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Check particle-board floor before covering with linoleum

Q. In remodeling my kitchen, three-eighths-inch particle board was laid directly on the concrete floor. I am told that this was a mistake since linoleum cannot be glued to the particle board. What do you say? June I. Bethel Cedar Glen, Calif.

A. Particle board as well as plywood as underlayments for resilient flooring have been commonly and successfully used for many years. However, to lay either type of board directly on a concrete floor on grade may be suspect.

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Should either board be laid over concrete on grade, first lay a seamless polyethylene sheet on the slab to prevent the migration of moisture. Ideally, then lay the board on wood ''sleepers'' that fasten down to the slab.

Before laying the linoleum in your new kitchen, check out the acceptability of the existing particle board as a satisfactory substrate with the resilient-flooring mechanic doing the work. Just now the Environmental Protection Agency is having a fuss with some particle-board manufacturers as to whether or not particle board is environmentally acceptable.

Particle board is an engineered, grainless compressed-wood product available, like plywood, in panels.

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