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rbaevergreen 08-31-2012 02:33 PM

Subfloor ID help
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Trying to figure out what type of subfloor this is. It doesn't look like wood (no wood texture). Any thoughts?

I'm looking to put down laminate floor (Pergo XP from The Home Depot). I found out the floor is not level, so I was going to pick up LevelQuik, but there are limits on which subfloor types you can use it.

JetSwet 08-31-2012 02:53 PM

Masonite MDF. Not really suitable for anything but carpet. Take it up and find out why your not level. You can not put slc or any type of morter thinset on that.

cabinetman 08-31-2012 04:18 PM

How thick is the sub-floor? Could be an underlayment/particleboard. As suggested, not suitable for thinset. You could use cement board.


joecaption 08-31-2012 04:35 PM

It's partical board which is not good for any type flooring.
It gets one time and it turns to oatmeal, just changing humity can effect it and cause it to swell up.
Laminite does not need to be level the floor just needs to be flat.

JetSwet 08-31-2012 04:39 PM

No! no! cement board is for tile only, leave it or replace with ply. You should have 3/4" of ply under it so the MDF is just a hight filler.

JetSwet 08-31-2012 04:44 PM

Your floor needs to be level all around. Drop a gulf ball and see where it rolls too and how much it rolls.

cabinetman 08-31-2012 05:03 PM


Originally Posted by JetSwet (Post 1000637)
No! no! cement board is for tile only, leave it or replace with ply. You should have 3/4" of ply under it so the MDF is just a hight filler.

Oops...somehow I got the impression tile was to be used.


rbaevergreen 09-01-2012 08:45 AM

Luckily I can see from the crawlspace that it's plywood underneath. I have to look at the marking on the plywood again; it says both interior and exterior.

The problem is lack of flatness - some places looks like as big as a 1/4" height gap.

notmrjohn 09-01-2012 09:48 PM

wet MDF is a mess, lousy underlayment. Pergo is HDF, when it gets wet...its a mess. So why is MDF not a good sub floor under Pergo foam pad?
1/4" yikes, rent a floor sander. Then maybe a plywood "height filler", I mean lay some plywood not rent some. Is this your first laminate floor? that 'snap and click' isn't the easy snap they make it look till you get the hang of it. You'll need a knuckle pull bar. and several scraps of Pergo wth the ridge trimmed out of the groove for banging on to get some of the snappers to click. i dunno if the ridge is the snapper or the clicker.
First one I layed in our house started off easy then got to be an itch, then I bought a knuckle pull bar and I figured out how to avoid planks sagging as I tilted um in. Put in some fancy new, self milled base board, new base shoe. Moved all the furniture back in, stood back in prideful admiration, there was just one butt joint I wasn't happy with, over a 32nd open at one end. Within 30 minutes came a frog choker of Texas thunder storm, water rose above sill plate, above the wall plate, into room, and between foam pad and laminate. And I'd even run the edges of pad up wall plate to help prevent such a thing. Now the water couldn't get out. All my tightly hammered and knuckle pull barred joints opened, curled, rose, and did all sorts of things. I needed a drink or 12, I went to the local Knuckle Puller Bar, where the old men all stand around drunkenly saying, "pull my finger." That's all true, honest to Pete, cept maybe for the goin to the Knuckle Puller Bar part, not all the old men say that, some of them do the finger pullin.

JetSwet 09-01-2012 10:13 PM

That's quite a story there what on earth is a knuckle bar?!.. If your using anything other then the tapping block to get the planks in your doing it wrong although I won't blame you cuz ya made the story entertaining. Notice the toy hammer next to the block in my avatar picture I lost count on the installers I used to yell at for smacking the snot out of the block and to get them to lock in. I don't use the block for installs, all by hand.
Most if not all laminates are made out of masonite, so going over Masonite is fine.

notmrjohn 09-02-2012 02:45 PM for gettin to them other wise inaccessable ends agin the wall,under toe kick i realized I needed such a device, was gonna devise one. Then whilst pickin some sorta supplies saw that some other devious soul had already done the devising device. Cheap tool, just a chunk of metal. Saw one at site where I got link, two of the downward hooks with ratcheting strap between, spans 36 feet.Bet you gotta have a crew standin in between to keep whole floor from bowing up.
Some folks call it Knuckle Head Puller Bar, but then I think they're talkin to me. On that first floor of mine, at first i had trouble getting the middle of planks to lock, i'd get the ends but the middle would sag or bow, Then i figgered out how to tilt it away from me and line it up and lower, I still had some problems gettin the ends to lock, stuuff dont slide, but i gotter dun. After the water dried out the floor didn't look too bad, I've seen pro jobs that looked worse, of course the worst parts in mine would be right by window where itreally shows in light. My neighbor did his after he saw mine. Gave him all the advice i could, loaned him my bar, told him to read the package inserts. Looked pretty good when he finished. Course he's a know it all, those inserts were just packing not instructions. Space around the perimeter? I found my thrill, on Living Room Hill. Unbeleavable how high that bowed.

JetSwet 09-02-2012 03:53 PM

Oh yeah the laminate bar, I never heard it called that. Great tool!

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