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Old 05-16-2008, 11:00 PM   #1
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hardwood with no sub-floor?


Now, here is where I'm at in this project:

I've removed the carpet and am now sanding off the remaining stuck on padding and the paint that is on the floorboards. The floorboards look good enough so far, and I want to say that these are hardwood, but I am not an expert at how to tell. Or is this actually just the sub-floor i am looking at? Forgive me, I am a newbie. These boards are about 3 1/4" wide and 3/4" thick with tongue and groove joinery. One curious thing I found as I got into this project is that there is no plywood sub-floor under these boards, the existing boards being top nailed with flat head nails directly to the joists, so I am wondering if these boards are just a sub-floor themselves. This is my first floor project where I have ran into this(I obviously haven't done a lot of flooring projects!). If they actually are just meant to serve as a sub-floor I was thinking one of two things: either hardwood over top or maybe a laminate. What would be involved in either one of those installations?


Last edited by Rahci; 05-16-2008 at 11:46 PM.
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Old 05-28-2008, 04:53 PM   #2
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hardwood with no sub-floor?


You are going to have to keep asking here to be sure, but that is exactly how my house is made. Finished floorboards with no subfloor. But my house is OLD.

Good luck...

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Old 05-29-2008, 04:57 PM   #3
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hardwood with no sub-floor?


Depending on the age of the house and the quality of construction it isn't uncommon to have T&G flooring nailed directly to the joists as a finished floor. In the old days, they often didn't use things like sub floors, and plywood only became popular after WW II. The first floor of my house has 1x4 boards layed diagonally as a sub floor with T&G hardwood nailed on top, but the second floor has a lower grade of T&G and no sub. you definitely don't want to nail another T&G floor with boards going the same direction as the existing. Laminate may be a good option. Whatever you pick, I would screw the existing floor down first with #8x 2-1/2 screws so you eliminate the chance for squeaks.

Last edited by Maintenance 6; 05-29-2008 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 05-29-2008, 05:12 PM   #4
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hardwood with no sub-floor?


Yeah 6, mine is pier and beam with just the tongue and groove cypress floor nailed to the joists. It kills me that someone at some point was only semi-successful with a belt sander... (I'll have to fix that at some point) but anyway, I have no plywood in the entire house. The floor is beautiful even with those waves, in a way I have never seen a "new" wood floor look, so I'm keeping it.

Kinda neat, actually.

On another post here, I am looking for a good was to insulate the underside of my house. The crawlspace is about 2 1/2 feet, so I can get in there pretty good, but I have yet to figure out what would be the best way to go with that. Most of the floor is in really good shape, but there are a couple small gaps in the flooring that get drafty in the winter!

In any case, it's amazing how well that house is built, even without two layers of floor, etc, etc. Solid. And probably going to outlast me.
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Old 06-01-2008, 11:51 AM   #5
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hardwood with no sub-floor?


It is probably the original finished floor, how old is the house? Is was typical in older construction to lay a T & G floor, then frame all the walls on top of it.
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Old 06-01-2008, 12:17 PM   #6
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hardwood with no sub-floor?


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Originally Posted by krankykitty View Post
Yeah 6, mine is pier and beam with just the tongue and groove cypress floor nailed to the joists. It kills me that someone at some point was only semi-successful with a belt sander... (I'll have to fix that at some point) but anyway, I have no plywood in the entire house. The floor is beautiful even with those waves, in a way I have never seen a "new" wood floor look, so I'm keeping it.

Kinda neat, actually.

On another post here, I am looking for a good was to insulate the underside of my house. The crawlspace is about 2 1/2 feet, so I can get in there pretty good, but I have yet to figure out what would be the best way to go with that. Most of the floor is in really good shape, but there are a couple small gaps in the flooring that get drafty in the winter!

In any case, it's amazing how well that house is built, even without two layers of floor, etc, etc. Solid. And probably going to outlast me.
Lucky you, sounds like an older house with genuine old growth heart cypress. You just can't buy character like that in new stuff. Sorry to hear about the bad sanding job, hopefully your finish is flat or satin, and they are not extremely eye catching.

As for the insulation,you could have someone do spray polyurethane, although it is kind of expensive. Or if you can do it yourself, I'd consider cutting sheets of polyiso insulation and holding them up to the floor with cleats. DO NOT let anyone talk you into putting fiberglass batts under there, no matter how well they swear they can support it or protect it by stapling nylon mesh to the bottom of the floor joists; pure junk. Gravity WILL win, the mesh will deteriote in a couple of years, and it will begin hanging to the ground, inviting insects (Termites) up a free path to your floor. Even a proposal of using "chicken wire" instead of nylon mesh does not work unless the insulation is full depth of the joists. Any space between the top of the insulation and the bottom of the floor creates an open channel for air flow that defeats the insulation.
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Old 06-01-2008, 12:59 PM   #7
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hardwood with no sub-floor?


Yep, old cypress. I love it.

