How to lay chipboard floors - help and advice Roofing Superstore (2023)

Help and advice>Project instructions>Air insulation

Plywood is popular throughout the construction industry due to its wide range of uses. Particleboard flooring is one of the most popular uses for particleboard. It provides an economical but functional alternative to more expensive wooden floors. Roofing Superstore has everything you need to install chipboard flooring. The team are on hand to offer any help and advice if needed - just call 01752 692760 or use the live chat in the bottom right corner and we'll be happy to help.


  • What is chipboard?
  • Advantages of using chipboard floors
  • How to install a particle board floor

What is chipboard?

Plywoodis a wood panel product that is made from wood chips and particles that are glued together with high-pressure glue. Plywood is used in a wide variety of applications, including flooring, doors, countertops, inexpensive furniture, and more. It is available in normal density, medium density and high density.

Advantages of using chipboard floors


Chipboard is an inexpensive material. Using it is a great way to stay within your budget without compromising on other features. Particleboard is strong and durable because the wood fibers do not run evenly into the wood, making it less likely to bend, crack and split.

Developed for floors

How to lay chipboard floors - help and advice Roofing Superstore (1)

Chipboard floors are designed specifically to be used as a floor covering, which means they are easy to lay and have specific features that make installing chipboard floors quick and easy. These features include tongue and groove joints, a finished surface that makes it easy to lay floors on top, and panel sizes that are easy to transport and handle.

Moisture proof

Moisture resistant chipboard products are available from Caberfloor. They are designed to avoid one of the main disadvantages of chipboard. Ordinary chipboards often absorb water, which causes swelling and damage. WhenP5 moisture resistant chipboardexposed to occasional rain or water, particle board will retain most of its original strength and structure. Moisture-resistant chipboards are usually green to indicate their moisture-resistant properties. It is important to note that moisture resistant plywood is not waterproof, but it is possible to take additional steps to waterproof your plywood if necessary.

Various ratings available

Different particleboard products are available, depending on the project they are used for. For most projects, the recommended grade of chipboard would be P5, which is suitable for a wide range of applications. Alternatively, if you are working on a heavy duty project where flooring is being done outside the home, P7 heavy duty moisture resistant chipboard would be most suitable.

How to install a particle board floor

Depending on the chipboard product you are using, the method of installing the chipboard may vary from manufacturer to product range. However, we have provided a short guide to installing chipboard floors to show the possible steps involved in installing a chipboard floor.

Pre-installation instructions

Before installation, it is important to leave the panels in the room where they are to be installed for at least 48 hours. This will allow them to be conditioned to the environment, causing shrinkage or swelling and settling before installation. This means it is less likely to warp and shrink when the floor is laid, which can cause structural problems and an uneven floor. In addition, it is important to ensure that all joists are dry and no chipboards must be left in wet conditions.

Joining chipboard floors

How to lay chipboard floors - help and advice Roofing Superstore (2)If you work with tongue-and-groove chipboard floors, it is recommended that you use glue to attach the chipboard. First, apply a strip of glue to the beams and recesses on which the chipboards are to be laid. Then lay down the plywood floorboard and add a spring screw at each tongue and groove joint to secure it to the joist below.

Note:The screws must be 150 mm on center along the joists and no closer than 10 mm to the edge of the panel. You can find out why it is important to leave a gap of 10 mmher.

Once this is done, add a shim to the tongue and groove assembly at the top of the screw. Push adjacent panels together using a tongue and groove joint.

It is important to note

When installing the chipboard, a gap of at least 10 mm must be ensured around the perimeter of the floor. This gap allows for expansion and prevents bowing, which can result in an uneven floor surface. In addition, the tongue and groove plywood floor must be laid in an arrangement that distributes the weight over the joists below. The long edges should go over the joists, while the shorter edges should end in the middle of the joists.

How to lay chipboard floors - help and advice Roofing Superstore (3)

How to lay chipboard floors - help and advice Roofing Superstore (4)

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What is the correct way to lay chipboard flooring? ›

Chipboard should be laid lengthways across your joists, with the long edge of the board against the wall. You should align the board to allow for a 10mm expansion gap between the edge of the board and the wall. Don't worry, this gap can later be covered by skirting.

