Chipboard is best floor for loft conversion?

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Hi

My loft conversion is under way and the floor as quoted will be chip board. I noticed this is the floor that all the companies that I received a quote from specified.

Is a chip board floor as good as any other here or are there better options for a loft conversion?

Thanks

ps the loft will be two bedrooms and a shower room
 
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You have answered your own question.
"I noticed this is the floor that all the companies that I received a quote from specified."

Andy
 
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Chipboard is a cheap & nasty crap flooring material which after a few years you will wish you never had. All builders will specify it unless you ask for something better which will put up the price but in the overall scheme of things, not by that much; it’s cheap, easy & quick to lay.

You certainly don’t want to be using chip in that shower room if you intend tiling the floor, even the green MR variety (which adhesive won’t stick to very well anyway). In spite of what they may tell you, it’s the worst tile base imaginable & frequently causes tile failure; change it to WBP ply 18-25mm thick depending on the floor construction.

Don’t use plasterboard in the shower room wet areas either unless you tank it, much better to use a waterproof tile backer board.
 
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Chipboard is a cheap & nasty crap flooring material which after a few years you will wish you never had. All builders will specify it unless you ask for something better which will put up the price but in the overall scheme of things, not by that much; it’s cheap, easy & quick to lay.

You certainly don’t want to be using chip in that shower room if you intend tiling the floor, even the green MR variety (which adhesive won’t stick to very well anyway). In spite of what they may tell you, it’s the worst tile base imaginable & frequently causes tile failure; change it to WBP ply 18-25mm thick depending on the floor construction.

Don’t use plasterboard in the shower room wet areas either unless you tank it, much better to use a waterproof tile backer board.


Thanks Richard

Just so that I'm clear are you saying to put 18-25mm ply board in all areas including the shower room?

Could you also tell me what the 'WBP' bit means?

Thanks again for your help
 
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They use chipboard because it is interlocking, if you ask for ply the cost will go up a lot more due to them needing to fit more supporting joists/noggings.

Andy
 
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They use chipboard because it is interlocking, if you ask for ply the cost will go up a lot more due to them needing to fit more supporting joists/noggings.
Joist spacing will most likely be standard @ 400mm unless smaller section joists are being used so the number won’t increase with WBP ply; in fact you could go to a wider joist pitch & it would still be as rigid. It's true you would have to provide additional noggins on the unsupported edges but that’s hardly going to be much more work. It’s because chip relies on unsupported interlocking joints across the joists the bloody stuff squeaks, groans & moves about so much after a couple of years.

What's wrong with T&G floorboards anyway!
 
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Thanks.

I'm happy to pay more for a better end product. I'm giving the builder quite a lot of other work if this goes well so I suspect he would probably just charge me for materials.

Floor boards would be nice but I assume their thickness would mean a significant loss of height?
 
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Could you also tell me what the 'WBP' bit means?
As stated WBP = Weather (or Water) & Boil Proof; it uses waterproof adhesive to bond the laminates together & is why you must use it in a bath/shower room; standard ply will de-laminate if exposed to water/moisture.

Just so that I'm clear are you saying to put 18-25mm ply board in all areas including the shower room?
I would certainly use it in the shower room as you can then tile straight onto it; if you use crappy chip or even T&G floorboards you will have to overboard them before you can lay tiles; more work/cost & will increase the door threshold height. You could use ply throughout the conversion but you will need additional noggins on the unsupported cross joist edges; or you could use T&G floorboards everywhere else. Remember that the actual ply thickness you need as a tile base will depend on jour floor joist size/pitch/span. This is what dictates all important floor rigidity; if there is any perceivable flex/movement in the floor, the tiles will fail.

Have a browse through the tiling forum Sticky & archive posts, it could prevent you (or your builder) making disastrous & potentially expensive mistakes.
 
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Floor boards would be nice but I assume their thickness would mean a significant loss of height?
T&G floorboards would be 18mm thick, the same as crapboard or the thinnest spec ply I would recommended.
 
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Could you also tell me what the 'WBP' bit means?
As stated WBP = Weather (or Water) & Boil Proof; it uses waterproof adhesive to bond the laminates together & is why you must use it in a bath/shower room; standard ply will de-laminate if exposed to water/moisture.

Just so that I'm clear are you saying to put 18-25mm ply board in all areas including the shower room?
I would certainly use it in the shower room as you can then tile straight onto it; if you use crappy chip or even T&G floorboards you will have to overboard them before you can lay tiles; more work/cost & will increase the door threshold height. You could use ply throughout the conversion but you will need additional noggins on the unsupported cross joist edges; or you could use T&G floorboards everywhere else. Remember that the actual ply thickness you need as a tile base will depend on jour floor joist size/pitch/span. This is what dictates all important floor rigidity; if there is any perceivable flex/movement in the floor, the tiles will fail.

Have a browse through the tiling forum Sticky & archive posts, it could prevent you (or your builder) making disastrous & potentially expensive mistakes.


Thanks Richard.

I've read through the sticky and now understand the importance of WBP ply in areas to be tiled.

There is one of your statements (below) that I still don't quite understand.


Remember that the actual ply thickness you need as a tile base will depend on jour floor joist size/pitch/span. This is what dictates all important floor rigidity; if there is any perceivable flex/movement in the floor, the tiles will fail.


You suggested earlier to use 18-25mm ply. Does that mean if I just used the higher of these ie 25mm that should provide suitable rigidity for any joist configuration?

Thanks again for your help
 
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There is one of your statements (below) that I still don't quite understand. ---

You suggested earlier to use 18-25mm ply. Does that mean if I just used the higher of these ie 25mm that should provide suitable rigidity for any joist configuration?
Almost; the British Standard Institute, Tile Association & almost every tile adhesive manufacturer I can think of specify using 25mm WBP when tiling suspended timber floors. Now anyone in the “know” knows they are playing safe in order to minimise warranty claims; it’s all about the rigidity of the floor/tile base & if there is any perceivable flex, it will fail unless you use very expensive latex based tiling products.

If you have an understanding of floor construction, loadings & other such boring stuff & are also experienced in tiling then you can make a judgment. Many “so called” tilers won’t have a clue or even if they do will just do what the builder is paying them for – to tile an area they are presented with, they won’t give a stuff if it fails in 6 months as they will be long gone. You don’t always have to go for maximum floor spec. but if it fails then you can’t blame anyone but yourself; certainly the addy manufacturers won’t want to know cos you didn’t follow their spec!

18mm is the minimum for a standard spec floor in good condition & is suitable for light load/traffic areas such as bath/shower rooms; kitchens, halls etc are heavy use/load areas & are another matter.

Loft conversions can be a bit tricky as they are in the roof (obviously) & joist sizes often tend to be lighter due to height considerations & cost skimping; to give advice on what you may require would require a lot more detailed information.
 
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Thanks Richard.

What sort of detailed information would you need? Having a quick look at the BRegs drawings the only thing I can find is;

"200mm x 50mm floor, joists@ 400 C/C"

Not sure if that gives enough information or I can ask the builder to tell me the spec if you might be kind enough to tell me what to ask?

Many thanks for your help
 
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They are good size joists at standard pitch which is what I would expect &, generally, will not present any problems but it’s important to know what the span is, particularly on a suspended floor you are intending to tile over.
 
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