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Old 10-14-2011, 03:18 PM   #1
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How to do plywood underlayment for sheet vinyl


My bathroom is 8' wide by 8'-6" long and currently there is 3/4" plywood subfloor running perpendicular to joists.

My next step is to lay down 3/8" acx plywood as underlayment for sheet vinyl flooring. There's a 42" neo angle shower in one corner and caticorner to that is a 60x30 tub. So the cuts around the shower and foot of tub will be a little chanllenging as far as layout and execution.

I do not plan on using glue. My vinyl installer told me to use 1 5/8" deck screws rather than ring shank nails which could pop; and he said to butt the sheets up against one another but carpentry book said to keep a 1/32" gap.on ends and edges of plywood.

Questions

1. The 3/4" subfloor is running perpendicular to joists; Does it matter in which direction the 3/8 underlayment is layed?
2. Why is it bad if the underlayment screws enter the joists?
3. What's the ideal fastener?
4. If I use 3 pieces of plywood for the underlayment, does the grain of all 3 pieces need to be going in the same direction?


Thanks for your help

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Last edited by ken24; 10-14-2011 at 06:21 PM.
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Old 10-14-2011, 04:02 PM   #2
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How to do plywood underlayment for sheet vinyl


Do not use screws in underlayment for vinyl. It will make puckers which will show through. 1/4" underlayment grade plywood(not luan) ahould be stapled (9/16") every 4"-6" in the field and every 1"-2" along the edges. I have always butted the sheets tight, some installers don't. Then use a cementious based patch on the seams. The door casings should be undercut and trim should be put over all the other edges. It doesn;t matter where the seams are in the underlayment, in a small bathroom, since the underlayment is only fastened to the subfloor. And do NOT glue down the underlayment. There is no need to skim the whole floor with Ardex.

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Old 10-14-2011, 04:25 PM   #3
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How to do plywood underlayment for sheet vinyl


Are you saying to use staples for fastening the 3/8 plywood underlayment?

Do you mean a medium crown construction power stapler? like about a half-inch wide or so?

Should I avoid hitting the joists beneath the 3/4 subfloor? Which would be hard to do since many are sistered w/extra joist.

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Old 10-14-2011, 04:39 PM   #4
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How to do plywood underlayment for sheet vinyl


Use 1/4" plywood not 3/8" for underlayment. The 9/16" staples (1/4" or 18 guage) staples will not reach thru the subfloor and into the joists.
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Old 10-14-2011, 05:00 PM   #5
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How to do plywood underlayment for sheet vinyl


Rusty,

I already bought the 3/8 ply and it will bring the vinyl level w/the hardwood in the hallway.

Just to clarify: the stapler you are talking about is an 18 ga. narrow crown stapler and shoots a staple with a 1/4 crown which is 9/16 in length. Correct?

I assume the staple will go beneath the surface a bit and later be covered w/ardex?

thanks,

Ken
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Old 10-14-2011, 05:40 PM   #6
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How to do plywood underlayment for sheet vinyl


If the compressor is set right the staple will be set slightly below the top, but not enough to damage the top ply. Why do you want to skimcoat the plywood? Won't hurt anything but, It isn't necessary.
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Old 10-15-2011, 12:02 AM   #7
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How to do plywood underlayment for sheet vinyl


Just flash the joints on the plywood .
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Old 10-15-2011, 03:07 PM   #8
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How to do plywood underlayment for sheet vinyl


Just to back-up what has been posted already: http://www.apawood.org/pablog/index....-Floor-Systems

http://www.apa-europe.org/Languages/.../PDF/R340G.pdf

Gary
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Old 10-15-2011, 03:11 PM   #9
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How to do plywood underlayment for sheet vinyl


Is it necessary that the fasteners be rust resistant? Or is water/moisture much of an issue?

I'm not familiar w/the term "flash the joints"

Just so I understand, I should use 1/4" ply and use a narrow crown (1/4") finish stapler gun shooting 9/16 " long staples. Is that correct?

My vinyl installer said he likes to use 1/4" luan at home depot for about $10 a sheet as a great underlayment.


Thanks for the input
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Old 10-15-2011, 03:31 PM   #10
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How to do plywood underlayment for sheet vinyl


luan has voids in the plys. It is not an accepted underlayment. "flash" just means to fill the joints with a cementious base filler to make them smooth. Yes, galvanized staples are best. The moisture from the adhesive can make plain staples rust and the rust can stain thru the vinyl.
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Old 10-15-2011, 04:01 PM   #11
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How to do plywood underlayment for sheet vinyl


My house was built in 1948. My kitchen also has a vinyl floor and it has the original 3/8 ply under layment; I think they nailed it down back then.
But still seems to be in fair shape.

Anyway, I feel compelled to use 3/8 ply for the bathroom as well since that's what was in there before and it will bring the hallway wood floor flush w/ the bathroom vinyl floor.

So, for 3/8 ply what fastener would you recomend? And what nailing schedule?

thanks, Ken
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Old 10-15-2011, 05:03 PM   #12
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How to do plywood underlayment for sheet vinyl


Just curious...
Are you confusing subfloor with underlayment?

In a house that old you probably wouldn't have a sheet-style subfloor but one never knows about California stuff.
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Old 10-15-2011, 05:23 PM   #13
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How to do plywood underlayment for sheet vinyl


No confusion; The original subfloor was 1 x8's on the diagonal and that's what is in the kitchen now w/ a 3/8 ply as vinyl underlayment.

But because I had a lot of water damage in the bathroom from a leaking shower for many years, I replaced the original subfloor there w/3/4 ply and now I am getting ready to install the underlayment for vinyl.
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Old 10-15-2011, 05:33 PM   #14
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How to do plywood underlayment for sheet vinyl


Just for clarification this is what every one is talking about for vinyl prep.


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Total soup to nuts on how to do on this "correctly"

http://www.extremehowto.com/xh/artic...ticle_id=60919

Last edited by Mark Potter; 10-15-2011 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 10-15-2011, 06:33 PM   #15
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How to do plywood underlayment for sheet vinyl


Mark,

I took a peek at the article; it looks great! I'm looking fwd to reading it on monday

Thanks so much,

Ken

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