SmartPly Floor - RIBA Product Selector

SmartPly Floor - RIBA Product Selector
SmartPly Floor
SmartPly Floor is a very strong and moisture resistant OSB/3 panel that is engineered to perform in
the most demanding flooring applications. Panels are available in various sizes with both square edge
(SE) and tongue & groove (T&G) profiled edges which enable quick, easy and reliable installation in
almost any timber floor design.
Quality & Environmental Certification:
use. Other quality certification includes SINTEF (Norway) and
SmartPly OSB is manufactured in accordance with the
KOMO (Netherlands).
requirements of EN 300: Oriented Strand Boards (OSB) definitions, classification and specifications.
SmartPly has achieved I.S. EN ISO 9001:2008, the
internationally recognised quality management system which is
SmartPly OSB is CE marked in accordance with the
certified by the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI).
harmonised standard EN 13986: Wood-based panels for use
in construction – characteristics, evaluation of conformity and
SmartPly has Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain of
marking. This standard is a technical specification for wood-
Custody certification for its manufacturing, processing, sales
based panels which implements the provisions of the
and distribution processes.
Construction Products Directive (CPD). In addition to the CE
mark, SmartPly OSB panels are marked 2+ Structural for
SmartPly operates under an Integrated Pollution Prevention
ease of reference.
Control (IPPC) licence, which is monitored by the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) in Ireland.
SmartPly OSB/3 is certified by the Irish Agrément Board (IAB)
and the British Board of Agrément (BBA). Due to this
All SmartPly OSB/3 products are manufactured using
certification it is permitted for structural use by Homebond
formaldehyde-free resin.
(Ireland) and NHBC (UK) when used in accordance with the
requirements of the Building Regulations in the country of
Suitability: The selection of SmartPly OSB/3 Floor
• The ambient moisture conditions: Moisture conditions can
panels depends on a number of factors of which the most
affect the performance of OSB floor panels. Floor structures
important are:
should be assigned to one of the three service classes
defined in EN 1995-1-1 (Eurocode 5). OSB/3 is only suitable
• The type of floor: Due design consideration must be given
for service class 1 and 2.
to the type of floor and the level of performance required, i.e.
intermediate, party, suspended, floating, overlays, raised
Always check current regulations specific to the country of
access, industrial platform, etc. It is the designer’s
use. As well as conditions in service, consideration must
responsibility to ensure that the floor design meets current
also be given to the construction phase where high levels of
structural, thermal, acoustic and fire regulations.
moisture or humidity often exist. In such conditions SmartPly
strongly recommends the use of OSB/3. Detailed guidance
• The load that the floor has to carry: When designing a
is provided in the ‘Moisture Content’ section of this technical
floor using permissible stress design, it is convenient to
design the floor to one of three load classes:
Specification & design:
Domestic: with a maximum UDL of 1.5 kN/m and a
As design values can vary between manufacturers, it is
maximum concentrated load of 2.7 kN/m .
important to ensure that the SmartPly Floor panels specified
by the designer are those used on site. All SmartPly panels
Non-domestic light duty: with a maximum UDL of 2.5 kN/m
and a maximum concentrated load of 2.7 kN/m .
are clearly marked with the following information:
Major axis (length of panel, direction of
laying arrows)
Non-domestic heavy duty: with UDL and concentrated loads
above 2.5 kN/m and 2.7 kN/m respectively.
(b) Production identification number
(c) Product Certification mark (e.g. BBA, IAB)
(d) CE marking
The designer can design the floor to carry any specified
Manufacturer’s name / Logo (SmartPly)
load. Comparable load classes for use with limit state
Notified body identification number
analysis are given in Eurocode 1. Various standards are
Quality certification (EN 300, EN 13986)
being reviewed as a result of the changeover to Eurocodes
iv. Panel type (e.g. OSB/3)
and it is therefore the designer’s responsibility to ensure the
application of correct design principles and loads.
vi. Formaldehyde class (e.g. E1)
Thickness (e.g. 18mm)
(e) Additional marking for ease of reference
(e.g. 2+ structural)
(f) FSC certification
Note: Markings may vary depending on product type.
