Installing solid hardwood - particle board & vinyl over 3/4" sub floor

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  #1  
Old 11-16-15, 11:41 AM
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Installing solid hardwood - particle board & vinyl over 3/4" sub floor

I am looking to install solid hardwood throughout the main level of my house (yellow birch). I'm over a basement, and my sub-floor is 3/4" plywood with 1/4" particle board over the entire surface. My kitchen has original 1968 vinyl flooring, but the rest of the main level still has the particle board under the carpet.

My plan was to install the wood right over top of my existing particle board underlay. In the kitchen, I want to leave the original vinyl in place. Is there any reason I would not want to install the solid wood over the particle board that is on the sub floor already? Also, is there any reason that I would not want to install the hardwood over the vinyl that is in my kitchen?

I was planning on nailing down the boards.
 
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Old 11-16-15, 11:59 AM
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I'd remove all the PB before installing hardwood. That way you won't have to worry about the PB causing issues down the road ..... and the PB should come up easily.
 
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Old 11-16-15, 02:39 PM
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There should be no particle board or vinyl under your hardwood. It has to do with holding power of the cleats or staples you are using. Will void you warranty and could lead to issues down the road such as a noisy floor or damages if the particleboard gets wet and swells.
 

Last edited by PJmax; 11-16-15 at 09:04 PM. Reason: corrected typo in first line
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Old 11-16-15, 04:58 PM
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Particle board or plywood over a slab is a disaster waiting to happen if it not already happened.
Any moisture and it it turns to oatmeal, swells up like a balloon.
Over a slab it should be a vapor barrier and a floating engineered flooring not real hardwood.
 
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Old 11-16-15, 09:04 PM
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Particle board or plywood over a slab is a disaster waiting to happen
I believe the OP stated the floor in question is over a basement.
 
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Old 11-17-15, 07:24 AM
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Yep. It's over a basement, so that isn't a concern.

It sounds like I have some work ahead of me. I'm not that concerned with having to pull up the particle board except when it comes to the kitchen with the original vinyl floor.

I was hoping that I could avoid having to remove that for asbestos concerns. I don't know if that flooring contains asbestos or not, but I'm assuming it does (1968 vinyl). If I do go and remove it, perhaps my saving grace would be I could remove the particle board with the vinyl on it, without having to try to peel off the vinyl from the particle board. I'm trying to think what the best way to get that out would be without disturbing the vinyl flooring.

I would hate to put in nice new expensive flooring and have it pull up or buckle. I didn't realize that the particle board would have been much of a concern since I have a 3/4" plywood sub floor underneath. Do the nails/staples not go that far into the wood beneath the hardwood, or is it more a concern for moisture causing the particle board to swell?
 
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Old 11-17-15, 09:54 AM
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Even though the PB is thin, nails going thru it won't be as snug as ones going directly into plywood. The main concern is if the PB deteriorates [or has already started] that will cause more problems.

I don't know much about asbestos in vinyl but IMO a lot of the dangers associated with asbestos are over hyped. The main concern is breathing the asbestos dust. With asbestos texture keeping it wet/damp almost eliminates any danger. Most folks that have asbestos caused diseases got it from long term exposure.
 
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Old 11-17-15, 10:48 AM
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I know a guy who's father worked his whole life in an asbestos mine...yeah I said asbestos mine. He lived well into his eighties. Not trying to minimize the danger, just sayin.
 
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Old 11-17-15, 12:53 PM
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I've known men that have worked with or around asbestos-containing materials for their entire working careers. Some have had no ill effects and others died young. The NON-scientific evidence points to smoking as the difference. Non-smokers are much less affected.
 
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Old 11-17-15, 04:17 PM
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Industry standards are minimum 5/8" plywood or minimum 3/4" OSB for cleat or staple holding power. Putting a 1/4" to 3/8" garbage mix between the hardwood and the actual structural holding material interferes with the ability of the fastener to grab good wood. Hardwood floors are too big of an investment to not prepare the floor correctly. Also, you want to install the flooring perpendicular to the floor joist system.
 
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