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ephillipsme 01-19-2013 05:18 PM

Hardwood over particle board subfloor

I am planning on installing 3/4" solid hardwood in our living room. I removed the carpet and found there was 1/2" article board over 3/4" plywood. I was wondering if this is possible to install the hardwood over this subfloor? I was planning on using a pneumatic flooring nailer and 2" nails which should reach the plywood with out issue. I have asked a couple people and have got different answers weather you can install over particleboard. One person indicated we would get chipping from the nailer and create small gaps under the hardwood, leaving a potential creaking or crunching sound.


oh'mike 01-19-2013 06:03 PM

We have several experienced hardwood floor installers here--it may take a while for them to check in--but you can count on them giving you an honest answer---Mike----

funfool 01-19-2013 06:11 PM

Simple answer is floor hight.
You have 3/4" subfloor, then 1/2" underlayment, then will add 3/4" flooring on top of it?
In most cases, I would want to remove the 1/2" particle board just to get the finished floor hight correct.

I do not lay hardwood, we have a installer for that:laughing:
But sure, you can lay the hard wood on the particle board, The nails will reach the subfloor and basically it will work.
If the finished floor hight is what I wanted, I would leave the particle board.
Not often can I even imagine that would want to leave the 1/2" particle board and create a trip hazard entering the room.
And would rather be a little lower by removing the nasty particle board, then leave it and have to step up.

Is just garbage, if I can remove it, I would do it now. Can you ? yes.
Why put down a lifetime floor over cheap particle board that will ruin your floor if it ever gets wet?

woodman58 01-19-2013 07:26 PM

Installing hardwood over particle wood is not recommended by any manufacturer. The nails go in at an angle and will not go thru the main floor enough to get a good bite. The floor will squeak after a short time. If your house is built like the house that I find particle wood in in my area, it is over the entire house. You would be lowering the floor by 1/2". It would still be 1/4" higher than the rest of the floor when installing 3/4" flooring. I would suggest taking the floor up.
That all said, if you choose to leave the particle wood down, I would use liquid nail on each peice of wood in addition to nailing the floor down. The liquid nail will hold the floor in place and should not let the nails back out causing squeaks. If the particle wood has ever been wet this will not work.
Once again I would recommend pulling the floor. Remember no reputible manufacturer (I have heard of China saying it's O.K.) will cover any floor layed over particle wood.

ephillipsme 01-19-2013 07:31 PM

Thanks, the subfloor height is right on. I am matching a floor in the hallway that is tile over backer board and 2 layers of plywood. If I take up the particle board i will need to put down a similar thickness OSB or Plywood to match the tile which is currently right on for the height. Some other reserach is indicating I should take the particle board up.


joecaption 01-19-2013 07:35 PM

If I was give the job I would flat out refuse to do it over partical board.
Even a change in humidy can effect partical board, gets wet once and it becomes oat meal.

md2lgyk 01-20-2013 06:13 AM

Particle board is surely inappropriate. I've even heard that OSB shouldn't be used either. I would use plywood or Advantec.

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