Hardwood over particle board.


  #1  
Old 07-24-05, 10:17 PM
janovetz
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Hardwood over particle board.

Hello-

The subfloors throughout my house are 3/4" particle board over 3/4" particle board (yeah, two layers). When I installed porcelain tile, I used a sawzall to remove both particle board layers where the tile was going to go and replaced them with 3/4" plywood and then concrete backer -- then tile. Since tile has no 'give' I understand why it was necessary to get rid of the particle board.

I read in this group that it is not recommended to put hardwood over particle board (I plan on using pre-finished 3/4" flooring). A while back, I had a very reputable (several recommendations from professionals and homeowners) flooring guy estimate the job. When asked about the particle board, he didn't have a problem with it.

So -- why is hardwood over particle board a bad idea?

The flooring will need to come up a little bit to match the tile I have elsewhere. Can I put a thin (1/8") plywood over the particle board to interface to the hardwood?

Oh, and I'll be selling in a year -- if that makes any difference.
 
  #2  
Old 07-25-05, 11:46 AM
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Particle board is not a sufficient subfloor. Period. It does not hold nails, cleats or staples well and the first moisture 'issue' turns it to mush, exaserbating the problem.
As for selling next year, knowing you installed wood floors on a non-approved substrate is a disclosure requirement.
 
  #3  
Old 07-25-05, 08:13 PM
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Can you say... Sqeak, creak, and pop, with every step you take.

Stapling with coalated fasteners, is your best bet if you have your heart set on going ahead.
 
  #4  
Old 07-26-05, 09:07 PM
janovetz
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Ok... What about putting down plywood on top of the particle board and -then- the hardwood?
 
  #5  
Old 07-27-05, 04:22 AM
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I have never heard of particle board on the floor. Are you sure you do not mean to say OSB (Oriented Strand Board)...this is more typical for sub-flooring.

Particle board is not to be used as sub-flooring material...it has no plyability therefore it would break apart.
 
  #6  
Old 08-08-05, 09:57 AM
janovetz
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Yeah -- I know. It just seems to be my luck with houses. Who thinks to check the subfloor when buying a house? I will now.

Anyway, I checked again. It seems I have 3/4" plywood on the joists. Then 3/4" particle board. When I installed tile, we removed the particle board layer using the reciprocating saw and installed additional plywood, then concrete backer, then tile.

I could do something similar for the hardwood. Other options:

1. Put hardwood on the particle board. I know it isn't recommended, but there is plywood beneath. Also, the house is 30 yrs old, so I wouldn't expect the particle board to be expanding much now, right? Do the installation nails go deep enough to get through to the plywood?

2. Put thin plywood on top of the particle board, then the flooring (3/4" prefinished solid oak floors).

3. Remove the particle board layer as I did with the tile. Does this affect the walls at all?

Jake
 
  #7  
Old 08-08-05, 12:13 PM
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Here are the reasons why and why not...



1.) Fasteners for the nailers are 2" as the longest available. At the 45 angle the nailer drives the fastener, it is not going to reach the plywood. You will only be nailing into junk.


2.) Possible, but " doesn't have the meat, to get a good hold on the fastener. or greater would be better, but not up to the required standards, since the particle board still remains. Expect a lot of noises coming from the floor in the long term.


3.) BINGO, we have a winner. Do it right the first time, so you are not doing it again, or have any regrets!!!!

I certainly wouldn't think that the walls are on top of the particle board, unless they were part of a remodel, after the particle board was installed over the original plywood.
 
  #8  
Old 08-08-05, 12:43 PM
janovetz
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Thanks--

Well, the particle board is actually part of the subfloor and (near as I can tell) goes right under the walls.

My concern is that by cutting out so much of the particle board, the walls would have less footing and therefore could shift. (??)

The plywood layer would not be removed but I just haven't done enough of this to know if there's a concern here.

Jake
 
  #9  
Old 08-08-05, 04:35 PM
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I would remove the particle board, cutting as close to the wall, Removing the baseboards and an undercut saw turn up so your cutting the particle board with it.

Then I would install the flooring over the " plywood that is left, leaving the expansion as needed. Then replace the baseboards, and if needed, add round molding.
 
  #10  
Old 08-09-05, 04:41 AM
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Lose the particle board. I still can't believe it is even on the floor. Do it right the first time.
 
  #11  
Old 07-23-07, 05:39 PM
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Unhappy Have Particle Board under Hardwood Floor

A friend installed our hardwood floor for us--over the particle board that we found when we took up our carpet. Now we see it is not recommended. Is there anything we can do to prevent problems, now that our hardwood floor has been installed?
 
  #12  
Old 07-23-07, 06:12 PM
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Done's done, now you're in a holding pattern to see if any issues develop. Might as well get as much use out of the floor as you can. Who knows, you may even get lucky and not develop issues with it.
 
 

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