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The Cost Effective Alternative To Plywood For Protecting Floors From Damage

When you’ve just fitted a brand new floor, your first thoughts will often be “right, how do I protect it now?” You’ve spent the time, effort and cost to source exceptional materials and perfectly lay this new flooring, so the last thing you want is for another contractor to drop something, spill something or generally damage it in one way or another.

So you look for some temporary protective material for your flooring, and might consider plywood boards as the standard go to. But plywood isn’t ideal – it’s heavy, awkward and costly, and sometimes you just want a better alternative.

Thankfully, Proplex FR HD can meet your needs. 


The problem with plywood

Whilst plywood might be the traditional material for protecting newly laid floor, it’s increasingly an outdated, old fashioned option. It’s a strong material to protect surfaces, but it’s not without its faults.

  • It’s very heavy and bulky – plywood boards are hard to move and difficult to cut to size
  • It can discolour flooring – in some conditions plywood can stain the surface it’s been laid over to protect.
  • It’s not cheap – because of its size and bulk, plywood boards aren’t cheap to manufacture or transport.

When you cut plywood boards on site, you’re likely to create a lot of dust – not ideal if you’re trying to protect a newly laid floor. To comply with safety regulations, you’ll also need to make sure the plywood is flame retardant too.

But safety can still be a concern if the plywood gets wet, as the boards could easily warp and they’re likely to become slippery too. What you need is a protective material that provides full protection in an easy, cost-effective way – whatever the circumstances.


What is Proplex FR HD?

That’s exactly what Proplex FR HD does. Each sheet is made from flame retardant polypropylene, and manufactured with a unique twinwall structure to a high density 1200gsm.

What this means in practice is that it has superior compression strength and is impact resistant. It will protect flooring from any shocks, scratches, knocks or bangs and can even withstand heavy vehicular traffic. You can drive a 44 tonne articulated vehicle over Proplex FR HD and won’t see any compression.

 heavy duty protection for floors

The polypropylene material we use for Proplex FR HD also means the boards are comparatively lightweight and waterproof, protecting surfaces from any oil, chemical or water spillages. They won’t warp when wet either, still providing extra tough, hard-wearing protection. More importantly, if your site needs to comply with the Joint Code of Practice, our twinwall sheets are flame retardant certified by the LPCB to Loss Prevention Standard 1207.


The economical alternative to plywood

The most important factor when choosing protection for newly laid floors is likely to be the cost. There might be much better alternatives to plywood, but if they are more expensive to purchase, ship and lay, then they’re not going to be cost-effective.

But Proplex FR HD is more economical than plywood. It’s cheaper per square metre, delivers a better result overall, and is much lighter and easier to transport. The result is cost-savings all around.

Compare the cost of Proplex FR HD on our website with the general merchant price of plywood:

  • For 9.5mm flame retardant plywood, expect a 40% cost saving
  • For 18.5mm flame retardant plywood, you’ll find savings of 60%
  • Even if you were to opt for non-FR 18mm hardwood faced plywood, you could still see big savings

Translate these savings into a real project, and you could reduce your costs for temporary protection materials by thousands of pounds. For example, Proplex FR HD was used to provide protection to the interior of lift (which had weight restrictions) and saved the contracting company approximately £6000 in total!


Saving time and making the job easier

The cost savings of Proplex FR HD versus plywood also extend to transportation and installation.

Due to its lightweight nature, each sheet is much easier to transport compared to plywood boards, and requires far less labour to cut to size and lay on the floor. We can fit 5500 sheets of Proplex FR HD on a typical articulated lorry, compared with just 3630 sheets of 6mm plywood or 1650 sheets of 12mm plywood.

To cover 15,000m² of flooring, you’d need 3 lorry loads of 12mm plywood, 2 lorry loads of 6mm plywood, but just one single lorry of Proplex FR HD. 

This saves you time and money with the delivery of the protective material, and means installation is a lot quicker too. Proplex FR HD is easily cut on site, and unlike plywood, it doesn’t create any dust or debris.

As it’s much lighter than plywood, it can also be safely handled by a single person, so labour costs are reduced as well. It can be placed over flooring quickly and efficiently, with boards only needing to be taped together with standard cloth tape. No wasted time, no mess, no hassle.

Lightweight, easy to carry Proplex FR HD 


A better choice for the environment

Increasingly, many contractors are also considering the environmental impact of their purchases and their commitment to greener, more sustainable operations. Fewer lorry loads is a great place to start to reduce your carbon footprint.

Furthermore, Proplex FR HD is made from post industrial recycled components, and is fully reusable or recyclable. This closed loop supply ensures you’re purchasing protective material that helps to protect the environment, and won’t go to landfill.


Are you ready to switch to Proplex FR HD?

Whatever your reasons for looking for an alternative to plywood for floor protection, Proplex FR HD is a great solution. From reducing costs whilst providing tough, durable protection, to sourcing recyclable materials that support environmentally friendly, sustainable initiatives, Proplex FR HD delivers.

We can even custom print your logo onto the Proplex sheets to promote your brand and business on site!

Save money and time on your next flooring project. Instead of plywood, try Proplex FR HD for effective temporary protection.

Extensive floor protection

Next post: Proplex is the Bomber: Temporary Protection for Restoration Projects