Bought a house Friday. House was built in 1975. Carpet with particleboard beneath looks to be relatively new. I pulled up the carpet and the particle board is in great shape. No stains or water damange. I think it's 3/4" but haven't actually measured. There's a gap between it and the wall so I can measure it next time I am there. I am leaning towards a Kahrs 5/8" click-lock in the Nouveau Collection. I have used their product in the past. I contacted them and they said that it would be acceptable over particleboard if it's in good shape:

"If the particle board is indeed ¾” and is firm, flat, and free of any moisture or damage then it can be used under a floating installation."

This is a big expensive project and I don't want to be sorry afterwards. In fact, my approach to house projects is generally to strive to do things that will last indefinitely. Would it be a mistake to leave the particleboard as the underlayment?

Edit: In one room I will probably install luxury vinyl so I have same question about that over particleboard.

  • Go stand on floor. Bounce up and down. Does the floor feel solid, then good. If the floor bounces then fix.
    – crip659
    Commented Sep 25, 2022 at 15:13

1 Answer 1


Both those floors will perform well over the subfloor you have. In the interest of preventing the particle board from being damaged if water gets past the finish floor, I would put down some plastic with sealed seams first.

  • Regarding sealing, I've been doing some research and came across several mentions of using AFM Safe Seal. Commented Sep 26, 2022 at 3:17
  • Those sealers are used to seal against offgassing, or the fumes that some glued woods give off. My suggestion was to prevent water from weeping to the wood. I don't believe there is a need for you to be concerned with offgassing.
    – RMDman
    Commented Sep 26, 2022 at 14:08
  • Particleboard doesn't offgas? Or not an issue because of age? Commented Sep 27, 2022 at 15:33
  • Off Gassing is more prominent in wood being heated, such as roof decking. That is not the case in your subflooring and it is well aged.
    – RMDman
    Commented Sep 27, 2022 at 19:02

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