I keep considering trying to spray the foam myself. Still expensive (looking at $1200+ for the materials) but not as bad as hiring someone.... and it would eliminate the issue of ending up with moisture trapped between the floor and the insulation. There would be a couple of places I would need to take up something to keep the foam from oozing up through the gaps, but it still seems like the best solution.

I just don't want to put anything down there that will cause the floor to rot, or encourage termites to set up housekeeping. I looked closely, and I can't find any sign that they have been there yet.

But at the same time, while I have seen buildings here in Louisiana with the spray foam on the bottom, I haven't been able to talk to anyone that has either A) had it done, or even better B) done it themself. Any thoughts?

Thanks!
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Old 06-01-2008, 05:56 PM   #8
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hardwood with no sub-floor?


Considering you are working a a crawl space, and are not familiar with the expansion rates of the foam, I personally would bite the bullet and have it professionqlly done. That stuff can get awefully messy, awfully fast, and you most likely will end up useing 25 to 30% more material than really needed. It should not affect termite inspection since it will be contained in the floor joist bays and the sill and at least the bottom half of the band joist will still be visible.
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Old 06-01-2008, 06:29 PM   #9
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hardwood with no sub-floor?


It will probably come down to just how big that bullet is. And whether or not they have previous work that I can go look at. One of the reasons I have ended up doing a lot of DYI stuff is because some of the "pro's" I hired have done work that frankly didn't measure up. Which is always disappointing when they are lisenced, insured, come with reccomendations, and are EXPENSIVE! LOL. I know there are good guys out there, but an awful lot of them don't want to touch a tiny, old house, when they could be slapping up new construction.... And I guess that I, as the home owner, will always see the one screwed up spot quicker.
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Old 06-22-2008, 10:37 AM   #10
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hardwood with no sub-floor?


This thread is of great interest to me because I live in southeast Texas with the same flooring situation--3-1/4" wide boards nailed directly to the floor joists, mine being the old heart pine (house built 1915). Has anyone from the south on this forum actually done or had done the spray on insulation? If so, were there problems with the pipes and electrical cables run underneath the house?
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Old 06-22-2008, 11:00 AM   #11
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hardwood with no sub-floor?


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Originally Posted by jetstover View Post
This thread is of great interest to me because I live in southeast Texas with the same flooring situation--3-1/4" wide boards nailed directly to the floor joists, mine being the old heart pine (house built 1915). Has anyone from the south on this forum actually done or had done the spray on insulation? If so, were there problems with the pipes and electrical cables run underneath the house?
I keep hoping someone will answer that... I love the floor, and I could never replace it if something happened to it. I have hesitated to use any other type of insulation because I am concerned that moisture could get in between the insulation and the floor and be trapped there, causing the floor to rot.

From what I understand, after the foam is sprayed on, it can be cut later with a sheetrock knife if needed. An interesting solution I heard (but I haven't used it, so I am unsure if it would really work) would be to wrap your pipes and wires loosely in newspaper, then sheet plastic, before the foam was sprayed. The idea is that this would sort of mask them off, then could be removed later to uncover your plumbing and wiring. The way it was explained to me is that the "bulky" newspaper layer was to give you some slack to work with so you didn't cut your wires when trying to remove it later.

Another building I saw that had this done, they had just applied the foam over wires, pipes and all. I guess it wouldn't hurt anything, but it seems like it would be a pain to deal with if you had to do any work on that stuff later...

If you get any good answers elsewhere, please come back and post them here.

Good luck
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:30 AM   #12
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hardwood with no sub-floor?


This is a great thread! I just determined over the weekend that our hardwood flooring upstairs is nailed directly to the floor joists. No subfloor. We have a 2-story house built in 1926. Our floors upstairs squeak quite a bit so I bought a "squeak no more" kit and tried to fix the problem. When I drilled a pilot hole in the floor, I could tell the subfloor did not exist right away. I pulled up a small piece of flooring in the corner to find nothing below! Not sure what I'm going to do now.
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:31 PM   #13
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hardwood with no sub-floor?


Quote:
Originally Posted by krankykitty View Post
I keep hoping someone will answer that... I love the floor, and I could never replace it if something happened to it. I have hesitated to use any other type of insulation because I am concerned that moisture could get in between the insulation and the floor and be trapped there, causing the floor to rot.

From what I understand, after the foam is sprayed on, it can be cut later with a sheetrock knife if needed. An interesting solution I heard (but I haven't used it, so I am unsure if it would really work) would be to wrap your pipes and wires loosely in newspaper, then sheet plastic, before the foam was sprayed. The idea is that this would sort of mask them off, then could be removed later to uncover your plumbing and wiring. The way it was explained to me is that the "bulky" newspaper layer was to give you some slack to work with so you didn't cut your wires when trying to remove it later.

Another building I saw that had this done, they had just applied the foam over wires, pipes and all. I guess it wouldn't hurt anything, but it seems like it would be a pain to deal with if you had to do any work on that stuff later...

If you get any good answers elsewhere, please come back and post them here.

Good luck
How did the Cajun Castle make out? We too live in a small, 75+ year old home along the TXGC and seem to think with the few experts that we have hired its time to do some things ourselves. Wondering how things are going with the Cajun Castle

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