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Old 07-21-2016, 07:30 PM   #1
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Wood floors over existing wood floors


Hello!

I just purchased a house built in 1906. It has Douglas Fir flooring, but in two rooms the flooring has been painted (with lead paint) and some large patching would be needed. I've determined that it's not worth the risk to refinish and hope it comes out well. I purchased new hardwood flooring that will delivered in the next week. I plan on running the new hardwood the same way (east/ west), not going perpendicular to the current planks. I understand that means I need to lay a subfloor on the existing wood before laying the new planks on top. A few questions for advice:

1) I read 3/8" subfloor is needed. Is it worth doing tongue and groove plywood? What type of plywood is needed for this? I was assuming cheap is fine because I already have a 3/4" subfloor (the existing fir).
2) Does the subfloor get nailed to the floor joists, or just stapled to the existing fir?
3) Do I need to lay the subfloor in a particular way? For example, alternating the 4' and 8' lengths so that there isn't a full seam running the length of the house?
4) The walls are plaster and one wall is curved. I'd prefer not to remove the baseboard because of potential damage to the walls & baseboards. The current baseboard is about 6" high and in good shape. So if I lose an inch with the new flooring, I'm not too concerned about that. Should I just get an oscillating/ jamb saw to cut out 1" of the existing baseboard to slide the subfloor + new hardwoods under? I'm worried (particularly on the round wall) that the baseboard will be damaged and then I'll have to replace in the whole house with a new 6" baseboard. I'm also assuming that I would still add 1/4" round to hide any of the cutting work.

Thanks!
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Old 07-21-2016, 08:25 PM   #2
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Re: Wood floors over existing wood floors


I don't know why you need a 3/8 subfloor.It is not going to add any structural integrity to the floor.
Does the present floor have a sub floor under it or is it nailed to the joist?
A oscillating saw will eat you alive trying to do a whole room of base including the cost of many blades and a bad cut.
If you want to undercut the present base you need to go rent a toe kick saw.Althought,there is really no reason for it.
I would lay down some 30 # felt and then lay your new floor.Leave (scribe where needed) a 3/8" gap at the walls and cover with shoe molding.Done deal.
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Old 07-21-2016, 09:11 PM   #3
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The existing fir is directly nailed to the floor joists. I read in a few places (including the instructions from the manufacturer of the new floors) to mount wood floors on top of existing wood floors, either change the planks 90 (North-South), or separate the two floors with 3/8" plywood.

I'll look into a toe kick saw.
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Old 07-21-2016, 10:35 PM   #4
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Re: Wood floors over existing wood floors


Always follow the manufacturers instructions. I would orient them 90 degrees but if that's not what you want then use the 3/8 per manufacturer.
I don't really see what the 3/8" will do for the floor but follow their instructions in case there is a warranty issue.
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Old 07-22-2016, 02:40 PM   #5
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Re: Wood floors over existing wood floors


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Originally Posted by mako1 View Post
Always follow the manufacturers instructions. I would orient them 90 degrees but if that's not what you want then use the 3/8 per manufacturer.
I don't really see what the 3/8" will do for the floor but follow their instructions in case there is a warranty issue.
Right, that's what I'm planning on doing, the rest of my questions are about how to best accomplish that. My understanding of the need for the 3/8" is because I'm running the new planks in the same direction. The house is obviously oriented in that way, so I don't want to change it. If the orientation wasn't as obvious, then changing 90 degrees wouldn't be as big of a deal.

Thanks.
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Old 07-22-2016, 03:11 PM   #6
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Re: Wood floors over existing wood floors


The 3/8 should be attached to the fir and not the joist.
Alternate the joints.
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Old 07-22-2016, 07:26 PM   #7
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Re: Wood floors over existing wood floors


Quote:
I just purchased a house built in 1906. It has Douglas Fir flooring, but in two rooms the flooring has been painted (with lead paint) and some large patching would be needed. I've determined that it's not worth the risk to refinish and hope it comes out well. I purchased new hardwood flooring that will delivered in the next week. I plan on running the new hardwood the same way (east/ west), not going perpendicular to the current planks. I understand that means I need to lay a subfloor on the existing wood before laying the new planks on top. A few questions for advice:

1) I read 3/8" subfloor is needed. Is it worth doing tongue and groove plywood? What type of plywood is needed for this? I was assuming cheap is fine because I already have a 3/4" subfloor (the existing fir).
2) Does the subfloor get nailed to the floor joists, or just stapled to the existing fir?
3) Do I need to lay the subfloor in a particular way? For example, alternating the 4' and 8' lengths so that there isn't a full seam running the length of the house?
4) The walls are plaster and one wall is curved. I'd prefer not to remove the baseboard because of potential damage to the walls & baseboards. The current baseboard is about 6" high and in good shape. So if I lose an inch with the new flooring, I'm not too concerned about that. Should I just get an oscillating/ jamb saw to cut out 1" of the existing baseboard to slide the subfloor + new hardwoods under? I'm worried (particularly on the round wall) that the baseboard will be damaged and then I'll have to replace in the whole house with a new 6" baseboard. I'm also assuming that I would still add 1/4" round to hide any of the cutting work.
1. Yes use min. ⅜", but I recommend an underlayment grade, not cheapo sheathing. Unlikely to find t&g ⅜" anything, plus t&g is not needed.
2. Use ⅞" -1" staples made for underlayment.
3. Underlayment goes perpendicular to the joists, offset the sheets roughly 50% to start, small pieces can be even 6" offset. NO, 4 corners meeting anywhere.
4. I'm sure Mako meant to say undercut saw, not toe kick. Toe kick cuts vertically.

Jaz
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Old 07-23-2016, 11:07 AM   #8
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Thanks!

Dumb question, but is underlayment grade plywood, like a tri-ply? Just looking on Home Depot's website, I'm not sure I know exactly what I need for that part.
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