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How to Lay Floor Protection Board Flat: The Bend Back Method

The simple solution to ensure a flat board.

What is paperboard floor protection?

Paper floor protection board is an excellent product used to shield floors from damage during construction, renovation, moving and other projects that may involve heavy foot traffic or equipment.

Paperboard floor protection comes in different thicknesses to fit almost any demand of the jobsite. What makes it such a versatile product is that it is cost effective, easy to install, and is reusable and recyclable. Many floor protection boards are spill resistant, so you can walk on and off the jobsite with confidence. Products like Builder Board® are also designed to be breathable, so floors can cure properly while you work.

If you’ve used floor protection board before, chances are that when you rolled the board out, it rolled back in on itself. This is because paper rolls have memory. The fibers want to stay in position until they are crushed to lay flat. So how do we get paperboard to lay flat?

 Easy steps to get floor protection board to lay flat

man rolling floor protection board, builder board, away from himself on the floor Step 1: Roll your floor protection out, logo side up.


man with gloves rolling floor protection board away from himself during bend back method

Step 2: Grab the end of the paperboard on both sides and step back about 3 logos from the end.


Step 3: Hold the board straight up and curl it away from you, until it comes in contact with itself.


Step 4: Slide the cut end of the board up, keeping in contact with the non-logo side until it returns to the original vertical position. This will help crush the paper fibers horizontally.


man with gloves pulling floor protection board, builder board, up as he steps in the center

Step 5: With your foot placed in the middle of the board, pull the end upwards. You’ll see some tension lines running through the board between your foot and your hands. This tension will help break the vertical memory. It is important that your foot creates a single pressure point to help form strong and defined tension lines.


Now your board should lay flat. We like to call these steps “The Bend Back Method,” and they can be summed up easily: crush the fibers horizontally and then vertically to erase the memory from the roll. 

Watch the video below to see the steps in action.


More Surface Protection from Surface Shields

After you’ve gotten your temporary floor protection board to lay flat and cut it to size, it is time to seam edges together. Builder Board Seam Tape is designed specifically to seam the edges of floor protection board together*. To anchor the board to the surface, use a clean removal tape like a blue tape or edge tape.**

If you’re looking for more surface protection products like carpet protection, dust containmentsticky mats or flame retardant protection, browse our full line of products.

*Builder Board Seam Tape is not intended to be used directly on surfaces.
** We recommended testing all tape in an inconspicuous area before applying.


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