The answer is yes! It’s a more affordable alternative to installing all-new plywood floors, though it will take more time and effort. You’ll need to plan ahead, measure your room accurately, and then remove or cut away the existing flooring on top of the particleboard. Here are some other things you should know before answering the question “can you install hardwood flooring over particle board?” in detail.
- What is Hardwood Flooring?
- What is Particle Board?
- With What Can You Install Hardwood Flooring Over Particle Board?
- How Can You Install Hardwood Flooring Over Particle Board?
- How Hard is it to Install Hardwood Flooring Over Particle Board?
- Can You Install Hardwood Flooring Over Particle Board – Conclusion
What is Hardwood Flooring?
Hardwood flooring is composed of what’s called “veneer” – thin sheets of wood that are glued together to form a plank. The type of wood can vary, but most hardwoods are recognized for their strength and durability.
The type of wood to use for hardwood flooring is determined by its ability to withstand wear and tear. Some of the most common types of wood used in hardwood flooring are oak, maple, mahogany, and birch.
These woods can be found at a variety of stores – big-box retailers like Lowe’s and Home Depot offer a variety of options, but you can also find specialty hardwoods at local lumber yards or home improvement stores.
What is Particle Board?
Particleboard is made of wood chips, sawdust, and resin that are compressed together. It’s used as an inexpensive alternative to plywood or solid wood – which is why it’s often found underneath vinyl tile and linoleum in homes. It’s also used in finished cabinets, furniture, and other home remodeling projects.
Thicker sheets of particle board are generally difficult to find at home improvement stores or lumber yards – they’re usually sold in smaller sheets that are about 1/2″ thick. If you need thicker sheets for your project, it’s best to purchase them directly from a manufacturer.
With What Can You Install Hardwood Flooring Over Particle Board?
Tools: tape measure, carpet knife with a sharp blade (for scoring the existing floor), hammer, pry bar (or wide putty knife) helpful when removing adhesive or staples from underlayment boards
Supplies: basic wood glue (for securing the new planks together), rolling pin or 6-inch piece of PVC pipe – both can be used to help flatten any areas of warping in the new planks, adhesive caulking gun, and caulk (for filling in cracks between flooring boards), brown paper or felt underlayment (optional – if you’re using plywood rather than particle board).
Adhesive: proprietary hardwood flooring adhesive that’s specifically made for use with particleboard
How Can You Install Hardwood Flooring Over Particle Board?
Measure your room accurately. Get accurate measurements for the length, width, and height of the area where you’ll be installing the hardwood flooring. If you have an irregularly shaped or sloped room, you will want to draw up a diagram before removing the existing floor covering.
Remove or cut away the existing flooring on top of the particleboard. If you have carpet, you will need to pull it back and staple it down so that you can get to the surface beneath it. The adhesive may be difficult to remove, so be prepared for a lot of elbow grease when removing this floor covering.
You can rent tools like pry bars and utility knives at your local hardware store if you don’t already own them. Plywood should come up fairly easily after removing nails around its perimeter with a hammer and chisel (or reciprocating saw).
Build up the subflooring in areas where there are dips or uneven spots underneath your particleboard before laying down the new flooring. To build up the subflooring, cut or install plywood in areas where dips or uneven spots are present underneath your particleboard.
You can also use a skim coat of drywall compound to fill low spots if that is an easier method for you. Allow it at least 24 hours to dry before proceeding with the next steps below.
Install underlayment for sound control and insulation. There are several different types of underlayments you can choose from for this project, including foam boards, cork panels, rubber mats, etc.
We recommend using a moisture-resistant underlayment such as cement backer board as well as a good quality padding like dense foam carpet padding (at least 1/2″ thick). Look for recycled padding that will have a less environmental impact.
Install the new flooring on top of the underlayment and particleboard. Start in a corner and use spacers to maintain uniform gaps between boards, especially if you’re using planks with long lengths or engineered hardwood like Ipe, Hickory, Tigerwood, White Oak (shown above), etc.
Wood manufacturers such as Shaw and Mohawk offer installation instructions specific to their products; follow these instructions accordingly during this step of the process.
Cutaway any overhanging flooring along walls. Trim off any excess length remaining along walls using a table saw (or circular saw) and miter saw (or reciprocating saw) to keep uniform gaps between boards. Don’t forget to caulk the perimeter where the flooring meets walls with silicone-based caulking so that water doesn’t get underneath your hardwood flooring over time.
Clean up any sawdust or debris before it gets tracked around your home. Make sure you clean the area thoroughly using a shop vacuum, wet/dry vac, air compressor, etc… Then sweep and mop the new floors to remove moisture and dirt that might have been picked up during cleanup.
Keep additional layers of underlayment on hand in case you need them for future trouble spots (in areas like doorways with high traffic). You may also want to consider installing threshold inserts (bumpers) to help keep hardwood flooring securely in place and prevent the possibility of it curling up over time.
That’s it! You did it!
How Hard is it to Install Hardwood Flooring Over Particle Board?
Generally, the process of installing hardwood over particle board is more time-consuming than difficult. You can expect it to take at least two days – one for removing the existing flooring and another for installing new flooring.
Can You Install Hardwood Flooring Over Particle Board – Conclusion
Installing hardwood flooring over particle board is possible. Just make sure you know all of the steps involved and have a clear idea about what your final results should look like in the end.