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What are the right screws to install underlayment for sheet vinyl?

What are the right screws to install underlayment for sheet vinyl?


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Old 08-15-12, 04:47 PM
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Exclamation What are the right screws to install underlayment for sheet vinyl?

Hello!

I am installing 1/4 plywood underlayment over a 3/4" subfloor. So, that's one inch total of wood.

According to the underlayment install tips:

1) Staples are "not recommended".
2) "Do not use drywall screws".
3) Fasteners must recess 1/16" below the surface, penetrate 75-90% of the sub-floor assembly, and not protrude through the bottom.
4) I would rather use screws than nails.

So, for 1 inch of wood, 75%-90% means that I need a 3/4" screw.

At Lowe's and HD, the smallest exterior screw they had (be it phillips, star, or square drive) was 1-1/4" (too long).
The only thing they had in 3/4" was those zinc screws in the little plastic baggies.

I am doing a bathroom, so with a screw every 2" around the edges, and 4" through the field, that's a lot of little baggies.

Are those the right ones to use? Is there a source for a 3/4" construction screws?

I appreciate the help!

Respectfully,

Leaning
 

Last edited by leaning; 08-15-12 at 04:48 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-15-12, 04:59 PM
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What will the finished surface be? Is it tile, wood, vinyl?
 
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Old 08-15-12, 05:17 PM
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Underlayment fasteners

Bish80:

Armstrong vinyl sheet installed modified loose-lay (with the Glass-Tac acrylic double-face tape).

HTH!

Leaning
 
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Old 08-15-12, 05:29 PM
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Can you tell me how do I ask a question on flooring?
 
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Old 08-15-12, 05:35 PM
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Monte Killian asked:
Can you tell me how do I ask a question on flooring?
You use the Post New Thread button in th upper left of the page listing threads in the forum relevant to your question.

 
  #6  
Old 08-16-12, 09:26 AM
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I have been installing vinyl and underlayment for 40 years. Almst all pros use staples. Don't know where you got the idea that they should not be used. Screws will cause the underlayment to pucker. I have used underlayment nails but you have to be very careful not to "strawberry" the floor. Most DIYers are not good enough at nailing to use them on a floor that needs to be perfectly smooth.
 
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Old 08-16-12, 09:29 AM
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I'm no floor pro but I've always heard staples for 1/4" plywood underlayment under vinyl.

If you need to use screws and drywall screws are not recommended, I'd use deck screws.
 
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Old 08-16-12, 09:57 AM
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Underlayment screws

sam floor: I am in no way trying to insult your experience or intelligence. Maybe the underlayment you use is not TriPly sold by HD. According to the "5 MM Underlayment Installation Tips" that is hanging next to the display (as well as the downloadable thing on the Taraca Pacific website, it says "If using staples (not recommended), apply staples across the grain.". So, for this product (and for any product), if the manufacturer says that isn't the best way to do it ("not recommended"), I wouldn't. So, specifically for this product, staples aren't the best answer. Have you ever used TriPly, and if so, did you staple it??

(Maybe you use Ultraply sold by Lowe's where the maufacturer does allow you to use staples ("divergent staples, chiseled end staples or ring groove shank nails.")....??

mitch17: What size deck screws? that's the issue I am having.

Thanks!
leaning
 

Last edited by leaning; 08-16-12 at 09:58 AM. Reason: spelling
  #9  
Old 08-16-12, 10:13 AM
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I'd swear I have a box of 3/4" screws, maybe I'm wrong?
 
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Old 08-16-12, 10:53 AM
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Underlayment Screws?

All,

I contacted Taraca Pacific and this is what they said:

A normal floor is constructed from two layers of at least 5/8"nominal plywood. That results in at least a full 1" of floor substrate. When adding underlayment to that you can use a 1-1/4" screw, nail or staple. We recommend screws, but other fasteners can be used if needed. If your subfloor is only 3/4", I would address that first since this seems scant. You may want to use a 1/2" underlayment to get a better result. I am worried about bounce between joists with a mere 3/4".
This made me think that maybe the assumption I have about the construction of the subfloor is wrong. So, there is a hole I found in the subfloor that goes through to the crawlspace, and...yep...there is definitely more than 3/4" of wood there. More like 1.5-2".

