Put new floor on top of existing?

Old 09-28-17, 12:04 PM
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Put new floor on top of existing?

Hi everyone,

​​​​​ Been a lurker here and thought I'd get feedback from yall. I'm getting mixed answers from GC's.

We moved into a house that was built in the 1920s. I believe it's red oak flooring that we have. Due to its age, it has warped and a bunch are broken where it dips to lack of SUPPORT. There's also creaking at random spots. I do have access to the basement and the main area (living room and dining room) and saw that there is no subfloor under so they are nailed directly to the joists. From what I've been reading, this was normal back in the day since plywood was not invented just yet.

I'm planning on putting down new flooring to make the area all even and more structurally sound. I had GC's come down to see it and some suggested to just putting a subfloor, then whatever floor I choose on top of the existing one while some suggested to completely rip out the old ones.

We have radiator heaters which I'm planning to dismantle myself to save some money. Looking to get rid of it altogether, so there would be no need to redo the holes for the new flooring.

​​​​​​So what do yall suggest as far as what to do with the flooring? Rip it altogether and install
​​​​​​subfloor THEN the new flooring or just lay it in top? I'm a newbie newbie, aside from installing laminate flooring, have not done major flooring work.

One GC quoted me 3,000 to remove existing flooring and put down the plywood to be the new subfloor. Then buying the new floor will be separate which I'm planning on doing myself to save $$. We have a 60-lb boxer that likes to run around so right now leaning to engineered flooring or laminate, as much as I wanted hardwood.

It's the highlighted part of the first floor that needs work. The right side has linoluem floor from the 80's I think. Right now, I put down laminate on top of it to cover it up but eventually will put in tile.


Last edited by topherrobin; 09-28-17 at 02:47 PM.
Old 09-28-17, 12:53 PM
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Since you're thinking tile, I would rip out back to the joists. From there, I would want to know the size, spacing and unsupported span of the joists to advise what should go on top but absolute minimum would be 3/4" T&G plywood or Advantech and maybe more than that.

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