When working with a particleboard sub-floor there are some limitations to what flooring you can install and how you can install it. This is because particleboard is more moisture sensitive than other sub-floor materials and because of its construction will not hold a staple or nail. This makes installation of some floors impossible, such as ¾” solid hardwood flooring which must be nailed down. But don’t fret; there are many other flooring choices which can be installed over a particleboard sub-floor.
As with any sub-floor, you first need to make sure the particleboard is in good condition. The sub-floor should be even and there should not be any major cracks or deterioration. Once you have insured the particle is in good condition you are able to install any floating type flooring, engineered hardwood, strand woven bamboo or eucalyptus, laminate or cork, over the particle board. The reason floating installations work and are the best suited for installation over a particleboard sub-floor, is because a floating floor is not secured to the sub-floor in any area. We have more information about different installation types in our Which installation method is best for my project? article.
Another possible installation option for a particleboard sub-floor is the glue down installation. For this installation method to be an option, the particleboard must be rated as an approved sub-floor, and the particleboard must be sealed before the installation. There are a number of different acrylic sealants available and doing a search online will show a supplier near you to purchase the sealer. Once the particleboard has been sealed, you will be able to use the glue down installation for any of our engineered hardwood, or strand woven flooring products.