Chipboard, plywood or softwood floor


We are about to put in a new floor into our lounge and have decided to have a wooden floor with carpet on top. The joists are all in good condition and damp proofed though the sub floor is damp. I'm thinking of laying a flooring grade chipboard floor (cos its a lot cheaper than other options) - grateful for any experioence on problems and views on whether I should really go with plywood or softwood. I'm told I'll have to acclimatise softwood - having no floor to sit on for 2 weeks doesnt appeal!
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Flooring chipboard is tongued-and-grooved so would self-seal against droughts and dirt. Softwood flooring would certainly need to be acclimatised, although you wouldn't have to take up the old floor first, until you were ready to lay. You would need flooring cramps to press each piece hard against its neighbour. Plywood doesn't have tongue and groove so you'd need to do this yourself.
All in all I would have thought flooring chipboard was the best, if you are going to carpet over it.
Rob Graham
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I would too, just get the moisture resistant green board, costs a few pence more but looking at the offcuts I left outside for ages when building some years ago there was no sign of swelling. I screwed our boards down and left maintenance hatches for access while I was at it.
Gio
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When you put the chipboard down do you have to leave any expansion gap between the boards and thw wall, or can these butt up ? I will lay skirting boards ontop?
-- Regards, Stu Devereux. Fax no. 08701339568 (Outside UK fax 448701339568) E-mail. snipped-for-privacy@btinternet.com

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Hi Stewart We butted the boards hard together during assembly then as I mentioned screwed to the joists. As for the wall to board joint, we left around 1/4 inch gap. We studded walls and placed extra insulation between wall and plasterboard so our skirting was some distance from the actual wall. Personally I would not think it to be an issue other than draft / vermin protection. Now the extension was built 10 years ago and we do not have any problems with squeaky boards even though used daily and exposed to large variations in moisture levels and temperature. Floor area was 5m x 8m. so the boards have remained very stable We have in January replaced our daughters bedroom floor with green moisture resistant T&G flooring
Gio.
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