The most popular panel sizes for floor decking are 2440 x
1220mm SE, 2397 x 1197mm SE, 2397 x 1200mm T&G2,
2400 x 600mm T&G4 and 2440 x 590mm T&G4
depending on market area, although other panel sizes are
available. The narrower panels are often preferred for ease
of handling in internal spaces and a length of 2400mm
suits nominal framing centres of 400 or 600mm. Panels are
available in thicknesses of 15, 18 and 22mm. For the full
product range, please refer to the Product Selector table in
SmartPly Technical Datasheet #1 – ‘About SmartPly’.
Panels are available in square edge (SE) or tongue & groove
Packs should be sheeted with tarpaulins or other
(T&G) profiled - on two long edges (T&G2) for wide panels or
impervious material so arranged to give full cover, but at the
on all four edges (T&G4) for narrow panels. T&G panels are
same time to permit free passage of air around and through
sanded to give a more precise fit. Guidance on expansion
the pack. Care must be taken not to deform stacked
gaps, laying and fixing is provided in Table 1 (below).
panels. Bands should be cut as soon as practical and safe
to avoid permanently deforming the panels. During
For domestic loading the minimum thickness of SmartPly
transport and handling it is particularly important to protect
floor panels should conform to the “deemed to satisfy”
edges and corners with suitable coverings to prevent
tables for domestic floor applications given in BS 8103-3.
damage from chafing or slings.
These minimum thicknesses are given in the table below,
plus a SmartPly recommendation for enhanced floor
Where the flooring panels are required to have low moisture
contents, it might not be possible to maintain suitable
conditions on site other than for short periods, and deliveries
Table 1 Thickness of OSB floor panels for domestic loading
(extracted from BS: 8103-3)
Maximum centres of
support members (mm)
Minimum thickness (mm)
22 (where enhanced floor
performance is required)
must be arranged accordingly.
Assembly and erection: The erection sequence
and site storage must be planned so as to minimise the
length of time that panels are left uncovered. Re-use
polythene wrapping to provide weather protection to open
packs during erection or site delays. In the case of
prefabricated floor cassettes, lifting points must be clearly
indicated and care needs to be taken during lifting to avoid
Other span/thickness combinations may be acceptable if
distortion of the panels, straining of the fixings and joints and
determined by calculated design. For example, ‘engineered
damage to edges.
floors’ such as I-joists or metal-web joists are often designed
at 480mm joist centres, which suits 2400mm long SmartPly
Installed OSB/3 panels can withstand short periods of
Floor panels. The floor system manufacturer’s instructions
temporary wetting during construction, although such
must be followed in relation to all aspects of design, i.e.
exposure must be minimised as much as possible.
structural, thermal, acoustic and fire and requirements.
Temporary protection is recommended where panels are
installed before the structure is adequately weatherproofed.
For non-domestic loading and if the “deemed to satisfy”
Water must never be allowed to pool on the surface of
approach to design is not applicable for the country of use,
panels, particularly at panel edges and T&G joints. A floor
recourse must be made to either designing by prototype
squeegee is recommended to remove rainwater from
testing or design by calculation according to EN 1995-1-1
panels. Alternatively, a small number of 10mm diameter
(Eurocode 5) or other relevant standards.
holes can be drilled through the OSB to allow water to drain
away, but advice should be sought from the designer to
Transportation, storage & handling:
ensure that acoustic and fire performance of the finished
Careful transportation, storage and handling are important to
floor assembly is not compromised.
maintain panels in their correct condition for use.
Precautions must be taken during storage, prior to delivery
and on site to minimise changes in moisture content of the
OSB panels due to weather.
Panels must be stored on dry bases, and packs must be
evenly supported on bearers with spacer sticks at regular
intervals (depending on panel thickness but max 600c/c).
