replace these subfloors??

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  #1  
Old 02-27-14, 11:00 AM
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replace these subfloors??

22 year old oak floors are squeaky and uneven (not level) in some areas.

I'm ripping it all out and replacing with new solid unfinished wood. either oak, hickory, or some south american hardwood like ipe.

as i'm tearing it out I'm finding some nasty subflooring below. see pics. this is the combined result of water leaks in the house (nearby shower) and pet messes. and probably a bunch of other nasty stuff done by previous owners.

1. should the subflooor be replaced?
2. if not, what should I do to prep them for new hardwood planks?

I want a SILENT, stable, flat, solid floor.

as an aside, I'm going for the look of natural north american walnut. what's the best way to achieve that look with harder woods?

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  #2  
Old 02-27-14, 12:54 PM
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You definitely want to address the unlevel areas. On the rest, is the sub floor solid? How thick is it? No need to replace the sub floor just because it's discolored. How well the sub floor is nailed along with the underlayment between the sub floor and the hardwood are the biggest factors in having a quiet floor. You might want to consider installing prefinished hardwood, sanding creates a LOT of dust and the job would be done quicker. You'd also know from the get go what color the finished wood is.
 
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Old 02-28-14, 03:15 AM
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Additionally, to help prevent squeaks, screw your subflooring down to the joists. The nails originally used may be losing their holding ability, and likely glue was not used. What is the thickness of your subflooring?
 
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Old 02-28-14, 07:57 AM
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it's 3/4 plywood. it's definitely not nailed down very well. the subfloor itself squeaks when walked on and deflects a fair amount. it was glued. the joists are 2x12 16" oc.

the whole house is being gutted. all floors, tile, carpet ripped out. kitchen gone. baths gutted. not too worried about dust.

but -- if prefinished is more cost effective and has a more durable finish then I might consider it. with the wonky subfloors I figured it might be good to sand the installed wood to get it nice and flat before stain. also - with all the construction going on I figured it would be better to do a final finish coat after all the other work is done. can't really do that with prefinished. if it gets scratched up during the kitchen install you have a problem on your hands?
 
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Old 02-28-14, 09:38 AM
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I didn't realize you were gutting/remodeling the whole house. IMO sanding and site finish makes for a nicer job although the prefinished flooring does claim to have a tougher finish. Normally prefinished hardwood goes down last like many other floor coverings. Many set the cabinets on plywood the same thickness as the hardwood and then come back later to install the hardwood.
 
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Old 03-02-14, 04:20 AM
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if it gets scratched up during the kitchen install you have a problem on your hands?
I've seen that happen far too many times. Not only scratches but screws that get stepped on and so forth. Protect them! Masonite works ideally during the construction process.

Wonky subfloors? There's an old wise saying in the flooring business that goes something like this...

"Your final floor will only be as good as the sub floor." Make sure it's flat and squeak free or as you mention...SILENT, stable, flat....

it's definitely not nailed down very well
It could have been twenty years ago, but considering what you have mentioned it sounds like the floor has been through the ringer and may have been affected by all sorts of factors; namely environmental.

2. if not, what should I do to prep them for new hardwood planks?
I've known guys to use shingles, newspapers, even sawdust to fix low areas. For higher areas a flooring edger can take down high spots in a flash particularly where plywood seams peak.
 
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