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Old 11-03-2009, 09:48 PM   #1
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I need to install underlayment. It will be 1/4 thick over the subfloor to provide a smooth surface. One room will be vinyl "sticky" tiles while the other will be carpet.

The "big box" store I go to (Menards) has several 1/4 types. Which would be the best?

The plywood they have marked as underlayment and has x's all over it to mark where to fasten it, is $20 a sheet and it says it's used specifically for underlayment.

Then there is maple veneer plywood for $15 a sheet. It's sanded smooth on the maple side. I'm not sure why it's cheaper though. I would think it would be more. Would that work as a good underlayment?

Lastly, you have Luan (if I spelled it right). I've read a bunch of websites that say it's good to use, and others say to stay away from it. I think thatís $10 a sheet.

All sheets are 4x8.

Also, do you recommend stapling, nailing, or screwing the underlayment down?

Thanks for your help!



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Old 11-04-2009, 05:55 AM   #2
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Luan is okay but generally the bottom of the barrel. For what you are doing though, it's probably fine. I wouldn't expect most self stick tiles to be a long term investment anyway. The expensive stuff if usually a 5 layer birch and carries a warranty. It's all we use.


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Old 11-04-2009, 09:39 AM   #3
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  • Luan
  • Staples (faster to install and MUCH easier to remove later)
  • Only use in the room(s) to recieve the vinyl tiles
  • Screw your sub-floor to the joists to eliminate current and prevent future squeaks
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:24 PM   #4
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Underlayment should be stapled. A 4"x4" pattern in the fields and every 2" on the seams. Luan is used as underlayment but certainly is not the best thing to use. Luan ususally has voids which can give underfoot.
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Old 11-04-2009, 10:26 PM   #5
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Thanks to all

Thanks for all your help. I will use staples and have found Plywood underlayment for about $11 a sheet that I will be using.
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