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Old 09-25-2009, 06:33 PM   #1
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how do i know if my subfloor is good enough to


put in a wood floor on top of it. I'm really not sure if its OSB or pressboard/particle board or not. I don't want to nail in a whole floor if its not the right subfloor. Please help, the materials are on their way and i don't know if the have a good enough foundation. Any ideas, know how, would be appreciated! Help!

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Old 09-25-2009, 10:45 PM   #2
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how do i know if my subfloor is good enough to


Hello Brenda!

...I'm NOT an expert but have a bit of experience in what your trying to do.

Your on the right track and your question is a perfect start for getting the job done right.

What kind of floor joist do you have? 2 x 10's? wood? engineered joists?

What is the spacing of the joists? 16" 19"???

How many layers of subfloor?

Particle or OSB? Hmm..Plywood? ( particle board is pressed sawdust and is a very fine grain and is hard to the touch, Particle board is made from wood chips of about 3/4". You can see all the chips. Plywood is from wood venneer and looks like a tree all rolled out..)

What exacly do you want to put on top? hardwood strips? laminated hardwood? parquet?...

What's on the floor now?

What condition is all this in? age?

And last but not least, can you supply a picture?

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Old 09-26-2009, 03:28 AM   #3
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how do i know if my subfloor is good enough to


thanks for the script, its gotta be particle board, more compressed and smooth, i don't see a lot of wood chips and i know its not plywood so don't need to send a pic of it cause you described it pretty good. I don't know about the joists yet. The carpet was taken up awhile ago so the subfloor is whats showing. The kitchen has linoleum but I'm doing two rooms with the pine tongue and groove. I'm going to have to put down plywood now, shoot. Hmmm, can I use 1/4 in or do I have to go to at least 1/2 inch. I don't want to tear up the subflooring that is in here now so will be raising floor levels. I don't have a door that I need to worry about except now the tiles in front of the door are going to be lower than the rest of the floor. Hmmm, oh, and plan on using a nailer but not the pneumatic one ($). Any input/advice on that part?
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:43 AM   #4
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how do i know if my subfloor is good enough to


Well well...looks like you got a handle on the situation.

Particle board....sorry about that :-( BUT, as you know the plywood will do the trick!

1/4" is minimum but if it's the right stuff you'll be OK. It has to be the best grade available...I'm not sure of US standards. It's gunna be something like exterior douglas fir, pine or spruce. It cannot be luan or softwood plywood!!!!

I would also use glue...BUT, be careful, this is very tricky. You need to use regular white glue that comes in gallons not the tube types (adhesives create voids and will make the floor creek). The glue needs to be very evenly spread on the ENTIRE SURFACE on the area below the sheet your going to install. You have to do one sheet at a time (glue and screw). The screws go 4" spacing on the perimeter and 6" in the field. USE THE PROPER FLOOR SCREWS!!! the best tool for "screwing" is a drywall driver. Start at one end of the sheet and work your way across so you bleed the glue evenly until it comes out the other side. The plywood goes perpendicular to the floor joists.

Use a pneumatic hammer for the hardwood! A manual banger is a monster to use even for guys with big arms! You'll have fun using the air tool!

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Old 09-26-2009, 04:30 PM   #5
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how do i know if my subfloor is good enough to


Hate to disagree (and I'm not an expert on hardwood either), but the particle board won't hold the nails/staples adequately and I don't THINK a layer of 1/4" is going to remedy the situation. Most of the "holding power" (depth) of the fastener is still relying on the particle board. I would suggest checking the mfgr's. specifications for your specific product a far as sub floor and do it correctly or you will void any warranty offered. They're usually very specific. And Pete is right about the pneumatic nailer. You could look into renting as they're kind of "pricey". Or Harbor Freight sells one relatively cheap. I usually don't buy pneumatic or power tools from them (some hand tools), but I did buy a flooring nailer and it has worked fine for the 6 or 8 times I've used it in 3 or 4 years. A few jams, but not a big deal to clear them....
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Old 09-27-2009, 01:41 AM   #6
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how do i know if my subfloor is good enough to


1/4 in plywood. Its a local lumber yard/ "store" and i won't be ruining any warranty. I don't know what kind of plywood they are shipping. Home Depot tommorrow for white glue, the screws and check pneumatic nailer rental prices. Thank you so much, I'm feeling a whole lot better about this now
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Old 09-28-2009, 11:16 AM   #7
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how do i know if my subfloor is good enough to


Brenda! STOP!

