Intalling solid wood flooring - question about sub floor


Old 03-20-12, 08:34 AM
trance's Avatar
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Intalling solid wood flooring - question about sub floor

Hi, I'm doing an attic renovation project. the attic currently has 1x6 subflooring, nailed to the joists.

I'd like to install solid wood flooring.

My friend (who knows what he's talking about) has told me to install plywood first, to keep the new wood flooring down. He also said to put rosin paper above and below the plywood.

I don't mind if this floor squeeks some, it's not supposed to be perfect, but I do want the floor to stay down, don't want nails to pull out.

Can I install straight to the subfloor or do I need to install the plywood like my friend told me to? He's a really good contractor, but I'm afraid he's going for a higher quality level than I want in this case.

Seems silly to add the plywood, when the rest of the house has hardwood floor just nailed to the same 1x6 subflooring and it's been OK for 80 years!
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Old 03-20-12, 02:54 PM
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Different wood, different years. Today's flooring won't be so kind. He is right that you should apply plywood for a more solid substrate. Rosin paper on top only. Not sure why he thinks it should be under, too. It won't breathe that way. It is not that he is going for a higher quality, it is that it needs to be done right. Remember....right.....wrong...only choices.
Old 03-21-12, 04:43 PM
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Is this going to be living space of some kind when you're done?

I'm not seeing the merits of the project unless it is but, if so, Chandler has you on the right track.
Old 03-29-12, 07:38 AM
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OK, thanks guys. I understand what you are saying. Here's what I'm thinking of doing - let me know if I have it wrong:

question 1: 3/8" plywood. (would OSB or another type of underlayment work?)

question 2: 2" screws, at 12" OC. Try to screw through subfloor into joists. No glue(?)

question 3: I assume I'll put the plywood spanning perpendicular to the subfloor. This means parallel to the joists. Then I assume that the wood flooring would be perpendicular to the plywood? Or can I put the wood flooring whichever way I choose?

Last edited by trance; 03-29-12 at 08:55 AM.
Old 04-10-12, 11:38 AM
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OK, I"ve finished installing the wood floor. I screwed down a layer of 3/8" plywood w/screws 6" on center (at the edges) and 12" on center in the field. I hit joists wherever I could, which means the screws at the field are actually 12" on center in one direction and 16" on center in the other direction.

I think this was the right option, because of something that I realized while nailing down the wood floorin - the new plywood is much softer and less brittle than the old wood - it gives something for the new nails to grip into. I think if I had nailed to the existing subflooring, the nails would pull out easily.

Thanks again guys.

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