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Old 07-01-2017, 07:48 AM   #1
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Bamboo Floors, OSB subfloor-Which underlayment?


Hi,

I plan to install 1/2 inch strand woven bamboo floors throughout my entire house excluding bathrooms and laundry room. The application required for the bamboo is nail-down. My subfloor is 3/4 inch OSB. In my kitchen, there is already 1/4 inch lauan topped with vinyl. My questions are: What should I use for underlayment? Lauan or 3/8 BC (or AC) plywood? And how should I secure it? Deck/Construction screws? Staples? And what length fastener should I use?

I have had four contractors look at the project thus far. One said I could nail it right to the OSB because it is the "same quality" as Advantech. My OSB is solid, no warping but very rough chips so I am not convinced it is Advantech or a similar product and would not feel confident choosing this option. Three of the contractors all said the 3/8 plywood was overkill. Lauan is fine, and staples are fine (vs screws). Also, it was my plan to lay 15 lb felt paper between the subfloor and underlayment/substrate and again between the latter and the bamboo.

I will appreciate any guidance I can get on this matter. Thank you.
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Old 07-01-2017, 08:34 AM   #2
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Re: Bamboo Floors, OSB subfloor-Which underlayment?


The vinyl and luan in the kitchen will need to be removed. 1/4" is not a good underlayment for any floor but vinyl. Adding 1/2" BC is optimal, but you may get by with 3/8" depending on your joist spacing, size and the length of unsupported span. Do not lay any vapor barrier between sheet goods. Lay your 15# felt on top of your final subfloor, then your bamboo. When laying your second layer of subflooring, do not glue it down and intentionally miss the joists to allow a "slip" factor between the two sheets. Use decking screws to attach it to the subfloor. In fact, you will want to go with screws along your first subfloor and attach it firmly to the joists to prevent squeaks.
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Old 07-02-2017, 06:07 AM   #3
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Re: Bamboo Floors, OSB subfloor-Which underlayment?


Thank you for your response. I will have to get in my crawl space to double-check, but, at first glance, I'd say the joists are 16" on center. What type of plywood do you recommend? Birch? Pine? Also, you said intentionally miss the joist. Are you advising that I secure the plywood underlay to the OSB only and to NOT screw through to the joists? Lastly, is screwing down my subfloor really necessary if there is currently no evidence of squeaking?
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Old 07-02-2017, 06:40 AM   #4
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Re: Bamboo Floors, OSB subfloor-Which underlayment?


Don't go overboard on plywood. Standard BC grade plywood will suffice. Getting into hardwood veneer plywood is expensive, at no real benefit. Yes, I am saying secure the first layer of subfloor with screws into the joists, but intentionally miss the joists with the second layer. This will not tie both layers to the joists and will allow a movement factor, although minimal. It is good you have not squeaks, now, but by not giving that advice, I would be unfair to you, since squeaks can occur at any time. Being forewarned is forearmed. Doing it right the first time eliminates having to do it over again.
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