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Old 12-25-2011, 11:58 AM   #1
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Preparing 3/4" subfloor for hardwood


Merry Christmas flooring gurus.

We just purchased a 30 year old house and intend to DIY hardwood throughout. Much of the house had walnut parquet, which we are removing. The rest had carpet, which I gave away on Craig's List On inspection, we see the house has 16" center joists in part of the house and 24" center joists in the rest (mainly where the carpet was installed.

There is 3/4" plywood over the entire house, but a fair amount of movement and squeaking where it is resting on the 24" joists.

In the area where are removing the parquet, we inflicted some damage to the floor puling up the tiles. See attached photo. Also, if you look at the left side of the photo, you can see where a screw has damaged a bit of the plywood edge. This is typical throughout the house.

We are probably getting the hardwood flooring from Lumber Liquidators and I talked to their customer support. They said that there must be 7/8" plywood over 24" center joists and suggested I add a layer of 3/8" plywood secured with screws and construction adhesive over the 3/4" plywood.

What do you experts think about this plan?

Thank you.

Murph
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Last edited by MurphyMan; 12-25-2011 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 12-25-2011, 12:19 PM   #2
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Preparing 3/4" subfloor for hardwood


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They said that there must be 7/8" plywood over 24" center joists and suggested I add a layer of 3/8" plywood secured with screws and construction adhesive over the 3/4" plywood.
I'm no expert, per-se, but I think they're just covering their a$$es. I wouldn't worry for a second about putting hardwood over 3/4" plywood on 24" OC joists.

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Old 12-25-2011, 12:32 PM   #3
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Preparing 3/4" subfloor for hardwood


LL is the worst place to ask about installation. Be aware that their track record on products and installation leaves a lot to be desired. There have been many complaints of their flooring being mostly shorts.
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Old 12-25-2011, 12:41 PM   #4
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Preparing 3/4" subfloor for hardwood


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LL is the worst place to ask about installation. Be aware that their track record on products and installation leaves a lot to be desired. There have been many complaints of their flooring being mostly shorts.
Okay, thanks for that. So, what is your opinion on the best way to proceed with the subfloor prep? Go with the 3/8", then felt?

What do you mean "mostly shorts"? Shorter planks?

Murph.
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Old 12-25-2011, 01:53 PM   #5
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Preparing 3/4" subfloor for hardwood


If it was my job I would go back and screw the old subflooring down between every nail that's there now, add the 3/8 subfloor rated plywood making sure to not have the seams line up with the seams in the subfloor, use no constrution adhesive and scew it every 4" on the edges and 6 to 8" in the field. What your trying to do is pull it down tight between the floor joist where there's going to be a tiny gap.
An impact screw gun works great for this job.
By doing this you will have a stronger more stable floor with no voids under the hardwood.
Lumber Liqudater always gets a bad rap. If you order grade one (also called perfection) floor instead of what they just give you there's far less short pieces and ones with flaws.

Last edited by joecaption; 12-25-2011 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 12-25-2011, 01:53 PM   #6
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Preparing 3/4" subfloor for hardwood


4" to 5" . I'll let the guys who do wood every day answer the installation questions.
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Old 12-25-2011, 03:55 PM   #7
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Preparing 3/4" subfloor for hardwood


Thank you for those replies. Very helpful.

I have a related question.

Can I get away with just adding the 3/8" decking to the part of the house where there is 24" joists? Could I somehow transition the difference in levels over two or three feet? Is that ever done?

I an concerned by adding an inch to the floor height I may trap the dishwasher under the counter top and may not be able to remove it for servicing or replacement, sometime in the future.
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Old 12-25-2011, 08:22 PM   #8
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Preparing 3/4" subfloor for hardwood


Did you check the leveling legs under the d.w. for room to reduce adding the 3/8"?

Some of the gouges look pretty substantial.....really compromised. Table 2 for nailing: http://www.apa-europe.org/Languages/.../PDF/R340G.pdf

Rusty has seen more transitions than I........Rusty?

Gary
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Old 12-25-2011, 08:53 PM   #9
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Preparing 3/4" subfloor for hardwood


I tryed to go back and edit my last post and add that floor leveler needed to be added to the gouged areas, but it would not let me.
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Old 12-26-2011, 07:51 AM   #10
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Preparing 3/4" subfloor for hardwood


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Originally Posted by GBR in WA View Post
Did you check the leveling legs under the d.w. for room to reduce adding the 3/8"?

Some of the gouges look pretty substantial.....really compromised. Table 2 for nailing: http://www.apa-europe.org/Languages/.../PDF/R340G.pdf

Rusty has seen more transitions than I........Rusty?

Gary
So, I should use the specified nails and not screws?

I put the underlayment down in two weeks, so I have plenty of time to research this thoroughly.

thanks.
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Old 12-26-2011, 08:27 AM   #11
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Preparing 3/4" subfloor for hardwood


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I tryed to go back and edit my last post and add that floor leveler needed to be added to the gouged areas, but it would not let me.
What type of floor leveler would be appropriate here? Would I just apply it in the area of the gouges?

Sam
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:34 PM   #12
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Preparing 3/4" subfloor for hardwood


I got hold of my brother's Senco collated screw gun, with the extension. What a marvelous tool! I installed 1,000 screws in about 700 sq. ft. of flooring and that alone made a huge difference. The original plywood just had screw spacing of about 10". No wonder it moved and squeaked.

So now, I am wondering about just putting the 3/4" oak right over the plywood.

On the other hand, I see Lowes has 1/4" plywood for $11/sheet.

Murph.
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:05 AM   #13
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Preparing 3/4" subfloor for hardwood


Thought I would post a catch-up. As of today I have installed about 800 sq. ft. and have another 500 to go. It looks beautiful, especially for this first timer.

The house is 30+ years old.

I elected to not add an additional layer of underlayment.

Using 3/4" x 3-1/4 oak from Shaw. Using Aquabar "B" underlayment and 2" Bostitch cleats.

The subfloor floor is not entirely straight. There are some problem areas along a supporting wall. There seemed to be almost 3/8" dip, over which we placed roofing shingles. In areas that weren't quite so bad we built it up using 30 lb. asphalt felt. To feather the transition in these areas I used Ardex feathering compound. Couple of photos are attached.

It's been A LOT of work. I sure hope my methods will hold together in the long run.

As a bonus, I seem to have to lost 10 pounds in the process!
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Preparing 3/4" subfloor for hardwood-002.jpg   Preparing 3/4" subfloor for hardwood-001.jpg   Preparing 3/4" subfloor for hardwood-img00717-20120221-1150.jpg   Preparing 3/4" subfloor for hardwood-003.jpg  


Last edited by MurphyMan; 02-28-2012 at 07:51 AM.
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