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canflyboy 11-05-2012 04:51 PM

Securing old T&G to joists.
I'm in the proccess of redoing the floors on my 100 y.o. house. I've removed a plywood sub-floor that was nailed down to the original T&G plank flooring. The original plank T&G flooring was nailed over the joists. Plank thickness is about 13/16 and planks are about 3" wide.

Since this floor is over 100 years old, the wood has probably shrunk and some planks have a slight warp. The planks have a slight wobble from side to side. Before I do any installation over these planks, I'd like to secure them to the joists.

Question 1

What is the best way to secure these planks?

Question 2

After securing these planks, I want to install an engineered wood floor. Can I install these parrallel to the joists, but over the perpendicular T&G plank flooring?



joecaption 11-05-2012 10:54 PM

Why did you remove the plywood?
Why not also remove the T&G and go over the whole floor with 3/4" T & G Advantec with constrution adhesive on the joist?
It would also allow you to inspect the floor joist for level, cracks, insect and moisture damage.

canflyboy 11-06-2012 11:59 AM

The plywood that I'm removing is two layers of 1/4" and on top of those layers are vinyl tile/flooring. On the original T&G is also tar paper and another layer of vinyl flooring, so all in all - I have three layers to remove.

The original floor boards are slightly cupped and loose. I have a few high spots and low spot s- so I'll have to do some leveling before I put a sub-floor over the T&G.

JazMan 11-06-2012 03:29 PM


You did not remove any subfloor, you removed underlayment. The subfloor is the planks on the joists. I bring it up cuz since we can not see what you've got the terminology matters otherwise it gets confusing.

Go ahead and remove everything above the planks, then decide whether to keep them or replace them all if they're not in good shape. Re-nail or screw the planks using 2 fasteners at every joists, replace any split or broken boards.

I recommend installing 5/8" or thicker underlayment grade ply over the planks if you can get them flat first. This way the floor will be pretty solid good enough for most types of flooring. Not enough info to give any tips on how to make the floor flat. High spots are not easy to fix. Some repairs are done before the new underlayment, others can be done after.

The new engineered wood floor should still be installed perpendicular to the joists, but if it makes that much difference to you and the substrate is solid and flat, you should be fine either way.


joecaption 11-06-2012 03:35 PM

Whatever you lay over those old floor boards is going to be only as good as what's below it.
You would be way ahead of the game and never have any flexing, squecks, if you got rid of them and laid a new sub floor with out them there.

canflyboy 11-06-2012 05:21 PM

Thanks Jazman for your response and clearifying floor teminology.

I'm halfway from removing the UNDERLAYMENT (thanks again:)) from the main floor. The planks on the subfloor look solid, slightly cupped and slightly loose.

My unlevel floor comes from a few issues. First, there is a general sag towards the middle on the main floor where the stairs begin - typical on farmhouses over 100 years old. I should mention that this house was moved to its current location about 50 odd years ago. I really don't want to open a hornet's nest by jacking up the underneath the low spot as this will create havoc in all the other rooms that have been redone over time. The joists are secure and solid -but with a little sag. There are however some high spots and they look like they come from a warped joists. At the moment - I'm thinking of hitting the high spots with a floor sander.

Thanks again


canflyboy 11-06-2012 05:25 PM

@ Joe Captain

The thought of ripping out the old planks crossed my mind. I'd be able to do some shimming on the joists before unstalling a plywood subfloor. The problem is that the plank subfloor extends under the outer walls and it extends under some partions. I wouldn't have anything to secure the new subfloor to along these edges.



joecaption 11-06-2012 06:05 PM

There cut out with a Toe Kick saw, it will cut right up againt the walls.
Home Depot rents them or Northern tools has a cheap one.
There made to only cut to 3/4 depth.
With the propper subflooring thickness there is no need for any more then some blocking between the joist.
Once there out it's pretty simple to just sister some new full lenght joist to what you have.
No more sag and no more bounce.

Once I find the floor joist I just use a ciruler saw and make cuts between them. That way you just removing short pieces of wood not whole lengths.

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