Underlayment fastening Q's


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Old 10-24-11, 06:25 AM
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Underlayment fastening Q's

OK, we settled on Conolgeum's Duraceramic for the kitchen floor and picked it up over the weekend.

I got talked into the concept of not applying it directly onto the 1949 T&G oak we found under the linoleum which in turn was under the sheet vinyl. What has been suggested to me is 1/4" plywood (which I presume I can find at home centers) and we have vertical room for that.

How to install? Nails? (I have an both framing and finishing air nailers) Screws? With or without any adhesive products? Fastener spacing? How close to edges? With 1/4" being so thin, I visualize smooshing, buckling or otherwise mis-instaling the underlayment to the point that the final surface is worse that not installing underlayment at all.
 
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Old 10-24-11, 04:40 PM
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18 gauge 9/16" staples. every 4" to 6" on the field and 1" to 2" on the edges





flooring installer for 40 years
 
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Old 10-25-11, 07:40 AM
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Thanks, makes sense as when we pulled up the old floor there were 1000's of staples to remove. (A) I guess that means a new stapler, that little electric one I have probably won't suffice. (B) Is there a quick way to calculate how many it takes for, say, 233 SF?
 
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Old 10-25-11, 04:48 PM
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You'd need about 3000 staples if you used 8 sheets of 4x8 and stapled the field on 4" centers. They do make underlayment that is premarked for ease of installation.
 
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Old 10-26-11, 07:57 AM
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Good input on the staple count! And, I found I had upgraded to a bigger Arrow electric stapler, which I had forgotten about. It will be interesting if (a) they have staples that both fit it and meet the installation specs (b) it has enough force to drive the staples through the plywood and into OAK.
 
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Old 10-26-11, 08:03 AM
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Your stapler may work but I've found the electric ones to be under powered, so don't be surprised if you get insufficient penetration.
 
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Old 10-28-11, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by mitch17 View Post
Your stapler may work but I've found the electric ones to be under powered, so don't be surprised if you get insufficient penetration.
OK, that leaves pneumatic. Lowe's website lists a bewildering variety, from $79 to almost $500, diffferent "crowns" and different "LB" which I presume is , uh, "hammering strength"? What specs should I be looking at for this kind of application?
 
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Old 10-31-11, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by sam floor View Post
18 gauge 9/16" staples. every 4" to 6" on the field and 1" to 2" on the edges

flooring installer for 40 years
Well, over the weekend I bought (A) nine sheets of 5mm plywood underlayment and, (b) a Porter-Cable penumatice stapler plus5000 staples, 18guage and 9/16" leg length.

Should be ready to go but the little instruction sheet that came with the plywood has several contra-indications vs. DIY. First, they say that one should use nails (AAARGH!) or woodscrews. Then, they say that the fasteners should penetrate 75% to 90% of the depth of the subfloor after passing through the plywood underlayment. Well, 1/4" off of 9?16" staples leg length leaves 5/16" left for penetration into the subfloor, much less than 75% of the thickness. Am I over-thinking this? I certainly don't want it to start coming loose after installation.
 
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Old 10-31-11, 04:02 PM
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I didn't catch the other recommendation, but if I was doing it, I'd use 1" crown staples, assuming you are going into a 3/4" subfloor.
 
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Old 11-01-11, 04:57 AM
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Originally Posted by XSleeper View Post
I didn't catch the other recommendation, but if I was doing it, I'd use 1" crown staples, assuming you are going into a 3/4" subfloor.
Thanks. I was referring to the recommendation in post #2 in this topic, hoping to hear back.

Also:
I'm curious about the under-underlayment -- the treatment of the surface on which I'll install the plywood. Most of it is 3/4" oak T&G except, unlike the rest of the house, they never put a finish on it, just layers of flooring (linoleum, hardboard, vinyl) since 1949. On a grand scale it seems flat (will confirm), but up close… issues. There's a wee bit of out-of-plane of individual boards, almost like "cupping"; if I lay my 48" level at 90° to the directioon of the planks, there are places I can slip a taping blade (1/32" maybe?) under. Therefore, not PERFECTLY flat. I guess that means that if I placed the plywood on that, either the thin ply would eventually conform to the imperfections of what's underneath, or leave a gap. Not sure how big a deal this is. Options:

(A) Ignore it. Maybe no big deal and the thinkness of the mastic -- pretty small from the nothces on the trowel provided -- makes up for it. However... risking cracking of the tiles?
(B) Try sanding. Might make it worse, I've sanded floors before, I could add further undulations. Plus, I spent a stupid amount of time last year when I started the kitchen, trying to scrape up 100% of the old mastic qand failing. There's just enough there that I wonder if the life of a sanding belt might be about 15 seconds before irreparably loading up.
( C) "Floor Leveling Compound". Never used the stuff but have been told that it's relatively thin & easy to apply. If I trowel down a layer just to fill those 1/32" imperfections, will it simply shatter when I try to staple through it? Or even when I walk on it? Will it impede stapling in the first place? I presume it's made for such a purpose or why would they call it Floor Leveling Compound?
(D) Is there another option?
 
