Hardboard over floor - soaking it to prevent bowing?

Hi,
I am just about to lay vinyl on top of some 3.4mm hardboard and was told to soak it before laying it on top of the floorboards. Is this really necessary?
Thanks
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Dunno? I was told to leave a mm or so gap between sheets to allow for expansion,as for wetting?
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I've always laid it out in the room in which it was to be used for 48 hours before fixing so that it could expand/contract as per the temp/humidity of the room.
Never soaked it - I would have thought that it was asking for excess expansion and, besides that, I've always avoided getting hardboard wet because of the degredation of the surface.
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PeterMcC

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PeterMcC wrote:

First 2 replies reflect my experiences exactly!
Still if anyone has soaked it - it would be nice to know how they kept it flat!
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When I had a flat soe years ago,hardboard was down over the floor,soeone ust have wetted it? as the edges were butt up against each other and them edges were raised slightly probably due to it being wetted?
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Many years ago I had a summer job with a couple of mates helping out the headteacher of our school husband to some work in the school.
Part of this was building partition walls - and then cladding the bottom o them in hardboard.
We did wet it and then fit it wet (looked awful!) and by the next morning it had pulled really tight and flat...
Saying that, I didn't bother when I boarded our kitchen with it and that seemed fine for 5 years before SWMBO picked something else.
Not sure I've helped really :)
Darren
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Peter Hemmings wrote:

Peter,
Don't 'soak' it - simply wet the back of the hardboard with cold water using something like a paddle brush as if you were painting it and then leave it to dry off.
What's the reason? It's simply to 'temper' the board to reduce the likelyhood of movement when its laid.
Unbeliever
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Unbeliever wrote:

Only one side then, the one that lays oon the boards?

Thats the term the person used/
to reduce the

Exactly what movement and why not both sides!?
Sorry just, seems a bit weird, but obviously its recommended!

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Should have said - we only soaked (well sprayed with a hose) the back of the hardboard (the textured side not the smooth)
Darren
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Unbeliever wrote:

Hardboard is already tempered in the manufacturing process. Its an oil/heat process.
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The Medway Handyman wrote:

Isn't that just oil tempered hardboard?
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The Medway Handyman wrote:

Dave,
*No* *it's* *not!*
Be a little more accurate Dave and say that some hardboards are oil tempered - but not all. Just like plywood, there are different grades - and prices!
Unbeliever
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On Tue, 23 Sep 2008 16:58:45 +0100, Peter Hemmings

Well you don't "soak" it .You lay it on the floor and go over it with a brush and cold water and allow it to dry then lay it in place . I've only done it a couple of times when laying vinyl on an uneven floor and that was the way it was done . Googling for an answer might help http://search.diynot.com/forum_search.php?all=laying+hardboard&phrase=&any=&not=&intitle=&stype=1&sort=score&forum_id=0&datelimit=drop&since=any&author=&search=Search+Forum found on the Screwfix Forum --------------------------------------
Conditioning
To prevent sheets buckling due to a change in moisture content, manufacturers recommend they should be conditioned before use. There are two ways of doing this.
* For standard and LM (low density) type medium and tempered boards, scrub the backs with water, using I litre to every 2440 x 1220mm sheet. Then stack the sheets flat, back to back, for 24-48 hours (48-72 hours for tempered boards). * For HM (high-density) type, medium boards and all boards to be used in centrally heated surroundings, stack the sheets on edge in the room where they are to be used, separating them with wood off cuts to allow the air to circulate. Leave HM medium boards for 48 hours and other boards for 72 hours before using them.
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snip

Thanks for all the replies, it seems you are all right!
I have just bought the hardboard from a good local DIY shop. The owner who happens to be French, said it was not necessary to wet his boards as they were good quality, confirming earlier information.
He also advised what you say in your last paragraph, just to make sure they stabilize to the surroundings. Here in the South west it can be very humid where the board have been stored and its just good practice!
Regards
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