Moisture content: Moisture content of wood-based
This indicates that unconditioned newly manufactured
panel products varies in accordance with the moisture
panels can increase in moisture content when installed in a
content of the surrounding environment and is affected
building under construction and subsequently change in
primarily by the relative humidity (RH) of the surrounding air. It
moisture content as the building is occupied, heated and
moves towards and maintains an equilibrium moisture content
dries out, with the consequence of dimensional changes. For
(emc), i.e. one that is in equilibrium with the surrounding air.
guidance purposes it may be assumed that a 1% change in
This means that the moisture contents of the panel products
panel moisture content will cause a dimensional change in
will vary depending on the situation of use and with time as
panel width, length and thickness as given in Table 4 (below).
temperature and humidity conditions change. Although it is
not possible to give precise levels, the figures in Table 2
(below). give a general indication of the range of moisture
contents in wood-based panels in various conditions:
Table 2 Equilibrium moisture content & conditions of use
(extracted from DD CEN/TS: 12872)
Table 4 Dimensional change for a 1% change in panel
moisture content (extracted from DD CEN/TS: 12872)
Panel type
Length %
Width %
Thickness %
Conditioning: To minimise dimensional changes, the
floor panels must be conditioned in the service class for the
Normal range of
RH at 20°C
Approx emc
Conditions of use
30% to 60%
_ 11%
4% <_ emc <
Dry installations, no risk
of wetting in service
65% to 85%
11% <_ emc <_ 17%
Risk of wetting during
installation and risk of
occasional wetting in
intended use by loose laying or stacking with spacers as
appropriate. The length of time allowed for conditioning will
vary depending on the panel and the likely condition of use.
A minimum period of 48 hours is required but a longer
period of up to 1 week is necessary in more extreme
conditions. Failure to adequately condition panels can result
in buckling of the installed OSB panels.
As required by EN 300, the ex-works moisture content of
SmartPly OSB panels is in the range of 2-12%, depending
Expansion gaps: The ‘Moisture Content’ section of this
on the type of panel. As recommended in BS 8103-3, the
technical datasheet explains how wood-based panels
moisture content of panels at the time of erection or fixing
experience dimensional change when subjected to changes
must be no greater than 12%. See Table 3 (below). As a
in moisture content. It is necessary to allow for such
guide, normally these following moisture content ranges
movement by incorporating expansion gaps as follows:
are encountered for various heating conditions:
• Perimeter, upstands and abutting construction:
Table 3 Typical moisture contents for various heating
conditions (Extracted from BS: 8103-3)
15% to 19%
Intermittent heating
10% to 14%
Continuous heating
9% to 11%
Underfloor heating
6% to 8%
A gap must be left wherever panels abut any rigid upstand
or abutting construction such as a perimeter wall, column,
fireplace surround, etc. This gap must be 2mm per metre
length of floor but not less than 10mm wide and can be
covered by skirting or loose cover strip. This gap applies
where both square edge and T&G panels are used.
• Long floors: On long floors (above approximately 10-12m),
it may be necessary to divide the area into smaller
independent sections by incorporating intermediate
expansion gaps. These gaps must allow for a possible
overall expansion of 2mm per metre length of floor and
applies where both square edge and T&G panels are used.
The spacing of these gaps and how they are concealed
depends largely on the floor plan layout and the type of
floor covering. Gaps should either be left open and masked
Installation: The area of decking installed in any working
by a loose cover strip, or filled with an easily compressible
day must be no greater than can be quickly protected from
material such as cork or softboard. If large intermediate
wetting. Supporting joists should be plumb, in line and to
expansion gaps are required, a purpose-designed slip joint
level. Joists and noggins must provide adequate support for
can be used, the design of which should be suitable for the
the panel edges in line with the design of the floor, as
floor covering used. In areas such as long corridors, door
described above.
thresholds can provide a convenient cover strip.
