How to Install Chipboard Flooring
Chipboard flooring (also known as particle board) is made from coarse sawdust that is mixed with resin. High-density chipboard can be used as sub-floor with various types of flooring, such as slate, tile, stone, wood, carpet or vinyl flooring.
Step 1 - Decide on the Right Type of Chipboard
Solid timber has a longer life span than chipboard flooring does but high-density chipboard is less expensive and quite durable. The width of chipboard varies and is identifiable by a color-coded system. High-density chipboard is the thickest and is used for sub-flooring. Medium-density chipboard is firmer than normal-density chipboard, which is relatively soft. You might have seen less dense types of chipboard inside dresser drawers. Lower-density chipboard swells or breaks down when water logged. High-density is much more water-resistant than medium- or normal- density chipboards are. It can be used for kitchen cabinet frames and even fire doors.
As an added precaution, when you are using chipboard as a sub-floor, you might want to check building codes to determine the required thickness. Local building inspectors can answer any questions about which type they expect you to use.
Step 2 - Measure
Measure the room you’ll be laying the chipboard flooring in with your measuring tape. To establish how many sheets you’ll need to buy, divide your total room area by the size of the board.
Step 3 – Make Your Mark
Don’t forget to make a mark on the wall above every floor joist in the room where you’ll be laying your chipboard flooring. Make your marks on both sides of the joists on each wall. That way, you’ll know where the centers of the joists are when nailing down your chipboard.
Step 4 - Lay it Out
Once you’ve determined the amount you’ll need and purchased your chipboard flooring, lay the boards down. Cover as much floor as you are able to. You’ll notice that the edges of the boards have color-coded tongues made of PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride.) They ensure that the boards will fit securely together. If they are not fitted together tightly, there’s a risk of squeaking or that the floors will feel bouncy when walked on.
Step 5 – Nail it Down
After you’ve laid down the sheets and fitted them together, you can nail them down. Use 2 inch ribbed nails to attach them to your floor joists. If you experience bubbling or blistering, sand it down flat.
Step 6 – Fit it into the Corners
Measure your remaining chipboard sheets to fit into the corners and edges of the floor. Cut them to fit with the electric saw and nail them down.
Now that you’ve installed your chipboard sub-flooring, you’ll be able to choose your main flooring and lay it down over top.