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How to Lay Chipboard Flooring

The construction industry is awash with various materials suitable for different applications. One such versatile material is a chipboard. Chipboard flooring, in particular, has gained immense popularity as an economical alternative to the pricier wooden flooring options.

How to Lay Chipboard Flooring

Understanding Chipboard

So, what exactly is chipboard? Simply put, a chipboard is a wooden material crafted from wood fragments and chips bonded under high pressure using strong adhesives.

Its versatility stretches beyond just flooring—it's used in making doors, countertops, affordable furniture, and more. Depending on its density, chipboard is classified into regular, medium, and high-density types.

Why Chipboard Flooring Stands Out

There are several advantages associated with chipboard flooring:

  • Affordability: Chipboard is an economical choice. It's the go-to for many constructors and homeowners aiming for quality without breaking the bank. Its non-uniform structure of wood fibres prevents frequent issues like warping, splintering, or splitting.

  • Tailored for Flooring: One standout feature of chipboard flooring is that it's specifically manufactured for this purpose. It has a tongue and groove mechanism, a refined face for easy layering of other flooring materials, and convenient panel sizes for hassle-free transportation and management.

  • Moisture Defense: Moisture is a nemesis for many wooden materials. However, companies like Caberfloor have innovated moisture-resistant chipboard flooring variants. This variety can withstand occasional water exposure without compromising its structural integrity.

Recognising them is easy—they're typically green, symbolising their moisture resistance. However, remember that "moisture-resistant" doesn’t mean "waterproof." Waterproofing measures can be implemented separately if necessary.

  • Diverse Grades for Different Needs: Not all chipboards are created equal. They come in different grades, each tailored for a specific use.

The universally recommended chipboard grade is P5, which caters to most applications. But for projects that require non-domestic flooring or have to bear heavy loads, the P7 heavy-duty grade is the ideal choice.

How to Lay Chipboard Flooring

A Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Chipboard Flooring

The installation methods for chipboard flooring differ based on the manufacturer and the specific product. However, the following is a general procedure:


  • Acclimatization: Store the chipboard panels in the room where they'll be installed for at least 48 hours. This ensures they acclimate to the room's conditions, minimising post-installation warping or shrinkage risks.

  • Joist Check: Ensuring that all joists are completely dry is crucial. Avoid storing chipboards in damp areas.

Laying Down the Chipboard

  • You'll need adhesive for connection if you've chosen tongue and groove chipboard panels. Start by applying a consistent adhesive line on the joists and noggins.

  • Position the chipboard panel, making sure to add a screw at each tongue and groove intersection to fix it to the underlying joist. The screws should ideally be 150mm apart along the joists, ensuring they’re at least 10mm away from the board's edge.

  • After securing the panel, add an adhesive line on the tongue and groove joint over the screw. Finally, using the tongue and groove design, connect the subsequent panels.

Vital Points to Remember

While laying the chipboards, ensure a minimum gap of 10mm around the flooring's perimeter. This is essential for accommodating expansion, preventing the unwanted buckling that disrupts the floor's uniformity.

While laying the chipboards, ensure a minimum gap of 10mm around the flooring's perimeter.

Installing tongue and groove chipboard flooring in an offset pattern is best. This ensures balanced weight distribution over the joists. The long panel edges should align with the joists, while the shorter ends must meet at the joists' midpoint.

In conclusion, chipboard flooring offers both functionality and affordability.

With the right approach and attention to detail, you can seamlessly integrate it into your construction project, ensuring longevity and aesthetic appeal. Whether you're renovating an existing space or building from scratch, chipboard flooring could be the perfect choice.


Jenny Kakoudakis

Jenny Kakoudakis likes to blog about interiors. She launched award-winning Seasons in Colour in 2014. When she is not chasing criminals out of the financial system (her day job), she gets creative by redecorating her own home.

Download her free bathroom renovation guide here.


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