12 March 2019

TRADA’s Panel Guide has been revised

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TRADA’s revised Panel Guide (Version 4.1) is a helpful interactive PDF which provides information on the properties, applications and end uses of all the main types of wood-based panel:

  • medium density fibreboard (MDF)
  • fibreboard (hardboard, mediumboard, softboard)
  • oriented strand board (OSB)
  • particleboard (chipboard, flaxboard, cement-bonded particleboard)
  • plywood (including blockboard and laminboard)

It is aimed at construction professionals (including specifiers, designers, building engineers, and architects), panel manufacturers, distributors and users. A collaborative publication produced with technical input from TRADA, the Wood Panel Industries Federation and the Timber Trade Federation, it provides guidance on current legislation and the design/decision-making process involved in selecting a panel for a specific end use.


The Panel Guide was reviewed in January 2019 and revised to inform areas highlighted by industry feedback – primarily on how panel products are used in flooring – and reflects the wider range of products now available. Updates have also been made to align with changes in standardisation. The revised sections are:

  • the flooring section
  • the flat roofing section
  • the WPIF floating floor industry standard, which is published with the Panel Guide as an annex


Changes to the flooring section include:

  • nogging requirements
  • how to deal with panels finishing mid-span
  • allowable overhang of the panel over the joist at the edge of the room
  • removal of option to fix panels parallel to joists
  • clarifying expansion gaps, both immediate and at the perimeter where the floor runs under the wall
  • changes to resilient floor underlayment specifications (BS 8203 changes)
  • new panel products, that is glue-only floor systems and weather-resistant panel products


Summary of the changes to the roofing section:

  • removal of recommendation to fix panels parallel to joists
  • addition of missing guidance for square-edged panels and expansion gaps


Summary of changes to the WPIF floating floor industry standard:

  • includes fabricated underlays from BS 82031
  • updates to building regulation and standard references
  • includes new information on floating floors over timber bases
  • acknowledging the lack of deemed-to-satisfy structural solutions for non-domestic flooring
  • editorial refinements and streamlining
  • more information on ceramic tiling to floating floors
  • review of all technical aspects
  • modernisation of drawings and format


The review process has strengthened the information contained in the Panel Guide.


Register or login to download a free copy of the Panel Guide Version 4.1