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tunaman 01-11-2011 12:34 AM

Sealing a particle board subfloor
I have a loft area that is floored in 4'x4' sections of 3/4" particle board in good condition. We would like to either use this as flooring or put a layer of 4'x8' thin plywood sections over the top of it. Either way we would like to seal it to prevent any spilled water from causing a problem and also to solve drafts and creaking between the boards. Is this possible? How would I go about this? Can I just use the particle board as my flooring with a layer of paint over it?

littlecleo 01-11-2011 12:09 PM

Honestly I wouldn't use it as flooring, even sealed with a poly, or paint. I have poly-sealed particleboard shelving, etc. in kitchen cabinets with good success, but I don't see it holding up to foot traffic. What is underneath the particleboard? Is it sturdy, any bounce in the floor? Is the floor level? From my experience with remodeling 70's, and 80's built houses, 4' x 8', 5/8" - 3/4" particleboard was used as underlayment installed over a plywood subloor. If it was me, I would look at installing a floating laminate floor, or possibly hardwood - better overall than trying to refinish particleboard.

tunaman 01-11-2011 12:24 PM

Underneath are floor joists spaced about 18" apart. The other option would be
To just get hardwood planking to put down but we fear that might be too expensive. We figured a particle board subfloor with plywood planking over the top.

rusty baker 01-11-2011 01:28 PM

I don't know that there is an effective way to seal it. Particle board will disintegrate with ANY moisture.

Floor Doc 01-11-2011 04:44 PM

You're not going to solve drafts and creaking between the boards with PB and that joist spacing .
I would rip it out and install plywood .

tunaman 01-17-2011 09:48 PM

So just rip out the particle board and lay down straight plywood (4'x8' sheets?) over the floor joists? Can i just install large planks over the top of the joists?

AllanJ 01-17-2011 10:02 PM

Install something on top of the particleboard that is strong enough to be the subfloor as if the particleboard was not there.

Particleboard can fracture under weight and cannot be the subfloor.

tunaman 01-17-2011 10:10 PM

Yeah, I am already aware of that as there are already two holes where water leaked in previously. Should I just cut a piece of particle board to replace the ones with the holes and then lay plywood over it? Or is just putting the plywood directly on the floor joists oik?

Floor Doc 01-17-2011 10:17 PM

PB has no holding power . rip it out , install at least 3/4" plywood .

Gary in WA 01-17-2011 11:00 PM

Just a side note, use tongue and groove sub-floor plywood and you won't need to block the edges;


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