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Old 01-17-2010, 06:19 PM   #1
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Vinyl Tile Underlayment - To Glue or Not to Glue


I'm going to be installing about 1500 square feet of Karndean in my house next week. I've spent roughly 30 hours chiseling and sanding particle board remnant off of my sub-floor. One good pass with a nice floor sander and I'll start with my underlayment.

My house is about 30 years old, and I'm only replacing about a 3 foot by 8 foot section of sub-floor.

I'd been planning on using an underlayment stapler to adhere my underlayment to the subfloor. I've not been planning on using glue, and from what I've read here, my older home in Alaska is about as dry as you can get; therefore unlikely to have squeaky floors as a result of shrinking from drying wood.

My step-father who owns a handyman business insists that my floor will squeak unless I glue the underlayment to the subfloor. I'm not convinced that's correct, but don't want to spend 50+ hours and $11,000 for my new floors only to have them squeak every time I walk around the house.

I hate to think of the poor schmoe buying my house, replacing the flooring and facing the same torment I've just been through. So I'm looking for a few more expert opinions.

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Old 01-17-2010, 06:39 PM   #2
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Vinyl Tile Underlayment - To Glue or Not to Glue


In my 37 years in the flooring trade, I have never glued underlayment and have never had a problem.

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Old 01-17-2010, 06:49 PM   #3
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Vinyl Tile Underlayment - To Glue or Not to Glue


Sorry, but it's not clear to me what type of subfloor you have, or what kind of underlayment you're planning to install.

I don't know of any spec that recommends glueing the underlayment to the subfloor. Just the opposite. Glueing actually creates thousands of voids causing bounce. The only way it would help is if you were able to laminate the two together with 100% coverage.

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Old 01-17-2010, 06:59 PM   #4
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Vinyl Tile Underlayment - To Glue or Not to Glue


Thank you for your reply.

I read an old post in the forum about using overly thick glue which actually creates voids and promotes squeaking. My step dad also suggesting a thin layer of caulking to seal the floors and the caulk would be easier to remove from the subfloor than elmers wood glue. It sounded utterly nuts to me, but he frequently knows what he's talking about so I thought it was worth following up.

Now back to trimming. These bozos set my bathroom vanity and kitchen cabinets on top of the particle board UL. So as I removed the tile and UL, I was left with some rather ugly broken off material sticking out from under my cabinets. Perhaps in the 80s particle board was considering a good thing?
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Old 01-17-2010, 07:01 PM   #5
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Vinyl Tile Underlayment - To Glue or Not to Glue


Jaz, it was one of your replys from a few years ago about thick glue creating voids; and that made sense to me.

I have standard plywood subfloor. I didn't measure, but it appears about 3/4 to 1 inch thick. I was considering Luan ply 1/4 inch underlayment, but was swayed over to birch since I've been reading that birch is more stable and the price difference is negligible.
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Old 01-17-2010, 07:17 PM   #6
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Vinyl Tile Underlayment - To Glue or Not to Glue


Maybe you overlooked it, but Karndean doesn't want you to use luaun as an underlayment either. I think birch is good, just get from the maker. Halex is one of the brands that are high quality. http://www.halexcorp.com/plywood_underlayment.shtml

Do not glue the underlayment. Squeaks come from the subfloor/nail/joist. It's often when a nail just barely hits the joist and therefore rubs when pressure is applied by walking on it.

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Old 01-17-2010, 09:46 PM   #7
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Vinyl Tile Underlayment - To Glue or Not to Glue


if you dont glue 1\4 in. birch you better staple the heck out of it. its not going to lay flat enough to prep over if its not glued.
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Old 01-18-2010, 07:29 PM   #8
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Vinyl Tile Underlayment - To Glue or Not to Glue


I did a little more looking. Karndean's warranty appears to allow for anything but particle board, chipboard or presswood. But after a lot of deliberation, I bought the entire stock (60 sheets) of Halex underlayment at a local store. I'll get the remaining 30 sheets later. You defintely staple the dickens out of it, and Halex has the stapling pattern conveniently printed on it.

Halex may just be a case of better marketing over the generic birch ply underlayment for the big box stores. But considering the other expenses of the project, the increased cost of the UL is actually minor.

This was not intended as a DIY project, but I had some very big bills that I hadn't budgeted for in December. So I guess I'll pull out my table saw,my compressor, go rent myself a staple gun, and take my time so I don't waste material with sloppy work.
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Old 01-25-2010, 02:03 AM   #9
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Vinyl Tile Underlayment - To Glue or Not to Glue


I tried to send a private message, but the site restricts that. In any case, thanks very much Jaz and Rusty. My project has, of course, hit a few snags. I rented a stapler, and it only had a 25% success rate with the staples. I had a full box at the end of the day when my hired help went home. So I used step-dad's stapler with the wrong gauge of staple and re-stapled the entire 700 square foot section of underlayment; I had the occasional jam, but it worked pretty well actually. Step-dad admitted that with the number of staples I used, glue really isn't necessary. Though he pitied the person who'd rip the floor out. Yeah, it can't be worse than 30 hours of crawling on the floor with a hammer and chisel; then another 15 on the floor with filler and then a belt sander. Yeah, the next guy will have an easier go of things. Trust me.

BTW, I was mistaken and actually bough Matrixx, not Halex. My favorite hardware store carries the Matrixx, so I opted for it. They appear comparable in quality; at least I hope they are. I have an addition that has always been "lower" than my main house. Once I ripped out the carpeting I discovered that the "contractor" use 3/4 in sub-floor in the addition even though the rest of the house as 1 1/8 tongue and groove sub-floor. So I'll just use 1/2 inch APA hardwood ply for underlayment in the addition and feather in leveller to ease any unevenness.

My seams in my first half appear pretty even. May-be because I worked so hard getting the sub-floor flat, and used a quality underlayment. In any case, I actually quit floating since I was ending up leaving very little levelling material except for a few spots. I did a QC check, and will give a nice seam sanding and be ready for gluing. I'd rather touch the high spots I found with Mr. Sander than float in to blend and have wavy floors as a result anyway.

Thank you for your advice. I've spent a lot of time reading the archives; you've both helped me so much to make this project successful. Thank you so much for your posts.
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Old 01-25-2010, 07:06 PM   #10
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Vinyl Tile Underlayment - To Glue or Not to Glue


Hi Kaypee65,

I think I also speak for Rusty when I say we appreciate you for taking the time to post a thank you and a progress report of your project.

It seems so many people believe the advise we give is part of their internet bundle and they deserve our time.

Thanks again, come back anytime.

Nice nic. when I think back, it seams I was always on KP.

Jaz

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