Subfloor Repair


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Old 08-13-11, 01:04 PM
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Subfloor Repair

I just tore out the linoleum flooring and luan out of my kitchen and there is substantial wood rot underneath the refrigerator due to a leaking shower (now fixed) on the other side of the adjacent wall. Apparently water was leaking down the wall and onto the subfloor which weakened the floor quite a bit. It is about a 12" x 12" area that should technically be replaced, but I'm hoping once the new flooring is installed (3/8" thick engineered hardwood) it will be ok. Again, the weak spot is under the refrigerator and the refrigerator wheels/supports rest on solid subfloor. My question is, is there some sort of glue or wood filler I can spread over the weakened area to reinforce it (e.g. Dap Plastic Wood, Titebond II, etc.)? Or should the floor be ok once the new hardwood is installed (again, 3/8" thick).

Second question is can/should I apply some sort of adhesive in the seams of the subfloor to help eliminate squeaking? I planned on adding a few extra nails (or screws?) here and there to tighten it up but wasn't sure if there was something else I could do (e.g. apply some sort of glue or graphite powder). Lastly, what type of nails (or screws) should I use to tighten up the subfloor (subfloor is 23/32" tongue and groove)
 

Last edited by mossman; 08-13-11 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 08-13-11, 04:24 PM
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How rotted is the area? Will it hold a screw? If not, I would replace a 32 x 32 piece of subflooring so it will span two joists. It the damage is minimal, you could use minwax epoxy wood filler, sanding it down once it is hard. No adhesive in the seams, it won't matter. Added screws will help with the squeaking. If it squeaks now and you don't add the screws, adding hardwood won't fix it. 2 1/2" torx decking screws would work fine.
 
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Old 08-13-11, 04:37 PM
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Not sure it will hold a screw. Maybe. I really don't want to patch it if I don't have to. So you don't think the weak area will be fine once the hardwood is installed over it? Have you heard of a product called P.C. Woody? Apprently I can apply this product on top of the weak area with fiberglass cloth or screen and it will strengthen the floor. Again, the weak area is underneath the regfrigerator so there is no weight on it.
 

Last edited by mossman; 08-13-11 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 08-13-11, 05:25 PM
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You could try the PC product. You would need to chip out all the bad wood with the minwax product, the it makes the area stronger than wood once cured.
 
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Old 08-13-11, 05:50 PM
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Problem is most of the wood in that area is pretty brittle. If I start to chip away at it, I'm going to end up with a hole. I was hoping to just spread something over the top. I may just have to patch it. Not a big deal I guess. Joists are 24" o.c. and there are two joists that span underneath the refrigerator area so it's doable.
 
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Old 08-14-11, 04:04 AM
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Are you sure the floor joists are on 24" centers?

I'd bite the bullet and replace the bad plywood, that way you know it can't come back to bite you later.
 
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Old 08-14-11, 09:40 AM
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Yes, I'm positive they are 24" o.c. I would feel better replacing the damaged section. I guess that's what I'll do then.
 
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Old 08-14-11, 04:59 PM
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Added screws to the squeaky areas and it is much better now, but still a couple minor squeaks due to the tongue and grooves rubbing together between joists. That's the problem with such a large joist spacing. I puffed some powdered graphite lubricant into the seams but no improvement. Hopefully over time the powder will work its way in and stop the noise. For now, it's as good as it's going to get.
 
 

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