We are sometimes asked to explain how tongue and groove flooring works, and perhaps the best way to visualise tongue and groove chipboard is to picture that on one side of each T&G flooring board there is a “tongue” protruding and on the opposite edge there is a “groove” that exactly fits the “tongue”, so each T&G floor board can attach to one other on the “tongue” side and one other on the “groove” side, this creating a strong and durable flooring surface, perfect for lofts and kitchens.
Tongue and groove chipboard sheets are considered to be a very strong and safe flooring solution due to the special interlocking system that means any shrinkage just reinforces the strength of the connection between the boards. There isn’t any glue used when clipping them together as any shrinkage would cause the “tongue” to snap if it were glued.
It is why so many people use chipboard for loft flooring. It adds strength to the floor as it screws down to the floor joints and has a high density, and therefore makes a good pairing with a carefully selected thermal insulation slab to increase the heat retention in the property.
Chipboard is considered to be a reconstituted wood, made from shavings, chips and sawdust and is compressed and held together with resin to make a solid and hard-wearing board in a variety of thicknesses - we sell 18mm and 22mm. Chipboard is sometimes referred to as particle board, because you can identify the individual particles of sawdust in the board if you look closely.
Chipboard is still the most popular flooring choice for homeowners and the enduring popularity is a testament to the versatility and quality of the material. The smooth finish makes it visually appealing and a suitable way to safely floor a room or attic and the p5 chipboard flooring renders it a winner for many people because it is moisture resistant.
The chipboard flooring that we sell is classed as P5, which means that it is moisture resistant. P5 flooring is superior to P4, which is the standard grade. P5 flooring is treated with a special coating to make it resistant to moisture. While this does not make the chipboard waterproof, it does offer enhanced protection against water and moisture.
Chipboard flooring is a very popular product, and is relatively cheap flooring solution when you consider the quality and durability of the boards. The price you pay will vary depending on whether you require the 18mm or 22mm sheet. Chipboard sheets tend to be very good value and are one of the more affordable ways to floor a loft or kitchen.
Chipboard is an extremely high density, durable, moisture resistant, and strong material which can often provide a viable alternative to concrete or traditional solid woods. The way it is made, combining sawdust, wood chips and a resin also means that it has the added advantage of being far less expensive than either of those other materials. It is also lighter than concrete so is often a preferential option. An interesting fact is that due to its extremely high durability, chipboard is often used to make sticks of dynamite. P5 chipboard flooring is also moisture resistant, adding to its durability.
When fitting each sheet, it's advised that the t&g edges should be glued together to strengthen the joint strength and accommodate a degree of joist variation.
Unfortunately not, because chipboard is only moisture resistant, not waterproof, it is not really recommended for exterior use. When chipboard comes into contact with water it tends to absorb it and warp, which is not something that we want to happen in any kind of construction project.
We sell 18 mm and 22 mm thickness chipboard sheets that are moisture resistant to the industry standard P5 rating but this means that it can be used in indoor locations where there is likely to be humidity, rather than anywhere that it is likely to get very wet, like on the exterior of a house or other building.