A Q&A with West Fraser on its weatherproof panels

A Q&A with West Fraser on its weatherproof panels

The forecast is fine with West Fraser’s range of high-performance panels – even in challenging weather conditions. Professional Builder puts the questions to Dan Clarke, Senior Key Account Manager, at West Fraser 

PB: Tell us what exists within the CaberFloor range? And the products’ formulation? 

Dan Clarke: Under the CaberFloor umbrella is the CaberFloor P5, CaberDek, CaberShieldPlus and CaberAcoustic boards, each presenting a reliable solution for a variety of applications. CaberFloor is machined from particleboard, made from timber which is sustainably grown in the UK.

PB: What solution should builders be specifying if the roof is not yet on, for example, and will be exposed to the elements? 

DC: It is not recommended to use CaberFloor P5 outside, although it is moisture resistant and can withstand limited exposure to rain and moisture during the build process – and will still retain a high percentage of its original strength. Instead, CaberDek or CaberShieldPlus are better choices, as both feature protective coatings. 

PB: What makes CaberDek and CaberShieldPlus weatherproof installation choices? 

DC: Protected from weather and dirt for up to 42 days before roof enclosure, CaberDek’s film layer can be removed after plastering and decorative work are complete to leave a clean surface ready for interior floorcoverings. 

CaberShieldPlus, meanwhile, is coated on both sides with a tough, waterproof coating: the top side being non-slip to ensure a safe working platform whatever the weather. Then the underside is smooth, enabling the board to easily slide into place.

PB: Do any of the products offer the additional benefit of sound reduction properties and how is this achieved? 

DC: CaberFloor is a solution that surpasses acoustic Building Regulations requirements. Tests on the CaberDek and the CaberFix Pro installation system have demonstrated the ability to exceed the acoustic performance target with an impressive 44db sound reduction. 

CaberAcoustic is available as 18 or 22mm CaberFloor P5 with a 10mm soundproofing layer and reduces sounds transmissions by ΔLw19dB.

PB: What types of flooring construction can CaberFloor be installed onto? 

DC: As well as laying floors across conventional timber joists, the material is ideal for use on engineered timber and metal web joists, or even wooden battens secured into concrete or other substrates. The product can also be fixed directly across existing wood floors, though care needs to be taken regarding the level and soundness of the retained boarding. As well as in ground and upper storey applications, the panels are often used in loft conversions, garden rooms and other modular type buildings, to be covered by carpet, tiles and vinyl.  

The panels can be screwed or nailed to the joists, battens or existing timber floors: fixing them at 200 – 300mm centres along the edges and 300mm elsewhere along the supports. Fixings should be at least 9mm from the edge of the panel, while nails should be 10 gauge.  

PB: Can you provide us with an indication of the sealing and fixing products that complement the flooring range? 

DC: When gluing boards with CaberFix Joint&Joist, only five fixings per board are required, one at each joist position – so cutting installation time. When the Joint&Joist adhesive is utilised, it should be applied to the edges as well as along the supporting timbers.  

PB: Squeaky floors are the bane of homeowners so how does CaberFloor eliminate the issue?

DC: Employing the previously mentioned adhesive systems virtually guarantees that squeaks and creaks can truly become an irritant of the past. The glue is five times stronger than nails. Alternatively, you could choose the one-bottle solution, CaberFix D4, which can be used for all panel fixing and sealing jobs. 

PB: Are there any design features that you’d like to tell us about that improves and simplifies the installation process for builders?

DC: Laying CaberFloor saves time as you don’t need to provide as many intermediate supports or noggins, while hidden nails and screws can be used with the tongue and groove (T&G) board. The boards are of high quality and dimensionally accurate with high load-carrying capacity and can be utilised in a variety of ways. The precision-engineered edges ensure their accurate and speedy installation, as well as tight-fitting joints to eliminate unsightly ridges. You should remember to leave a 2mm expansion gap per metre run, at the perimeter. 

PB: What sizes do you supply for each type of board?

DC: The boards are available in standard thicknesses of 18 or 22mm, in both square-edged or T&G options; the latter being profiled on all four edges to offer greater stability and flexibility of use. All CaberFloor panels measure 2,400 x 600mm. 

PB: Sustainability credentials are, of course, now paramount. How does the West Fraser CaberFloor portfolio perform here? 

DC: Over recent decades, the conservation of forests has become of great concern to us all. We, at West Fraser, are seeing particleboard products such as CaberFloor P5 being specified by the eco-conscious in preference to more traditional flooring. Significantly, 90% of wood used in particle board is recycled. Also, being a precision engineered product, CaberFloor can help to minimise waste through accurate usage and careful specification, while timber also locks in the CO2 during the product’s lifetime. With the timber used being UK grown, specifying CaberFloor products will reduce the transportation footprint. 

PB: Can you tell us about some of the certifications that the CaberFloor range benefits from?

DC: CaberFloor P5 carries BBA Agrement certification while FSC approval underlines its environmental credentials, and being a RIBA-approved BIM Object means it can be specified for use on projects involving the latest design technology.  

PB: Where can builders find out more information? And what other resources does West Fraser produce to support builders on projects?

Check out West Fraser’s housebuilders’ page where, amongst lots of useful downloads, you’ll find out things you may not already know about the manufacturer’s product ranges: https://uk.westfraser.com/housebuilders/.

For more information on West Fraser visit OSB, PB & MDF Panels: Housebuilders, Specifiers & Architects (westfraser.com).

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