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Old 11-01-11, 10:47 AM
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Tiger, Sam Floor had your answer. I also install flooring for a living - do it every day. If you have a hardwood underlayment, like birch (which is typical) just staple that down. On the perimeter of each sheet every 2", in the field every 4". Is there another option? Sure, if you want to tear out the old flooring. Tear down to the decking level, then install the underlayment.
 
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Old 11-02-11, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Dimps View Post
Tiger, Sam Floor had your answer. I also install flooring for a living - do it every day. If you have a hardwood underlayment, like birch (which is typical) just staple that down. On the perimeter of each sheet every 2", in the field every 4". Is there another option? Sure, if you want to tear out the old flooring. Tear down to the decking level, then install the underlayment.
Thanks, not really sure what the plywood is made of but birch sounds believable. So I have two depths suggested, 9/16" and 1"; one might be too short & pull out? One might be so long the stapler won't drive it or it might bend trying to drive into oak? Or either might work just fine? Hard for this amateur to know.

Actually, on the surface underneath, it occured to me to rip up the oak. but I shudder to think what that adds in time to a remodel that's taken 18 months already. So, I'm watching this topic, I'm inclined to try the leveling compound approach unless given reason not to.

I appreciate all the input; just still a little up in the air and will stall a bit before committing; anyway, the cabients show up Thursday, I might install wall cabinets (not base cabinets) first anyway before the flooring.
 
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Old 11-02-11, 03:55 PM
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When I mentioned 1" staples I guess I was thinking about a plywood subfloor... sorry.
 
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Old 11-03-11, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by XSleeper View Post
When I mentioned 1" staples I guess I was thinking about a plywood subfloor... sorry.
That's an interesting clarification. One corner is indeed plywood, not oak, I guess I should pick up some 1" staples too, no big deal.

Got an e-mail from a friend who's used floor leveling compound before, IF it turns out I go that route; recommended dry-mix as the premix he bought at Lowe's had settled out in storage so much. I had not thought about that -- but then, this is new-to-me technology.
 
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Old 11-04-11, 06:23 AM
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If you use staples that go thru the subfloor, they loose a lot of their holding power. Screws will make the underlayment pucker. Back in the old days (the 70's) we used ring shank nails. But with nails you must use floor patch on every nail head, it adds a lot of work. If you use any patch, make sure it is cementious based, not gypsum.
 
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Old 11-04-11, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by sam floor View Post
If you use staples that go thru the subfloor, they loose a lot of their holding power.
Thanks for the warning! Most of this floor is the 3/4" oak over 1x6 subfloor, not sure I'll go all the way through that. The breakfast nook is just 3/4 ply, however. I'll bear this in mind, boxes of two different length staples is no financial hardship within the context of all I'm spending on this kitchen.
 
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Old 11-26-11, 06:53 PM
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This response will not help Tiger much, but I thought I'd post anyway for other DIY'ers reading this thread.

Concerning the new 1/4" underlayment recommendation, it sounded to me that Tiger bought 5mm underlayment instead. I bet it's Luaun or similar species of imported woods too. If so, he bought the wrong stuff.

Luaun is not recommended by Congoleum or anyone else as the quality of these types of materials varies and many are not acceptable. One problem is that they can stain the vinyl due to oily species of woods used. Some cheaper grades can also have small voids in the plies. One should always read the directions that come with the flooring being installed.

Congoleum says;
• Lauan plywood, particleboard,
oriented strand board and chipboard
create a higher risk for installation
and adhesive failure and are not
recommended unless warranted by
the panel manufacturer or supplier.

One should really spend the xtra bucks and buy quality underlayment such as Multi-ply, Tec-ply Ulay etc.

I also believe some are using staples that are too short. I cringe at anything under 7/8" for 1/4" material.

Jaz
 
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Old 12-13-11, 04:48 AM
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Thanks, Jazman, additional input can be valuable. The tone of some forum posts can be alarming, some make me think the forum's name should changed to DDIY.com (Don't Do It Yourself!)

Of course, I read your note just as I was finishing up. Well, maybe it could stain, I see it had a darker side and a lighter side -- I installed it lighter side up. Not good at determining wood species, but it's as light as, say, birch. Looking and the name on the barcode label, it's TriPly, perhaps I should keep this for future reference:

http://www.taracapacific.com/tp-triplywarranty.pdf

And of course yet another opinion on staple leg length.
 
 

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