Upgrading Your Woodcore Panels to Filled Panels
In most cases woodcore panels can be upgraded to filled panels; either with concrete or calcium suplhate panels. It is important to determine the exact profile of the woodcore panel and the overall thickness. If your panels are 1 1/8" or 1 3/16" thick it should be possible. Currently there is one manufacturer producing a filled panel which is interchangeable with the majority of legacy woodcore panels, however; it cannot be assumed that all woodcore panels are interchangeable with filled panels. The easiest upgrade is panels which are flat on the bottom and supported by wide steel bars referred to as stringers. This type of panel sits on top of the stringer and does not have a flange.
Woodcore panels are typically rated for a concentrated load of 1000 pounds on any one square inch. This is often referred to as the design load. Filled panels are typically rated at 1250 pound on one square inch, which creates a stronger floor system.
The most common reason for upgrading woodcore panels to filled panels is more strength, higher moisture resistance, better acoustics and an improved flame spread rating.
With older woodcore panels excessive moisture can infiltrate the interior of the panel and cause the woodcore to swell. This infiltration will make the top surface concave and no longer a flat surface to support the surface covering. Improper maintenance, air conditioning problems, variations in room humidity, sprinkler discharge and spills are some of the reasons for a panel to swell. Woodcore panels are formed from a sheet of sheetmetal which is slit and folded up at the edges, to form a pan. The corners are not welded and not completely sealed, which allows moisture to migrate into the interior eventually causing swelling and delamination.
There was one manufacturer, CTEC, which is now obsolete, which produced both woodcore and concrete-filled panels. The panels from this manufacturer are not interchangeable with any other woodcore panels. They have a smaller bottom pan and a small flange at the top of the panel. These panels were obsolete but are now back into production. If you do have woodcore panels from this manufacturer, it is possible to upgrade to concrete-filled as well.
To find out if we can upgrade your existing woodcore panels, send us some images and follow the instructions at our Replacement Services page.