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Particle board underlayment under hardwood floor


skeylargo's Avatar
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01-19-13, 10:47 AM   #1  
Particle board underlayment under hardwood floor

My whole house has a particle board as and underlayment (yes, a regular cheap particle board). The "brilliant" previous homeowner installed hardwood floor over the particle board. The floor has a lot of movement in it in high traffic areas and the squeaking drives me nuts. We have unfinished basement below.
Is there some way we can shore up the floor and stop the noise from underneath?

 
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01-19-13, 10:52 AM   #2  
Welcome to the forums! There's not much you can do as it seems the particle board is delaminating. It is definitely not a good substrate for hardwood flooring...........or any flooring for that matter.

You may be able to go under the offending areas and install blocking between the joisting to help support the particle board, but my experience has been it will be crumbly. You'll just have to take a look to see what shape yours is in. Keep us posted.

 
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01-20-13, 06:37 AM   #3  
I was also thinking that maybe besides adding blocking I could screw from underneath through the subfloor and underlayment and into the wood flooring to try to keep it all together and maybe reduce the squeaking?

 
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01-20-13, 06:50 AM   #4  
That's a little dangerous, (u don't want screws poking up through the floor!) but might help. A kreg pocket hole jig would be a good thing to use to make a nice pilot hole for the screws. You'd want to use fine thread pocket screws, perhaps 2" long.

Back in the day when particle board was popular as subflooring (late 60's, early 70's) it was usually nailed down with brite nails that don't hold worth a crap. The particle board absorbs moisture out of the air and swells, usually pulling the nails loose with it. Then you have a nail squeaking up and down as the joist and flooring deflect. Adding screws sometimes helps, but removing or cutting the offending nails is the best. Sometimes running a bead of construction adhesive where the joist and subfloor meet will help a little, but again, that doesn't do anything for a nail that's squeaking as the floor deflects.

 
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01-20-13, 02:22 PM   #5  
Thank you for the advice. My house was built in the late 70s so I guess there is a good chance that those type of nails they used. We put lots of screws upstairs when we were replacing the carpet to quiet the noise and it helped a lot - wish I knew back than to remove old nails as well. I was going to "test" the length of the screws I can use by either trying in in inconspicuous areas or by removing a threshold between rooms

 
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01-20-13, 02:33 PM   #6  
Or pull up a floor register to see how thick and how many layers your subflooring is.

 
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01-20-13, 04:25 PM   #7  
No floor registers in my house. I will be redoing my kitchen soon (hopefully) so I will have a chance to inspect the flooring situation ( I assume I will have to rip out the particle board there as well). Since my kitchen plan might involve moving a doorway that is between kitchen and hardwood floor area that might be a good time to work on the hardwood floor.

 
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