How to Lay Hardwood Floors over Chipboard

Many people wonder whether chipboard is a good flooring for hardwood floors. While it is not the ideal sub floor to install hardwood on, it can be done. If installed correctly, there should be no issues and you should be able to enjoy your floor for long time. Here are the basics of how to install hardwood floors on top of chipboard floor. 

Materials Required for the Job

  • Felt paper (if stapling down)
  • Adhesive (if gluing down)
  • Trowel (if gluing down)
  • Staples (if stapling down)
  • Staple gun
  • Rubber mallet
  • Tapping block
  • Saw
  • Tape measure
  • Pad (if floating)
  • Joint glue (if floating)

Step 1- Determine Quantity and Best Method of Install

The first thing that you need to do is determine how much hardwood you need and what the best method of install is for your situation. Take your tape measure and get the dimensions of the room. Multiply the length times the width and you will be able to get the square footage. Take the square footage and add 10% for errors.

You can install hardwood on top of chipboard in three different methods. You can glue it down, staple it or install it in a floating method. Gluing is going to be the most difficult installation, but you will definitely not have to worry about it coming up once you are done. Stapling would be a little easier and floating installation would be the easiest method. Decide which method you would rather undertake and get the appropriate materials.

Step 2- Acclimate the Wood

When you get the wood, you need to leave it in the house for at least 24 hours before installation. This allows the wood to acclimate and ensure that you will not run into any problems.

Step 3- Prepare to Lay the Wood

Depending on how you are laying the wood, you will need to prepare the sub floor in a different manner. If you are gluing the floor down, you will need to use your trowel to spread some adhesive onto the floor. If you are installing the wood in a floating fashion, you will need to put down the appropriate pad underlayment. If you are nailing the floor down, you will need to put felt paper down over the chipboard.

Step 4- Lay the Floor

Start in the corner of the room and work in an outward direction. Lay down a board and then lay another one vertically. If you are gluing it down, press the board down into the glue. If you are stapling it down, shoot some staples diagonally down through the tongue and into the chipboard. If you are installing the wood in a floating fashion, you need to glue the joints together with an adhesive and lay the boards down on top of the pad. 

Step 5- Finishing Up

When you get to the end of a run of boards, you will have to cut the last board to fit in the gap. If you are gluing down the boards, you should leave something heavy on the floor to hold it down while the glue dries. If you are stapling or floating, you should be able to walk on the floor.