Do you need to glue down chipboard flooring? ›

Should I glue or screw chipboard flooring? Our Timber Products Manager always recommends glueing chipboard, as this continues the strength integrity of the floor.

What is the joist spacing for chipboard flooring? ›

What is P5 Chipboard and why use it? The maximum spans for joist centres are 450mm for 18mm and 610mm for 22mm in domestic installations. It is more usual to use 400 or 600mm joist spacing as they “fit” the most commonly used board lengths of 2400mm.

What kind of screws to use for chipboard flooring? ›

You want either No8 or 4mm screws at the length needed. The 4mm gold screws only go up to 50mm long. Dont forget to drive 5/32" (4mm) clearance holes through the chipboard.

Do you use nails or screws for chipboard flooring? ›

If you want to have access to wiring and pipework through your floor, screws again are the way to go. Another great advantage is the fact that screws will pull the boards down better than any nails and hold without popping out. The tighter grip they provide makes screws the superior long term solution.

What do you glue chipboard with? ›

Glues suitable for particle board include standard wood glue, polyurethane super glues, and cement glues that instantly bind two materials together. These powerful glues create a bond that will stay in place even when the wood around it does not.

Should I seal chipboard floor before tiling? ›

Make sure the chipboard is properly sealed before applying tile adhesive or grout – this will help prevent moisture from getting into the board and causing damage over time.

What are the disadvantages of chipboard flooring? ›

And the disadvantages of Chipboards are as follows:
  • Moisture retention. Chipboards hold any moisture it comes in contact with and retains the moisture like a sponge. ...
  • Cutting disadvantages. Chipboard does not cut well and always leave a rough edge. ...
  • Cracking. ...
  • Splintering. ...
  • Adhesive Issues.
Jun 15, 2020

What is the best glue for chipboard flooring? ›

Chipstick D4 Wood Adhesive is a one-component, high waterproof wood adhesive designed for bonding chipboard floorboards to the joist, as well as within the tongue and groove joint itself.

How thick is standard chipboard flooring? ›

We sell chipboard sheets in dimensions of 2400mm x 600mm (8' x 2') and thicknesses of 18mm or 22mm.

How many inches apart should floor joists be? ›

Standard spacing for joists on 16-inch centers is ideal for most residential applications, while 24-inch centers are allowable under some conditions. For applications that require additional structural support, such as floors with heavy loads, closer joist spacing may be required.

Do you glue chipboard flooring to joists? ›

If working with tongue and groove chipboard flooring panels, it is recommended to use adhesive to secure the chipboards. Firstly, apply a continuous bead of adhesive to the joists and noggins on which the chipboard panels will be laid.

Do you need special screws for chipboard? ›

Since it is made of wood chips and resin, the material does not have a natural grain. Without resistance, screws are more likely to withdraw. Chipboard screws are designed specifically to prevent this. They are self-tapping, so you do not need to drill a pilot hole.

How do you hide screws in chipboard? ›

Countersink or Counterbore

Countersinking screws is an easy way to make those screw heads less visible. A special countersink drill bit creates a conical hole around the pilot hole for the head of the wood screw, so it sits flush or below the surface of the wood.

How do you lay wood flooring on chipboard? ›

Installing hardwood flooring onto chipboard

Solid wood flooring must be glued directly down to the chipboard, using a flexible flooring adhesive. Engineered wood flooring can be floated (or loose laid) over and underlay, without fixing it down. The planks would be glued or clicked together.

Can you tile directly on chipboard? ›

For a variety of reasons, chipboard sheets aren't an ideal base to tile onto. They tend to flex or bounce, and we often find they're not screwed in well enough.

Can you tile directly onto chipboard? ›

Due to the instability and high wax content of chipboard it is not recommended to tile directly onto these types of boarded floors. The chipboard will need to be overlaid with 6mm no more ply boards to stabilise the floor, this should be fitted in accordance with the no more ply guidance and fitting instructions.


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