Newbie here w/subfloor question


Old 01-04-07, 04:53 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Memphis - home of the King :)
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Question Newbie here w/subfloor question

Hello all. I am new to this site via a google search. So glad I found you as I have a plethora of DIY projects at my house.

Long story short, in process of remodeling kitchen. Took out 2 walls. Old kitchen had commercial carpet over vinyl floor sheet over another vinyl floor sheet over 1950s vinyl something. The other 2 rooms stolen for kitchen have damaged (beyond repair) 2 1/4" red oak strip flooring.

Underneath the last layer of vinyl something are diagonal planks (about 4" wide). Underneath the hardwood is (I assume) the subfloor.

My husband and I have gone back and forth about what is best for the "look" of the kitchen and what is the most economical and easiest DIY. We are leaning toward replacing the 2 1/4" strip and interlacing into the hallway.

So here are the questions. What the heck are the diagonal planks? Note: they are level with the hardwood so I assume there is another subfloor underneath. Can the diagonal planks be removed? Once joists and subfloor are tightened to remove bounce and squeak, I assume that I can lay the new hardwood strips directly to the subfloor. Or, do I need to add a plywood underlayment?

I should mention this is a 1952 house with a conventional foundation and a big crawl space underneath.

By the way, can we post pictures on this forum? They speak a thousand words.

Last edited by shadytrake; 01-05-07 at 12:07 PM. Reason: Edited to correct my dyslexic DYI
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Old 01-05-07, 04:16 AM
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We are unable to post pictures directly on this forum at this time.
You must upload to a free photo host like Photobucket and post a link to your images.
Old 01-06-07, 08:19 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Newport
Posts: 8've got a lot going on. Pictures would be a HUGE help. Most likely the diagonal flooring is the original subfloor in the part of the house. If you have a bouncy floor I would tend to say role up your sleeves and fix the problem right. The best way to help with the bounciness is to add some blocking between joists, then glue and screw new plywood sub-flooring down. This will dramitically stiffen the floor. Send along some photos and maybe my advice will change.
Old 01-06-07, 03:21 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 155
Sounds like you live in my house! The diagonal planks are your subfloor. Crawl under the house and you'll see. Why is it level with the plywood next to it? Because someone removed the old diagonals in that spot and put down ply as a subfloor. Look under your house and you will see. You can install your wood flooring on top of both - i.e. on top of the ply, and when you get to the diagonals, just keep putting down wood flooring.
Old 01-06-07, 08:38 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Memphis - home of the King :)
Posts: 3
I guess my description wasn't very good. In the "old" kitchen, the diagonal planks are directly over the joists and then we have what my husband calls "decking" planks. They are 3 1/4" wide. There is no plywood at all. These "decking" planks are level with the oak strip flooring in the "annexed" room. The oak strip flooring is laid over the diagonal planks "the subfloor."

If we rip out the strips and the decking to install new strip flooring interlaced with the good part of the floor in the rest of the house, then we will just have the strip flooring over the diagonal planks "the original subfloor."

I know that isn't enough bracing for the floor as our front loader washer already "walks" on the spin cycle.

So, should I sacrifice a clean/level interlacing and put in extra plywood (this would butt against the decking) on top of the diagonal subfloor to stiffen the floor and add a little threshold for the transition to the hallway? I am pretty sure I know the answer. I guess my best bet is to add the ply and not worry that the kitchen floor is 1/2" higher than the hallway.

I don't have a photobucket yet, so I hope my description will give you a better visual than before.
Old 01-07-07, 06:00 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 155
I would not sacrifice an even floor. The diagonal subfloor should be fine - unless it is rotten. Otherwise, if it is in decent shape, and you still bounce around, you have an issue with your joists/beams below.

By the way, washers walk on concrete slabs, too. That usually has to do with adjusting those feet to make sure they are all solidly on the ground and the washing load is evenly balanced.

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