12 Apr 2021
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United Kingdom
We've had a big garden studio built, and in an effort to save money on the escalating costs of having it done out (and because we didn't like any of the laminate options available to us), we opted to finish the flooring ourselves.

We want to keep costs down, so are looking to install simple softwood t&g floorboards over the chipboard subfloor they've installed. The entire build is made using SIPS panels (so there's no concrete anywhere) and everything is new, plastered, and fitted. The builders have kindly mitred the skirting boards to stick on after the floor is in.

I've done some research and each time I google 'install softwood on chipboard subfloor' I seem to get a different answer. Floating the floor seems the simplest method, but I've also seen recommendations for glueing direct to the chipboards, which sounds quite arduous. There seems to be a whole raft of discussion on moisture levels in old chipboard, a few recommendations on different methods of nailing and a lot of irrelevant info on concrete floors!

So my questions are:
1. Float, glue or nail?
2. If floating, what kind of underlay/membrane should I use?
3. If glueing, what kind of glue? What kind of prep on a (quite dusty) chipboard subfloor?
4. Is nailing a terrible idea?
5. What's the difference between 'underlay' and 'underlayment' anyway?!

I feel like this should be a pretty simple job - the room is large, the subfloor brand new, everything professionally done, and the room is basically rectangular. Please help so I can get out of this Google rut!
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