SmartPly OSB floor panels have maximum strength and
A sensible spacing for intermediate expansion gaps is
stiffness along the length (major axis) and are therefore laid to
7200mm, i.e. every 3 panels where they are laid
best structural advantage with the long edge spanning
perpendicular to the joists or every 6 panels where they are
across the joists. However, panels must be installed in the
laid parallel to the joists. This dimension also suits nominal
direction assumed by the design. Maximum strength and
framing centres of 400 and 600mm. It is important that the
stiffness will be obtained if each panel is continuous over at
panels are installed in the direction of the design.
least two spans between joists. To facilitate ease of laying,
panels are marked with laying direction arrows, indicating the
This guidance applies to thermal and moisture movements of
major axis. Panels must be laid with the identification marks
the OSB only. Structural movement of the floor diaphragm
facing down.
should also be accommodated if specified by the floor designer.
For square edge panels, it is essential that panels are
• Between square edge panels: A 3mm gap must be left
supported continuously along all edges by either joists or
between all adjoining square edges of panels. It is essential
noggins. For T&G panels, both short edges must be
that the gaps are kept free from plaster and mortar droppings
supported by the centre line of a joist or noggin but no
and other debris during construction.
support is necessary under the long edges set between
correctly spaced joists. When using either square edge or
Notes: Tongue & Groove panels have an expansion gap
T&G panels, joints along the short edges must be staggered
included in the T&G joint, so T&G edges must be butted
and the panel length must not be less than two joist
together with the joints glued. However the requirement for
spacings. It is essential that edges around the perimeter of
perimeter and intermediate expansion gaps still applies.
the floor are continuously supported, either on joists or
noggins. Furthermore, it is recommended to provide
Depending on joist width, extra joists or noggins may be
additional edge support in areas of constant or high load
required to support panel edges and facilitate edge fixing of
concentration such as at doorways or stair landings.
panels. Panels should have a minimum bearing of 17.5mm on
joists or noggins. Most commercially available joist widths
For all panel types, it is recommended to glue the panels to
provide adequate edge support while also facilitating the 3mm
the supporting timber joists, ensuring that all joists are level
expansion gaps between square edge panels. Where narrow
and free from mortar droppings and debris before laying.
joists (<38mm) are used, a double joist or extra noggins will be
The moisture content of the joists must not
required or T&G4 panels should be used.
exceed 20%. T&G panel joints should be glued using a
moisture resistant polyvinyl acetate (PVA) adhesive
The above guidance is based on the requirements for
conforming to EN 204 ensuring a snug fit with all T&G
expansion gaps given in BS 8103-3 and DD CEN/TS 12872
joints. This ensures a reliable distribution of strength,
and SmartPly’s long-term experience. However, it is
stiffness and spanning capacity along and across the panel
recommended to calculate the specific expansion requirements
plus it improves floor performance and reduces the risk of
for every flooring application taking both the moisture content
‘creaking’ noises due to trafficking. Once correctly
during construction and the expected in-service equilibrium
installed, care must be taken not to overload the floor
moisture content into account. Failure to leave adequate
beyond its design load, particularly in relation to stockpiling
expansion gaps can result in buckling of the OSB panels.
building materials on the deck.
Fixing: All panels must be fastened firmly to the
Floating floors: EN 13810-1 permits the use of any
supporting timber with flat head annular ringed shank nails
load-bearing panel complying with EN 13986 to be used as
or countersunk head traditional wood screws (in predrilled
floating floor systems. However, the use of OSB as the
holes), 3.0 - 3.35mm in diameter (3.0mm diameter is
floating overlay panel on a ‘continuously supported’ floating
preferable for ≤38mm thick joists to reduce the possibility of
floor requires great care in the design and site installation. This
splitting). Countersunk head self-drilling wood screws, No. 8
is mainly due to the absence of mechanical fixings and the
screw gauge or 4.0mm in diameter can also be used.
associated restraint for the decking, as well as workmanship
issues associated with the installation of such floors.
All fixings should be a minimum of 50mm in length or 2.5
times the thickness of the panel, whichever is greater. In
SmartPly Floor panels are more commonly used as part of a
service class 2, fixings must be corrosion resistant.