If you don't know what kind of plywood that's coming, that will be your first mistake and could quite well lead to the failure of your floor.

As mr. bjbatlanta so politely pointed out, 1/4" may not do the trick and especially if it's not the right type.

This is serious stuff, a messed up floor could have a disastrous effect on your homes value.

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Old 09-28-2009, 01:10 PM   #8
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how do i know if my subfloor is good enough to


itself, i'm still learning. They just delivered! I see that they sent me "concrete coated" nails to use to lay the plywood. I'm not doing anything until I have a good plan. The white glue.......Home Depot did not know what I was talking about. Is it the same as Elmer's wood glue? After discussion there and what people have done that they know of, I left with tubes of Liquid Nails. I will take it back if this is not acceptable. If it is, do I have to spread it over every inch of the floor that the plywood is going on?

Looked at the screws, they didn't have "floor" screws. They had nails that have a swirl in them or the other choice was deck screws. I didn't leave with either. And the vendor sent me the nails mentioned above. I would rather use screws as it will be easier on me

Layout: the plywood should be laid out so seams end on the joists? If not is it ok because of the glue?

Thanks again for all the help and sorry if any of this shows up as a repeat, I'm sorry, getting used to the sign in/reply format still. I have 3 of you guys helping me with this and trying to respond right, anyway, I really appreciate it!
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Old 09-29-2009, 04:37 PM   #9
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how do i know if my subfloor is good enough to


Please, Brenda..be careful!

1) Liquid nails is NOT what goes under that plywood!!!! No product from a tube should be used!!!!! Gluing is only optional because it has to be done right or not at all. In other words, if you use the wrong glue or the wrong method of application...IT WILL BE WORSE!

2) The Plywood must be specified!!!!

3) The screw need to be FLOOR SCREWS! absolutely NO NO NO nails! (deck nails are not floor screws!!!)

4) For hardwood floors the seams are not really an issue...place the sheets perpendicular to the joist and you'll be fine... Remember: 4" screw placing on edges and 6" in the field. In other words, screw that plywood down TIGHT!

5) Keep asking questions! it's a pleasure to help and guys like me enjoy the "excersise" doing stuff like this... (I'll be back later tonight to check up)
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:26 PM   #10
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how do i know if my subfloor is good enough to


tempting! all these tubes and nails and..... so i have been cutting the plywood to fit around registers and stuff. I'm at a loss then with the glue and flooring, an actual floor installation place for these? home depot doesn't know what i'm talking about. i don't want to order online if i can help it with s/h and time to ship. My place looks like a lumber yard right now. oh yeah, and then, i (typical female) changed my mind on the work area section of the kitchen. i want to ceramic tile that section now instead. so, another question. will the concrete board alone be ok? or...do i go ahead and plywood the area like i'm already doing. i want the two areas to be level with each other. thanks again
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:35 PM   #11
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how do i know if my subfloor is good enough to


1/4" is usually luan - only used to level a floor
1/4" does not have enough material to hold nails
You need a secure thicker plywood sheathing for wood or tile floor

Particle board is called Fallaparticle board for a reason
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Old 09-30-2009, 05:38 AM   #12
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how do i know if my subfloor is good enough to


Brenda...your going to far too quick. Sorry, but everything I've said so far has nothing to do with laying ceramic tiles.

Your subfloor cannot support tile.

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Old 10-01-2009, 11:54 PM   #13
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how do i know if my subfloor is good enough to


they knew what i was talking about! and so the liquid nails go back as well as the nails started laying the plywood and haven't ran into a snag yet i'll let you know though when it comes time for the tongue and groove thanks again for the help, who knows what i would have ended up with!

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