subflooring question


Old 11-02-06, 01:43 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2006
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subflooring question

I've read a couple of threads on replacing damaged subflooring, which provided some excellent advice. However, I want to get just a little more specific. The damage to my subflooring is right up next to the baseboards (and probably under it) due to cat urine, but just in certain areas (thank goodness, it's not everywhere). We are going to have new carpet installed next week and I want the odor gone. Yesterday, we pulled up the carpet, and the floor and tack-strips are black with stain. I think we should replace the subflooring, which will totally eliminate the odor, but my husband says that we can't because it runs under the wall. By the way, this is first-floor plywood subflooring over a basement. I have purchased "Urinine-Off", which is suppose to take out the odor, and we are going to seal it afterwards with either polyurethane or Kilz (don't know which one is best). There appears to be so much damage that I'm not sure the solution will work. Can the subflooring be replaced? If so, how with the minimal amount of work, and is a week enough time to get this all done? I need an expert's opinion in order to convince my hubby to do this. Thanks.
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Old 11-02-06, 06:54 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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There is no reason the damaged subfloor can't be removed and replaced. If I were doing the work I would carefully remove the base molding and use a sawzall to cut the plywood where it meets the wall sole plate. This has to be done carefully to ensure that joists, plumbing, wiring are not damaged.

The other cuts can be done with a circular saw. Just set the blade depth to the thickness of the subfloor. Make sure that the edges of the new piece fall on a joist for support. You can add 2X lumber if needed to support the new piece.
Old 11-02-06, 10:36 AM
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Thank you very much.....I'll tell my husband.
Old 11-02-06, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by LadyKunnan
suppose to take out the odor, and we are going to seal it afterwards with either polyurethane or Kilz (don't know which one is best).

Any undamaged sub floor can be sealed with pigmented shellac which does a better job than oil base kilz. It is unlikely that any latex base paint will adequetely seal in the odor.
Old 11-11-06, 11:53 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Dear Mr. Mitchell,
I don't know if you'll get this, but thanks for your wonderful advice. I have the exact same problem. I just don't completely understand your message - what is a sawzall? What is a sole plate? And what is 2X lumber?
Thank you for any help you can give me.

By the way, to the original posters, I put down 2 layers of general purpose Kilz over the plywood subflooring and you can still see the cat stains through it. So that's why I want to replace the subflooring.

Thank you for your help! Hopefully you will get this.

Last edited by DIYaddict; 11-11-06 at 05:07 PM. Reason: Removed unnecessary quote
Old 11-11-06, 01:52 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 3,188
A sawzall is a brand name for a reciprocating saw. Used primarily for demolition, the open blade design allows for tight cuts against the sole plate.
The sole plate is the bottom framing member (usually a 2"X4") in a typical stud wall. It is nailed horizontally to the subfloor and the vertical studs are attached to the plate.
2X was intended to mean a piece of dimensional lumber nominally 2" in thickness (actually 1 1/2") and of whatever width necessary. A 2X4 would probably be adequate to span between joists and provide edge support for a new piece of subfloor.

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