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Old 01-27-2014, 12:54 PM   #1
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Plywood Subfloor - does it need gaps for expansion?


I recently had my Kitchen subfloor done with 3/8 in grade A plywood over the diagonal floorboards which are over the floor joists.

I noticed that in one part the plywood is butting up against another board and it kind of pops up 1/16 of an inch making a 'click' noise

Did they install the plywood boards too close to each other? Does it need to have an expansion gap or something?

Can this section just be repaired by cutting out a little bit thats popping up?

Hopefully more don't pop up later or after I put the vinyl plank floor down....
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Old 01-27-2014, 01:26 PM   #2
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Typologically it is butted tight---i suggest that more stapling is needed at those edges----
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Old 01-27-2014, 01:58 PM   #3
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How did they fasten and what's the pattern?
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Old 01-27-2014, 04:49 PM   #4
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They only did the plywood around kitchen so they're just butted against each other.
It's fastened with screws whereever the joists is but not on edges of the plywood
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Old 01-27-2014, 04:56 PM   #5
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You better watch those guys---underlayment is typically screwed or stapled every eight to ten inches--3 to 4 inches at the seams, avoiding the floor joists.

I might be missing something---this is underlayment over an existing subfloor,correct?
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Old 01-27-2014, 05:22 PM   #6
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I also never screw down under layman.
The old boards under it should have been screwed down but screwing down underlayment will cause raised area where the screws went in.
I fasten every 4" on the edges and 6 to 8"in the field.
I would have used a pneumatic staple gun with narrow crown staples. Underlayment nails are also acceptable.
Underlayment is never attach to the joist. The whole idea is to get 100% contact with what's below it. So attaching between the joist pulls it down between the gaps where the flooring sags between the joist.
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post

I might be missing something---this is underlayment over an existing subfloor,correct?
Yes I was unclear in last post: it's 3/8 plywood flat over diagonal boards., which are over the joists. And they did NAIL it down, not screw it down. I was writing that quickly from my phone.

It looks like they nailed it down the line of where the screws are. The thing is they already put cabinets over it so it would be impossible to fix now.

joe, I notice there's not nails along edges. So your saying around the edges they should put those nails down correct? I'm guessing this is why it's popping up by 1/8 inch where the edge of one plywood touches another edge of a plywood
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:39 PM   #8
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The edges are the most important area. That's why it should have nailed every 4".
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:54 PM   #9
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Thanks so much joe, i'll tell the contractor when I talk to him later and ask him whats up.
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Old 01-27-2014, 07:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
i'll tell the contractor when I talk to him later and ask him whats up.
I love it when the customer has to tell the handyman how to do things.

3/8" over plank subfloor? Well, that's wrong too.

Read the direction for your vinyl flooring to see how to handle the seams of the underlayment, after they're properly fastened of course.

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Old 01-28-2014, 12:06 AM   #11
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I love it when the customer has to tell the handyman how to do things.

3/8" over plank subfloor? Well, that's wrong too.

Read the direction for your vinyl flooring to see how to handle the seams of the underlayment, after they're properly fastened of course.

Jaz
He is a contractor...I dunno if that helps much here in California or as it seems it's just filling out some paper work and getting liability insurance/bond.

What is wrong with 3/8 over the plank subfloor?

the directions say this regarding wood subfloor:

Wood subfloors :
Including Hardwoods, Plywood, OSB, Luan,
Par ticleboard & Chipboard are approved, but
must be sturdy, flat and have little flexibility."

thanks

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Old 01-28-2014, 09:59 AM   #12
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And where are you getting that info?
Most of it is wrong.
Particle board gets wet once and it turns to oat meal, it also can swell up from just a high moisture content from something like no vapor barrier in a crawl space.
Luan has not been an excepted subflooring for may years because of voids in the core, causing glues to let go, and staining through the flooring.
Linoleum will mirror any flaws in the subfloor below, use OSB and your floor will look like a bumpy back road in no time.
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:27 AM   #13
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In the end 3/8" over planks might be good enough in this case if: The planks are in excellent condition. Generally you'd want to use minimum 1/2" over planks if they are perfectly flat.

I'm pretty sure the instruction are more detailed than that. Specifically which floor will you be installing?

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Old 01-28-2014, 12:16 PM   #14
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Plank floor almost always have slight cupping, flex between the board, small differences in thickness of each board.
A thin plywood will just follow the flaws in the floor below.
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Old 01-28-2014, 02:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
And where are you getting that info?
Most of it is wrong.
.
I got it from the manufacturer instruction manual: Allure
http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/pdf...6c7051994d.pdf

(I've used their lower grade vinyl plank flooring in rentals and it's held up pretty well. I've installed over cement and old linoleum with good results as long as the floor beneath is flat. I have seen some knicks from the cement show up through the regular Allure which is 3 mm but this one is commercial grade and 5mm.)

This is for their "Ultra" version which has a lifetime warranty and 10 year commercial warranty. The Ultra which I'm going to install I've taken hammers, key, blades etc to and it's held up with some small scratches that can kind of be buffed off with a scotchbright sponge. It is 100% water proof as it's just vinyl.

I do agree joe, that most of that material is no good, but it's approved according to Allure.

Jaz, is it worth bringing the 3/8 ply all out? Supposedly grade A. The diagonal planks seemed in sound condition

Last edited by crayola110; 01-28-2014 at 03:24 PM.
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