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Old 11-22-2012, 07:29 PM   #1
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Matching floor height (1/2" subfloor)


Our main floor is currently a mix between oak hardwood (3/4"), carpet and vinyl flooring. We are doing a remodel and would like to replace the carpet and vinyl flooring with bamboo and match up with the height of the oak. The subfloor is 1/2" plywood (house was built in 1966). Under the carpet and vinyl is an additional layer of 1/2" plywood. The carpet is in the living room, and the vinyl is in the kitchen.

I know 5/8" and up is recommended for subfloors. But replacing the subfloor is not a task I'd like to take on right now. Are there any other options? What would the consequence be if I removed the top 1/2 in layer of plywood and installed 3/4 bamboo on the subfloor. What are the chances I could remove the top layer without ruining the first layer?

Joists under the living room are 2x6 12" OC. Kitchen is 2x8 16" OC.

Thanks in advance

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Old 11-25-2012, 10:22 AM   #2
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Matching floor height (1/2" subfloor)


Hi,

Let's start with the joists. 2x8's are fairly common in small to medium length spans, but it's kinda rare to see 2x6 in home construction. Either the span is very short, or maybe the room was converted from a porch or deck. Please let me know the span in both cases to evaluate how stiff the floor is. Size of the joists and spacing alone doesn't tell me much. Also, would help if you knew the species and grade of the joists, makes a difference.

Your 1/2" subfloor with either 1/2" or 5/8" underlayment over it was a common way to build floor in that period. That way the hardwood and finished vinyl floors would come out fairly even. It was more common for the underlayment to be 5/8, and not 1/2" though as you say yours is.

So it should be fine to remove the underlayment as long as you nail down new 3/4" hardwood or bamboo as you plan. One nail or cleat at every joist and one between.

Good move to eliminate as much carpeting as possible. Although it's nice and comfy, it's probably the worst flooring choice possible.

Jaz

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Old 01-18-2013, 02:04 PM   #3
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Matching floor height (1/2" subfloor)


I've got sucked into a number of other life issues/projects in the past month or so and I never had a chance to reply.

I've decided to install hardwood over the existing subfloor, which seems to be true 1/2" plywood (measure with a micrometer). Since the other rooms with hardwood floors have been that way for the past 40 years with no issues, I think I should be alright. However to answer the questions, the span of the room with 2x6s (fireplace room) is 11' and it is 12" on center. My kitchen joists are 2x8s, span is also 11ft is 16" OC.

But I have another question. In my other rooms with oak hardwood I have gaps in the winter, which I'm sure is from low humidity. I plan on installing my new floor this week and I'm worried if I install now, the boards (4" birch - Season's Floor Winery Collection) will expand come spring/summer and I'll be left with a mess. If I put turn on 2 humidifiers, one in each room, for the weekend, should that be enough to prevent this? Are there any other tricks I could do? I plan on installing over 30# asphalt paper.

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Old 01-18-2013, 06:04 PM   #4
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Matching floor height (1/2" subfloor)


Quote:
Originally Posted by diynct View Post
But I have another question. In my other rooms with oak hardwood I have gaps in the winter, which I'm sure is from low humidity. I plan on installing my new floor this week and I'm worried if I install now, the boards (4" birch - Season's Floor Winery Collection) will expand come spring/summer and I'll be left with a mess. If I put turn on 2 humidifiers, one in each room, for the weekend, should that be enough to prevent this? Are there any other tricks I could do? I plan on installing over 30# asphalt paper.

Thanks

I strongly suggest you read the manufacturer's installation instructions. If you are at all concerned with warranty, you must follow them exactly as written. I can guarantee the instructions will not recommend running humidifiers or dehumidifiers prior to the installation. Pay very attention to the acclimation instructions, including testing the moisture content of the subfloor and the finished flooring with a MANUFACTURER-APPROVED moisture meter.
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:59 PM   #5
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Matching floor height (1/2" subfloor)


I'm not too concerned with warranty. My concern is having a halfway decent floor and not having to rip it up in another year or two. I understand my house is not at the optimum humidity (30-50%) and any warranty would be nullified. However I still want to install the best floor I could. I could deal with small gaps, but the floor buckling would drive me nuts.

I have read the manufacturer's instructions and they state to acclimate for 48 hours in on section, and state the moisture difference between the floor and floor to be within 2%. They also recommend the use of humidifiers and dehumidifiers if the house is not within the optimum humidity range of 30-50%.

The instructions could be found here: http://www.seasonsflooring.com/pdf/I...ENGMar2011.pdf

Does anyone have any best practices for installing prefinished floors in an environment with low humidity. I just picked up a humidistat and so far its holding at 33% but I do have a humidifier going for the past 8 hours or so. If I could keep the humidity at 30% for a couple days should I be alright, even after I stop the humidifier?

Does anyone have any recommendations on moisture meters for a decent price? I've read that the low cost ones are basically useless and anything decent is up towards $500. I checked the manufacturer's instructions and couldn't find any recommendations.

Thanks
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:10 PM   #6
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Matching floor height (1/2" subfloor)


Absolutely follow all directions on acclimation. How long do you plan to have the wood in the rooms before installing? It doesn't much matter what the humidity level is, but both the house and material need to be the same.

But you need to install a humidifier to your furnace anyway. If not to save the wood in your home, but for your comfort.

Also what do the directions say about 1/2" subfloor? It should be ok, or at least as good as the old installation in the other rooms. That set up is common when 3/4" subfloor was used.

Just noticed you posted while I was typing.

You should have a digital humidistat to read the % in the room. Keep the wood in the room and it should acclimate. I always thought 2-3 days was enough, but I've also heard people recommend 2-3 weeks. Not sure how much a meter to read the wood would cost. I bought a cheapo recently and was a joke, took it back.

Jaz
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:19 PM   #7
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Matching floor height (1/2" subfloor)


Would love to add a humidifier to my furnace if I had a furnace. House was build in the mid 60s and in this area electric heat was popular so that is what I have. We have a wood burning insert in the fireplace which we run constantly during the cold months.

I was planning on 48-72 hours before installing, but its not a big deal if I need to wait another day or two. 2-3 would be tough.

Should I keep the humidifier running or just let the wood acclimate without the humidifier?
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:45 PM   #8
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Matching floor height (1/2" subfloor)


I wouldn't do anything that will cause a temporary improvement. Remember the surface materials might acclimate in a few days, but the house's structure will take much longer.

Be sure to leave plenty of expansion space at the perimeter and doorways etc.

Jaz
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:41 AM   #9
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Matching floor height (1/2" subfloor)


I would suggest not running anything that is not within the normal condition of your home. Make sure you leave sufficient spacing around the peremiter of the rooms. If you need to cut the bottom of the drywall to give you more space, do so. Or, you can remove and replace the base , then add shoe mold to give you the gap you need. As for expantion in the summer, it really depends on where you live and whether you run your airconditioner when the humidity gets high. Where I live in the midwest, there would not be a problem as long as you have the gap. Here is a link to a moisture meter for $150.

http://www.benmeadows.com/delmhorst-...nProductBottom

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