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Old 01-24-2009, 12:05 AM   #1
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Question about subfloor/wall interface.


A little background, I am replacing a floor that had some water damage and other faults. Because the flooring was poor condition I removed everything down to 1*12 solid wood sub floor. I plan on installing laminate flooring.

I have two questions.

(1) I plan on screwing and bonding with some sort of construction adhesive 3/8 plywood to the solid wood floor to create a level surface for the laminate flooring. The original floor had a paper material between the solid wood and the plywood. What is this material? Do I need this?

(2) The walls have pre-drywall 2 part construction with a fiberboard covered with mortar. At the bottom of the walls it looks like they built a mortar shelf with a small approx 1"x1" board on top. Above this shelf the wall starts. The "morter shelf" is now deteriorating and the board is hanging in the air but supported into the wall. Should I try to replace this airgap with somthing. Should I mix up something like quickset or maybe spray foam to fill the gap?

Thanks,

Sorry if my terminology is incorrect...I am just learing this stuff.

Jason

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Old 01-24-2009, 12:58 AM   #2
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Question about subfloor/wall interface.


In my humble opinion, it's never a good idea to GLUE an underlayment down. In future, should you ever want to remove a flooring that's glued down to the underlayment, you won't have the option of simply pulling up the underlayment and putting down new underlayment to lay the new floor over. I'd prefer to see you just nail or screw the old underlayment down so that you CAN remove it without wrecking the subfloor.

If it wuz me, I would never put anything in the gap under that 1X1 or under the bottom plate of the wall. That's cuz that gap may be due to building movement, and 6 months from now that gap may be closing again.
So, if it hasn't caused a problem so far, then the prudent thing to do is to leave it as is.

( I once installed vinyl composition tiles under a cast iron hot water heating radiator in my building. That radiator was bolted to a 1X10 or 1X12 board. The tile would fit under that board, so I slid it all the way under as opposed to cutting it to fit UP TO that board. Within a year I had the tiles in front of that radiator lifting off the floor cuz the board was moving down, causing the tiles to arch up in the middle. I ended up cutting the tiles off with a cutting tool that plumber's use to cut pipes with.)

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Old 01-24-2009, 06:43 AM   #3
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Question about subfloor/wall interface.


RNT
Just a thought, while your in there, run a bead of caulking or foam sealant around the the perimeter of the sole plate on every outside wall.
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Old 01-24-2009, 12:04 PM   #4
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Question about subfloor/wall interface.


Nestor, Thanks for the advice. I will reconsider the glue. It also makes sense letting the drywall "bottom plate" float. That is why I was considering foam...seal everything up but still allow some flexibility.

Chemist1961, Thanks, will do.
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Old 01-24-2009, 12:21 PM   #5
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Question about subfloor/wall interface.


RNT:

I have a 21 unit apartment block built in 1960. ALL of the underlayment throughout every apartment is nailed down with the same "L" shaped pneumatic nails they nailed the living room hardwood floors down with.

Nowadays, they recommend screws of ring shank nails, and I can't help feeling that's just overkill. If smooth shank pneumatic nails worked fine in my building for 50 years and counting, is there any advantage to holding that underlayment down any MORE securely. To my way of thinking there's an optimum solution where you're holding the underlayment down as securely as necessary to prevent it from coming loose, and anything more secure than that provides no benefit, it only serves to make it harder to remove should you ever want to.

I think the reason why contractors use screws or ring shank nails is that they know that if there's any slight up and down movement in the underlayment after they install the flooring, the customer is going to be barking at them to fix it. If you're both the customer and the contractor, you might want to consider that the wood of your floor is fully dry now, and therefore won't shrink as wet wood does. So, even ordinary nails will continue to hold well, and won't start to "pop out" the way nails do when driven into wet wood.
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:25 AM   #6
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Question about subfloor/wall interface.


Sounds like that 1x1 was a plaster ground. It was common to have a surface that pasterers used as a reference to build and level to. They could be found along floors and sometimes around windows and doors. I'd fill it back in. It will provide a solid surface and a spacer for your baseboard when you nail it back on. As far as the paper, it was used to isolate the finished floor from the sub floor so that any dampness from the basement below would not transfer to the finish floor causing swelling/shrinkage issues. It wasn't very effective and I wouldn't try to put it back in. I would screw the 1x12 subfloor down securely to prevent squeaks.

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