Chipboard flooring is rubbish

Yep, pretty powerful title. Chipboard flooring is rubbish! I have absolutely no problem sharing my honest opinions with people. I’ve been crawling around floors for a long time. That kind of work tends to remove any traces of pretence from ones character!

Over my time in the flooring trade, I’ve had one thorn that has never left me alone. You guessed it, CHIPBOARD! 

Okay, so broad statements like that are easy to make. You may surmise from the context and content of this website that I’ve got something to gain from dismissing chipboard so acutely. 

Before you come to the conclusion that I’m biased (You’d actually be correct though, but for good reason), just hear me out. This website has been born from our very real experiences over the past twenty years dealing with chipboard. The website hasn’t been created because we woke up one day and randomly decided to pick on chipboard.

As predominantly a wood floor installer – that being solid wood, engineered, and laminate floor coverings – there are certain ‘specific’ reasons why I know chipboard is rubbish. 

We can’t nail to it. Due to the construction of chipboard, we can’t install wood/engineered flooring to it using the secret nails/cleats method. Chipboard is made up of waste wood particles, mixed with glue, and compressed together. When a cleat is driven into it, the hold of both the thermo reactive adhesive on the cleat and the toothed part only grab a localized area. Now when the solid or engineered wood expands/contracts, the only part of the chipboard we’re able to rely on, is the glue that’s bonded the wood particles together. From past studies carried out by wood flooring bodies, personal experience, and that of my peers, wood floors nailed directly into chipboard often fail. We can’t take that chance for our clients.

We can’t glue wood/engineered flooring to chipboard. Due to the oils/treatments used in/on chipboard to give it some form of moisture resistance. We would never adhere a wood floor to it. Adhesive is only as good as the surface it’s applied to. Oils/treatments are never a good surface to adhere to, especially when there will be shear forces applied to it. As is the case with any directly bonded wood floor. This rule or issue with gluing isn’t exclusive to our trade (wood flooring). There has been many reported issues with Tiling directly to chipboard as well as other products such as vinyl (Karndean, Amtico etc). Indeed, most manufacturers will negate any guarantees if their products are glued directly to chipboard, and often stipulate the installation of ply sheeting over the top prior to any installation.

Regardless of the floor covering, and for the majority of people plagued by chipboard, the real reason why it’s rubbish is pretty simple. It squeaks, creaks, and bounces. You can find out why by reading my article ‘Why is chipboard flooring noisy‘. 

If you’re reading this to gain solace, well, hopefully you’ve got it! You’re not on your own with the ever echoing problem of chipboard. 

Just know that there IS a permanent treatment for this disease.

For guidance and to discuss your options, contact us here or fill in the form at the top right of this page.