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Can you use self-levelling compound over chipboard?

I would be very nervous about applying cheaper cement-based self-levelling compounds that you mix with water on chipboard. The chipboard floor covering will start to absorb the moisture from the self-levelling compound mix, causing it to swell and blow.

Very Important: Cement-based self-level also has no flexibility once it sets, so if it is on a 1st floor and there is slight movement in the floor, it will crack.

Solution:

You can apply Ardex NA directly on to chipboard which is latex based. It comes with a bag of levelling compound and a tub of latex. No need to add any water or measure anything out!

The Latex will not absorb into the chipboard but it will still create a strong bond. The latex in the mixture gives the self-levelling compound some increased flexibility. This means it can be applied where there might be some movement in the subfloor, making it perfect for a conventional timber joist floor with chipboards laid on top.

What is self levelling compound?

Self-levelling compound is also known as a floor screed or floor levelling mix. It is a thin layer of a cement-based mixture that is applied to subfloors in order to level out any bumps.

The mix is applied in a thin layer to subfloors such as concrete and floorboards, you use it before laying another floor, such as tile, above it.

It is called a self-levelling compound as it, in theory, self-levels. What this means is that you don’t have to worry about getting the mix perfectly level. It should flow across the floor, and correct any errors.

While this does generally work, there are limits. It doesn’t flow like water so will not perfectly level over a large area and may require a bit of help from you.

Why use self-levelling compound?

You use a self-levelling compound to turn a bumpy, un-even subfloor into a perfectly smooth surface. This is great when you are fitting a solid floor such as tile or wood.

Your floor wont be able to hide the bumps and just sit on them when you fit a rigid floor. Tiles will crack and break and a wood floor will bounce and move. Whereas a flooring like carpet will happily sit on an uneven base.

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