add Cement

If you have added more beams over your floor, so that the surface is completely secure, then you may want to add a concrete or cement mix, and place this under your subfloor. This will work both as a barrier to heat loss during winter, and help to support the chipboard. Ensure that you have enough floor joists to support the weight before you begin, but once these are in place, you should be able to fill them adequately.

Step 4 - Leave to Dry

Once you have poured the concrete, spread it out using a trowel, and then leave to dry, and then clean over the surface with a vacuum. This will ensure that there are no uneven lumps and bumps before you proceed.