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Can someone help a girl out??? (Sagging Subfloor)

Can someone help a girl out??? (Sagging Subfloor)


Old 06-14-05, 04:47 PM
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Can someone help a girl out??? (Sagging Subfloor)


Huge problem with my floors. Our home is four years old (bought new from the builder with a one year warranty) and I had someone come and measure my floors to put new vinyl down in my kitchen. The guys from Lowe's said that the "soft spots" in my kitchen are so soft and big that they don't want to put the new floor down. They said I needed to get my floor fixed first. The problem is that ALL of the floor on my main level has the same problem. You sink into soft spots everywhere. I can actually feel exactly where the floor joists (think that's what they're called) are. The builder said it's the lumber company's problem, the lumber company says it's the manufacturers problem and I'm stuck worrying that I may end up like Tom Hanks in the movie Money Pit- falling through the floor!!! Anyone know, short of contacting an attorney, what I should do?

If I do have to rip up all my flooring and put in a new subfloor (mines particle board OMB ???) should I have them take out the crappy subfloor that is there now and replace it or put a new one on top. Should they use plywood or what for the job so this doesn't happen again. Thanks soooo much to anyone who can give me expert advice. I'm clueless about this kind of stuff and don't want to get further screwed.
Old 06-14-05, 05:36 PM
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Your floor is probably OSB (oriented strand board), which is also called Oxboard, waferboard, or chip board. It's golden-yellowish colored and looks like large wood chips or wafers all pressed and glued together. (Particle board looks like pressed sawdust.) Hopefully they used 3/4" tongue & groove OSB, but if they used anything less than that, you probably need to tear it all up and replace it with the correct thickness that is rated for your floor joist spans (whether they be 16", 19.2" or 24").

It could be that the builder ran the OSB the wrong direction- with the joists instead of perpendicular to them. Is this floor exposed from underneath? Basement or crawlspace? And are you in a humid part of the country?
Old 06-14-05, 09:16 PM
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Spongy Floor

This is what I would do. I would call a local contractor (not a house builder)
and find a spot that is spongy and is out of the way, like a closet, or under a bed, etc. Have him cut out a portion of the floor and find out exactly what the problem is. This way you can see it first hand. See what you have, how it is installed etc. He will be glad to help you. You will have to pay him, but it will not be much. After getting the info, come back here and report to us, and we may be able to help you. good Luck
Old 06-16-05, 09:37 PM
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Thank you sooo much for your help- to give you further info. the OSB is by Oxboard and the lumberyard guy said he would contact the Manufacturer because in 16 years he had only seen floors half as bad as ours in a home occupied by a couple who weighed well over 350 lbs. It is NOT t&g (that does mean tongue and groove right?) and I believe our joists are 16'' apart. And he said it isn't just at the seams it is sagging in the middle (he figured out - somehow??? where the seams are and I have soft spots at the seams and in them middle of the subfloor material) When I say I sag into the floor (I'm not a heavy girl) I mean I SAG INTO THE FLOOR!!! I could never begin to sell this four year old house- yet I want so badly to flee while I can!!!

I greatly appreciate this forum and feel blessed to have you to ask for your professional advice! Thanks again!
Old 06-22-05, 06:27 PM
Andrew R.
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Your floor should either be 1 layer of 3/4" t and g or 2 layers equaling 1" of non t and g with seams offset from each other. About 99% of the houses I see now are 1 layer 3/4" or thicker on expensive customs.If the plywood is truly not t and g then this should happen....not would, I mean should.
Old 06-29-05, 09:29 PM
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Do you have an unfinished basement or nice sized crawl space? I would recommend putting solid bridging (that is perpendicular framing in joist spaces) in from below every so often. That would be a much less expensive fix than ripping out all the finished floor and subfloor. Even vertical 2x4's or 2x6's would probably work in tight spots such as around duct work and plumbing. I have seen several new houses lately with 5/8 OSB on 2 x 8 joists 16" centers spanning 12-14 feet and NO bridging much less solid bridging. It's like walking on a trampoline. Good luck.

Last edited by mcheevy; 06-30-05 at 05:03 AM.
Old 07-06-05, 01:43 PM
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code violation?

Find out if the builder failed to meet building code. Then you can sue them for breach of contract since most housing contracts include a statement that the house will be built according to applicable codes. Doesn't matter if the warranty is up. The statute of limitations in my state is 5 years. Depending on your state laws this may no longer be an option or you may be running out of time to take action.
Old 07-27-05, 07:57 AM
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If possible, hold the builder accountable as "wagonman" said.
If the subfloor is not rotted but just under engineered, you may be able to add a layer of more substantial material on top of the existing subfloor.
Of course this is easier said than done, because of all of the other parts of the house that the subfloor thickness affects like the doors, the base molding, built in cabinets, and some others. 3/4" t&g plywood is ideal, but maybe the combination of the existing subfloor and 1/2" or 5/8" plywood installed perpendicular to the existing material will help.

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