Okay to Install Hardwood Over OSB?

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Old 01-08-12, 07:18 AM
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Okay to Install Hardwood Over OSB?

We're installing reclaimed oak T&G (3/4") in our loft upstairs, which has 3/4" OSB subfloor over engineered joists. We'll be using a pneumatic toe-nailer and plan to lay it directly over the OSB, without an underlayment, such as roofing felt, craft paper, etc.

The guy at Home Depot recommended against putting the hardwood on to OSB, because the nails will splinter the OSB, and said that plywood is better.

Is this true? Do we need to lay a thin plywood layer OVER the OSB? We'd prefer not to if it's not necessary.

Any advice would be appreciated.
 
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Old 01-08-12, 11:31 AM
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Welcome to the forums! 3/4" OSB is OK for flooring, not the best, but OK. Particle board on the other hand is not a recommended subflooring for hardwood (or anything I can think of but carpet). Are you using a flooring nailer or stapler? I wouldn't worry too much about the splintering, as all woods will do that. I would use a stapler, but others swear by their own methods. You say "toe nailer", and I question what that is.
 
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Old 01-08-12, 12:56 PM
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I would still use a rosen or better yet 15# felt paper. It reduces squeaks over time and provides a moisture barrier
 
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Old 01-08-12, 04:04 PM
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I would not lay the floor without putting down rosin or felt paper. Why the choice to skip the paper. To be honest I don't know if it keeps the floor from squeaking but the half dozen hardwood floors I put down don't squeak - I used felt paper.

I've used staples to fasten hardwood over OSB without any problems. I'm sure that there are probably some chips that splinter out on the back of the OSB but for me it's kinda' - so what?
 
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Old 01-08-12, 05:12 PM
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My brain totally skipped the paper thingy. Absolutely, don't skip putting down felt, and don't overlap it.
 
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Old 01-14-12, 06:33 PM
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Rosin paper or felt paper won't provent any squeaks and will slow down the chance for your ply to breath use deck mate screws.
 

Last edited by Isola96; 01-14-12 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 01-15-12, 07:20 AM
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Isola - A couple of questions -

Why would anyone want to use expensive deckmate screws to put down a finished oak floor?

Are the millions of floors put down over felt/rosin paper destined to fail because the plywood can't "breath?"

The funny thing is, like so many other product installations you can find conflicting advice about using paper under hardwood. I even went to one hardwood floor site and found a page where the expert said it was uneccessary and then went to another page on the same site where they suggested using felt.

Some say it prevents squeaks, some say it doesn't. Some say it keeps moisture from a damp basement migrating to the floor. One "expert" said damp basements
are uncommon these days so it isn't needed. Obviously he hasn't been to my house. FWIW I don't think the Bruce instasll instructions require it.
 

Last edited by Wayne Mitchell; 01-15-12 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 01-16-12, 05:58 AM
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No i didnt make it sound right sorry deck mate screws on ply will provent from squeaking. Rosin is good for keeping the dust down not for sqeaks and it's not a vapor barrior if you put all those hole in them.
 
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Old 01-16-12, 08:38 PM
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I've heard of two reasons to use felt paper: It makes the floor easier to rack up as you're installing it. Boards will be a lot less likely to hang up on subfloor imperfections as you kick them into place. Personally, I've found this to be true. Also, it functions as a moisture barrier. Now, to be clear, it's not supposed to be a waterproof layer. Obviously all those nail holes would be a problem if this was the case. Rather, what I've been told is that it's supposed to slow down moisture transmission. Wood is going to go through an expansion/contraction cycle. Felt paper makes that cycle more gradual which makes buckling less likely.
 
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