How to Install Particleboard Flooring
Learning how to install particleboard flooring and actually doing it can save homeowners quite a bit of money, but this job is very time consuming and can be very hard work. Mainly used as inexpensive but sturdy sub-flooring, particle board will support tile, carpet and vinyl floor coverings.
Step 1: Choose Flooring Material
As mentioned above, particle board comes in several weight bearing thicknesses. Choose the one that is right for your floor depending on how much weight is anticipated to be placed on it. For example, red and yellow color coded particleboard sheeting is designed for most flooring applications. Yellow coded sheeting is for flooring requiring medium-heavy loads, red for heavier flooring requirements and blue, which is the thickest sheeting of particle board, for the heaviest weight bearing loads.
Step 2: Measure Flooring Requirements
Determine the square footage required by accurately measuring the length times the width of the room in which the floor will be laid. Although most sub-flooring particleboard sheets come in the same size as plywood sheets (4 feet by 8 feet) some specialty manufacturers provide more customized sizes for construction purposes. Dividing the area total by the sheet sizes will reveal the total number of sheets required for a particular flooring job. It is also a great idea to purchase an additional board to allow for errors in cutting.
Step 3: Laying Particle Board
Having selected and measured the required particle board, put on your work gloves. Start at one corner of the room and begin laying down sheeting of particle board. Match the ends of the particle board with tongues and grooves to ensure a tight seal between each sheet.
Although installing particle board sheeting does not necessarily require caulking, using a silicone caulk will ensure a tighter seal. This seal will also help to prevent ant and other insect invasions, and ensure waterproofing between each sheet.
It is highly recommended to dry fit the entire floor before securing the particle boards with nails. If boards need to be cut to fit, approximate the cut, and nibble down with successive cuts to ensure a tight fit. Boards can be cut with either a table or skill saw.
Step 4: Secure Particle Board Sheeting
Be sure to wear safety glasses before nailing particle boards into place, especially if using a nail gun. A good technique is to begin at one corner and work around the sheeting to the farthest corner. This will ensure the boards are nailed securely without any gaps. It is also a good idea to have someone stand on the section of the board that is being nailed down. This will create a tighter fitting of each of the boards as they are nailed into place.