‘self supporting’ floor where the floating floor is supported on
Fixings should be spaced at 150mm centres along panel
battens, thereby providing adequate support and facilitating
perimeters and at 300mm centres along intermediate
fixing of the decking. The panels must be type OSB/3 T&G4
supports. Fixings must be at least 10mm from the edge of
and a vapour control layer is typically required between the
the panel. In order to avoid buckling, fixings should
insulation and OSB deck. Any gaps due to the un-evenness
commence at the top centre of the panel and continue
of the subfloor must be made good. Special care must be
outwards and downwards.
taken to ensure that panels are laid in dry conditions after all
wet trades operations such as plastering have been
The above recommendations are a combination of those
completed. Advice in relation to conditioning, expansion
extracted from the ‘Manual for the design of timber building
gaps, etc must be strictly followed. Partitions must be built
structures to Eurocode 5’ and based on SmartPly’s long-
off a structural kerb and not off the floating deck.
term experience. A structural engineer may specify different
fixings requirements based on calculated design but such
Good site practice and strict adherence to the specifier’s
mechanical fixing must not excessively restrict the natural
instructions are essential in order to get the desired
movement of the OSB panels.
performance from floating floors. Further guidance can be
found in the Code of Practice IS (WPIF)3/2008, which
Partitions must not be supported directly by the OSB
contains considerably more detailed guidance on the
decking. Partitions must be supported directly by a joist,
installation of floating floors than is contained in EN 13810-1,
beam, solid blocking or noggins between the joists and fixed
thereby complimenting the European standard.
securely in place. This will prevent deformation of the
decking and ‘squeaky floors’ which is the result of friction
Finishing: SmartPly OSB floor panels are suitable for
between decking material and nail shanks.
many types of floor covering, provided that the fixing, edge
support and gluing recommendations are followed. Resilient
floor coverings such as cork, linoleum, rubber or vinyl should
be laid in accordance with BS 8203.
All T&G panels have a sanded surface and the interlocking
joints are machined to exact tolerances to ensure optimum
flatness. Sub-floors must be clean, rigid and flat. Some thin
or shiny surface materials laid over the OSB floor panels can
allow the panel joints to show through, particularly after
heavy trafficking. Before laying materials, ensure all joints are
level. Some light sanding is permissible.
Most common floor laying adhesives are suitable for use
with SmartPly OSB floor panels; however water-based
adhesives must not be used unless they have very low water
Important notes: The recommendations provided in this
content or the panel surface is sealed with a suitable sealer.
Technical Data Sheet for the correct use of SmartPly Floor
This will prevent excessive amounts of water which may not
panels are specifically designed to ensure longevity and
be able to evaporate through the floor covering being
performance of this quality product in service. It is therefore
absorbed by the panels, causing swelling and/ or distortion if
essential that these recommendations are strictly followed.
present in sufficient quantities.
The product is designed to be installed by a competent
general builder, or a contractor, experienced with this type of
The application of rigid ceramic tiles to OSB panels, which
product. SmartPly Europe Ltd cannot be held responsible
expand and contract in response to changes in relative
for damages arising from non-adherence to these
humidity / moisture content, is generally not recommended
recommendations, or product failures resulting from
by SmartPly due to the great care in specification, site
inadequate structural design or misuse of this product.
practice and end-use conditions that are necessary to avoid
cracking at joints or through tiles. However, guidance on this
In order to provide comprehensive guidance for the
application is provided in BS 5385-3 and The Tile
correct use of SmartPly OSB products, this Technical
Association publication ‘Tiling to timber sheets and boards,
Datasheet makes reference to relevant BS & EN standards
timber substrates and alternative products’. Furthermore,
as well as publications from other authoritative bodies.
technical advice from the tile, adhesive and grout
SmartPly Europe Ltd cannot be held responsible for claims
manufacturers must be strictly followed.
arising from the use of any information that has been
extracted from such sources.
Further guidance on the selection and use of OSB for floor
decking can be found in EN12871, DD CEN/TS: 12872,
BS 8103-3 and WPIF Panel Guide.
For further information and/or technical advice please
contact your local SmartPly Sales Representative or
SmartPly Technical Support Personnel through any of our
European offices.
As we continually update our technical datasheets,
please check on that you have the
latest version.
V 03/11
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