Does chip-board floor "wear out"?

14 Jun 2005
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United Kingdom
We live in a house built in the early 80's. As such the upstairs floor is made from chipboard. It's screwed down rather than nailed down. Anyway, certain areas are quite "creaky", like the bits where heavy furniture is.

Does chipboard floor wear out and need replacing after a certain amount of time, or is it good for a while? Not something you often read about...
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Chances are that the timber of the floor joists has shrunk over the years causing a gap between the wood and the chipboard. Try tightening the screws up to see if it makes a difference.
If it's been kept dry and covered I wouldn't expect flooring grade chip to pack up after 25 years.

Chipboard is an awful material

in my house it cracked or broke at main stress points - at the bottom of the stairs, where people jump/step off heavily; in front of the sink where people stand a lot, various places where T&G joints had not been supported by joists and noggins. It also crumbled under the sink and in the bathroom where it had got wet.

Nails tend to come loose in places where it might move under load. It tends to break away around nails and screws if it moves.

I have pulled up some of it and replaced with 18mm ply which is far stronger and seems quieter as well.

Next time I am redecorating or changing floor coverings, the old chip floor in that room is coming up.
The weight of heavy furniture will deform the chipboard. So if say a heavy cabinet leg is sat on the flooring between joists it will dip the board down where the flooring isn't supported by joists. This then tends to make the floor lift a bit over the joists.

Try tightening the board or simply adding some more screw fixings to add further rigidity.
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Thanks for the replies.

I think we might be getting new carpets soon, so I'll try adding some more screws nd tightening up then.

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