Leveling a particle board sub-floor

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Old 12-01-09, 08:05 AM
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Leveling a particle board sub-floor

Iím leveling my kitchen subfloor in preparation for laminate. Unfortunately, itís made of particle board so Iím using a pre-mixed leveler instead of the self leveling liquid variety. This is proving extremely difficult to get a smooth surface as the pre-mixed leveler is like spackle.

Is there any type of tool or stone I could purchase that would help to smooth out rough edges of harden concrete leveler? Or are there any techniques or other tools I could use? Or would it be ok to use a liquid self leveler since I already have a concrete base covering the entire area thus the particle board wouldnít be exposed to the moisture?
 
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Old 12-01-09, 10:47 AM
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Maybe a hand held concrete grinder? However that will raise quite a bit of dust but there are some attachments that can cut down quite a bit of it. It would also be connected to a shop vac. Also standard flooring scrapers can knock off some high spots as long as the leveling compound isn't like concrete.

I would also be concerned with any product used over particle board. They are not very tolerant of moisture.

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Old 12-02-09, 05:37 AM
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How much deviation do you have in the floor overall? Are the low spots in small areas or across a larger portion of the floor? I agree with my neighbor, use water based products sparingly on true particle board. Confirm, too, that it is actually particle board and not OSB or similar product.
 
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Old 12-02-09, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
How much deviation do you have in the floor overall? Are the low spots in small areas or across a larger portion of the floor? I agree with my neighbor, use water based products sparingly on true particle board. Confirm, too, that it is actually particle board and not OSB or similar product.
Yes, it's particle board.

It's about a 20 sq ft section with maybe 1/4-1/2' deflection. It does have some form of a paint or adhesive from a previous tile install that might help to seal it. The entire install area is only 100-120 sq ft.

I first applied a layer of pre-mixed leveler, let it dry, and then applied a layer of the self lever. Everything dried up nice and quick. I took a look at the subfloor from the basement and didnít see anything unusual.

Definitely not the ideal situation but the area is so small to begin with, so I hope this solution works well.
 
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Old 12-02-09, 12:57 PM
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So is your floor within tolerance to install your laminate? You will be using the recommended foam underlayment, right?
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Old 12-02-09, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
So is your floor within tolerance to install your laminate?
I'm not entirely sure. I'll review the instructions again but I don't remember seeing this anywhere.

Originally Posted by chandler View Post
You will be using the recommended foam underlayment, right?
Of course. I've been told that I don't need a moisture barrier however all the foam underlayments have some form of moisture protection in them. I just bought the cheapest foam underlayment that I could find.
 
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Old 12-02-09, 06:31 PM
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The foam underlayment will be somewhat forgiving.
 
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