Your ultimate guide to Yellow, Blue and Red Tongue flooring

When deciding between flooring, there are several factors to consider.
Your ultimate guide to Yellow, Blue and Red Tongue flooring

Particleboard Flooring is a structural sheet flooring panel for sub-floors or suspended floors. It is well suited to either fitted construction, where the walls and joist system have been erected prior to support the perimeter, or platform construction, where the flooring panel is laid prior to the erection of the walls.

Particle board offers a durable, strong, moisture resistant treated substrate that is perfect for use under carpets, floating floors, and when used as a system under vinyl and ceramic tiles. These quality resin enriched products are suitable for all your substrate needs.

These tongues fit snugly into the grooves, ensuring an easy and tight fit. This system was not only designed to make installation a breeze, but to also increase the strength and support drastically, something you really need when you’re laying a structural sub-floor.

Australian Panels offers The STRUCTAflor range, which is a structural grade particleboard sheet flooring manufactured in Australia to comply with the requirements for Particleboard Flooring, Class 1, in AS/NZS 1860.1, Particleboard Flooring. STRUCTAflor H2 and STRUCTAflor R-flor have termite protection and STRUCTAflor R-flor includes a layer of foil insulation for improved thermal performance / BAL 29 fire rating and reduction in moisture vapor permeability. 

STRUCTAflor is easily identifiable by its colour-coded tongues and coated edges. The thickness of the particleboard is the primary difference between these three products. This also changes the required distance for joist centres and load carrying capacity. STRUCTAflor has unique colour-coded tongues to identify thickness:

YELLOWtongue - 19mm for joist centres up to 450mm for residential properties

REDtongue - 22mm for joist centres up to 600mm for residential properties

BLUEtongue - 25mm heavy duty for joist centres up to 600mm for residential properties

• Reduced joist spacing results in increased load carrying capacity

In this blog post, we will discuss what to look out for when trying to tell them apart from one another so that you can make an educated decision with ease based on various material qualities and settings. 

YELLOWtongue Flooring: 

ap-04.6-Tongues Blog Images-760x350px - 09.2023 YELLOWtongue_1

YELLOWtongue is an interior all-purpose flooring used primarily in residential buildings and designed for both platform and fitted flooring contraction methods. YELLOWtongue will support imposed loads for general areas in houses as required by AS/NZS 1170.1-2002. Permanent imposed and other actions, at 19mm thick, the maximum joist centres for YELLOWtongue STRUCTAflor GP and STRUCTAflor H2 is 450 for residential applications. 

This flooring is moisture resistant, with edge wax coat and wax impregnated for added moisture protection and is guaranteed for 5 months exposure to the elements.

Available sizes GP = 1800 x 600mm, 3600 x 600mm, 3600 x 800mm

Available sizes H2 and R-flor = 3600 x 800mm

REDtongue Flooring: 

REDtongue is a thicker all-purpose flooring for larger joist spacings or higher load capacity which covers both residential and light industrial requirements. At 22mm thick the maximum joist centres for REDtongue STRUCTAflor GP, STRUCTAflor H2, and R-flor is 600mm for general residential applications.

For interior subfloors with joist spacing of less than 600mm, it is intended for use in domestic buildings. Three different widths are available: 3600 x 800mm and 3600 x 600mm. You can also buy STRUCTAflor H2, the termite-treated version, or R-Flor, the foil-backed termite-treated version.

BLUEtongue Flooring: 

BLUEtongue Flooring is a 25mm thick particleboard flooring specifically for residential, commercial, industrial and institutional buildings.

Subject to span and deflection limits, BLUEtongue STRUCTAflor GPSTRUCTAflor H2, and R-flor, may be used over various floor joist spacings to support a wide range of concentrated and uniformly distributed loads. Floor loads will depend on the nature of occupancy and floor use. Refer AS/NZS 1170.1. When used over floor joists at 300mm maximum centres, 25mm BLUEtongue will support live loads in excess of 6.7kn and 31.5kPa uniformly distributed.

Things to consider when deciding between flooring.

What floor loads am I required to carry?

Your building classification will determine what load carrying capacity you require and based upon joist spacings will determine what thickness STRUCTAflor you need as an example a residential home will normally use 19mm YELLOWtongue to meet this load carrying requirement whereas light industrial building such as a mezzanine level / office could require 22mm REDtongue whereas a heavy industrial building such as a gym might require the 25mm BLUEtongue.

The thickness of the board verses the distance between the joists determines the flooring systems load carrying capacity.

Do I need the board termite treated or general purpose?

Certain locations such as far north Queensland require building materials to be termite treated, outside of these areas typically it is a builder and home owners choice, but for the relatively small increase in cost to get termite treated as well as most floor joist / bearer and wall frames being termite treated why take the risk?

Do I need a BAL 29 floor?

A BAL 29 (Bushfire Attack Level 29) floor is a type of construction designed to withstand bushfire (wildfire) attack up to a certain intensity level. Whether you need a BAL 29 floor depends on various factors, including your location, local building codes, and the specific requirements for your property. If your DA approval requires a BAL 29 Subfloor, the R-flor is the best product for this application.

I have a damp subfloor area, which product should I use?

If you have a damp subfloor area R-flor is your best option. R-flor gives you 80% less moisture uptake through the bottom surface compared to other common wood subfloor products. Less moisture uptake means better overall subfloor and floor covering performance, especially when building close to the ground.

I am concerned about mould during and after construction, what product is best for this application?

R-flor is your go to product since it provides significant reduction in mould growth potential during and after construction on both top and bottom surfaces.

Which product is best suited if I am laying Timber flooring over the top of my subfloor?

When laying timber flooring over a subfloor, it's essential to choose the right products and follow proper installation procedures to ensure a durable and attractive result. We recommend the use of R-flor. Proper preparation, subfloor evaluation, and using the right products and tools will ensure a successful timber flooring installation.

Ultimately, the best option will depend on the individual project, so consideration should be given to specific needs and applications before deciding.

Visit the flooring section on our website for brochures, technical data, installation guides and more.