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Old 10-24-2010, 12:00 PM   #1
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Desperate for Subfloor Advice


I'm replacing my kitchen subfloor which sustained damage from a sink leak and mold. The house is 50 years old, so we decided to replace all the subflooring in the kitchen. We've been successful in cutting away everything but the strips that sit directly below the exterior and interior wall framework. So, here are my questions, A) Is it necessary for me to remove and replace the bit under the house frame? B) If we butt the new subfloor up to the framework and support it underneath, will that compromise the structural integrity of my walls, and lastly C) Is there any harm in leaving the splintered plywood pieces (leftover from the original subfloor) under the plate of the framing? Please help!
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Old 10-24-2010, 12:30 PM   #2
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I do see some problems. One is without the sub floor under the plate there is nothing tying the outside bands that runs horizontal with your floor joists. I have seen outside bands without the sub flooring under the plate roll out and while these didn't collapse they easily could have with that much pressure on them.

The band where the joists are nailed into could also roll out if the nails pulled and in an older house built before coated nails came out, could pull easy as common nails don't have a lot of holding power like the coated nails do.

You said you were going to put a nailer under the plate to have something to nail the sub floor too. May I suggest making that 3/4 inch plywood and fasten the plate to the 3/4 plywood also as plywood will be stronger than a solid piece of lumber as far as pulling apart is concerned. Do not depend on just screws in the nailer as screws don't have the higher shear strength as nails do. I would screw the nailer in place then nail it also, that way you got it.

As for the splinters of sub floor under the plate, I wouldn't worry about it as it would be a big deal to get it out.
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Old 10-24-2010, 04:02 PM   #3
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Hi Ole Jim,

Thanks soooooo much for responding so quickly. I'm not really sure I understand what you mean about using plywood instead of a nailer. I'm afraid I'm not really good with my carpentry terminology.

Currently, my husband and I have pieces of 2x4 sitting under the plate of the framing. We are thinking about switching them out for pieces of pressure treated 4x4, so we can attach the plate and support the outside edge of the subfloor also. Using nails and screws sounds like a good plan. Do you think that might work for support of the load bearing wall and the subfloor? Will it help to prevent the rolling that you mentioned? I'm not sure I understand how to attach a sheet of plywood for the support.

I really, really appreciate your advice on the matter!!!

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Old 10-24-2010, 08:15 PM   #4
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I hope I can explain this as I am not really good at that. In this picture

See how the 2X4 butts up under the bottom of what was the sub floor? If you cut a strip of 3/4 inch plywood about 8 inches wide and take the plywood and laying it flat put in up under the bottom of the sub floor that is under the plate and screw through the top of the plate through the sub floor that is there now and into the flat piece of 3/4 inch plywood, that will fasten the 3/4 inch plywood to the bottom of the existing sub floor under the plate. This will also serve as a nailer when you install your new sub floor.
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Old 10-24-2010, 08:37 PM   #5
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Rip your 3/4 inch plywood 8 inches wide and long enough to go from the 2X4 to the 2X4 you have nailed for support in this picture.


I can see your reasoning to add the 2X4 for support and it can't hurt but the main thing is your wall in the picture above is not tied to the rest of the house. The band your wall is sitting on can lay over or twist, it must be tied to the rest of the sub floor that you will install.

Just to be sure I am explaining this right let me go this way. When the house was first built before any walls were erected all the floor joists are in place, next the sub floor is installed and nailed to each joist and the sub floor is nailed to the outside band and there is no way the outside back can lay over or twist because the sub floor is nailed to the top of it holding the band in place. The sub floor is trimmed off and the walls are erected ect. Since you cut the sub floor out that made the wall shaky and unstable. Do you see what I am talking about?
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:01 PM   #6
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Below that side wall running with the joists, nail a 2x4 ledger, 3-1/2" plus the new sub-floor thickness below the bottom plate, against the rim joist. Add 2x4's blocking joists every 16" (hold down the new s.-f. thickness)--- aligning your layout with the wall studs above, from the rim to the next joist in. Toenail the new joists to the rim well as now it’s the only kick-out resistance you have other than the joist end nails. Use a nail gun as you don’t want to force the rim joist out of alignment or over-turning from any hammer blows. This will renew your bearing there, but not the shear-flow of the deck.

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Old 10-26-2010, 11:48 PM   #7
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yet another simple way to do this , Just get the same size joists and nail them in as blocks , On the outside you could use angle metal brackets and screw it all together , I would do it every 16 inches , Then make sure you nail all the plywood to the blocks . It will all be tied together .. tacomahardwoodfloors.com
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Old 10-31-2010, 08:38 AM   #8
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Sorry for not replying until now -- the pitfalls of only doing this job on the weekends.

We had difficulty attaching the 8" strips of plywood. The area under the wall plate was only about 1 or 2 inches, depending on where along the wall. There are two areas where the wall joist(s) under the plating are doubled up and so there was no space to attach the plywood. In addition, we had to do a lot of notching to make room for the remaining electrical wires.

We've now replaced the support 2x4 pieces with 4x4 stumps and we plan on nailing in short cross/support beams (with 2x4 cuts) to the neighboring joist. Would this allow for enough support throughout? (See below) Any advice or recommendations are welcomed.

P.S. If you have time, would you also be willing to view my post about sistering joists to level the flooring? It's titled "Sistering Joists for New Subfloor."

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