Lesson learned: Measure the depth of your subfloor wood before you post newbie questions (And 1-1/4' construction screws will work just fine without poking all the way through the subfloor.)

Thanks for the discussion, everyone!

Respectfully,

Leaning
 
  #11  
Old 08-16-12, 11:58 AM
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Sam floor: FYI, this is what TP had to say when I asked them why they don't recommend staples:

We don't like them, because contractors sometimes don't use enough or are careless about their depth. They work fine if you are careful about placement, depth, galvanized etc. Also, the guns leave a mark on the wood even when they run out, so sometimes you can be fooled into thinking the wood is fastened when it isn't. So we go the safe route and recommend screws or nails.
Good info.

Leaning
 
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Old 08-16-12, 01:49 PM
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Wow - they don't recommend staples because they don't think contractors are smart enough to use them properly?
 
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Old 08-16-12, 02:39 PM
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As I said. Pros use staples. Whoever wrote that about not using them, knows zero about underlayment. Screws will cause the plywood to pucker, and underlayment nails take a very skilled person or there will be dents. I have been installing since 1973 and have taught installation. All pro standards call for staples. And the air stapler changes sounds when the stapler is empty. You would need to be deaf not to notice the difference.
 
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Old 08-16-12, 02:58 PM
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sam floor:

You say that nails cause dents, and screws causes the plywood to pucker.

With respect to using screws, what do you mean by "puckering"?

(I was going to drive the screw in to 1/16" below the top, and then mud/sand them, but I wanted to see what puckering I could have in store for me.)

??

Respectfully,

Leaning
 
  #15  
Old 08-16-12, 03:20 PM
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The area around the head of the screw will raise as the screw goes thru the top layer of the plywood. Many times the wood will also splinter.
 
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Old 08-16-12, 05:19 PM
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I'm getting in late on this, but would never use screws on such underlayment. If I made the statement like the manufacturer did on the staples, what is to assure them the homeowner won't booger the screws and cause mushrooms? Besides, I would think the countersinking of the screws would cause some resident dimpling of the floor covering, if not soon, later.
1/4" narrow crown staples in 1 1/4" won't release and will hold the substrate if placed across the grain.
 
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Old 08-16-12, 08:53 PM
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Staples?

Hello!

I realize my thread title is asking about screws, but since the consensus seems to be that staples are what's the best (although the lengths recommended seem to vary from 9/16" to 1-1/4"), I am Googling like crazy, but not finding a source (or model #) for the staple-types that have been called out in this and other similar DIY forum discussions:

a) galvanized, and
b) narrow 1/4" crown, and
c) 7/8" (or 1" length), and
d) divergent points, and
e) glue coated

I can find some that meet 3 out of 5 criteria, but not all. Any ideas?

Thanks!

Leaning
 
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Old 08-17-12, 04:27 AM
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Bostitch narrow crown staples in anything from 9/16 to 1 1/4" will work fine. Galvanized is a plus, but I doubt you will find it in narrow crown staples. The glue coating helps to hold it firmly in the subflooring. The shorter the staple the easier it will penetrate the subflooring, so 1 1/4 may be an overkill, even though I suggested it.
 
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Old 08-17-12, 04:59 AM
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Go to an on line flooring supply retailer, like shagtools, or toolsforfloors. Or try Fastenal. I buy mine at a local lumberyard.
 
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Old 08-17-12, 02:14 PM
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I have never seen (over 39 yrs of cons.) screws used in underlayment , they don't even meet minimum Code (like a "D" on a school test- passing- but barely); R602.3(2)- Floor underlayment- 1/4" and 3/8"; Chapter 6 - Wall Construction

Ring/screw-shank nails or staples, nothing more.
I started to research your manufacturer from the link supplied--- but stopped short when I read "Lauan" plywood; Taraca Pacific

When you see--lauan- read this and research it more; UMass Amherst: Building and Construction Technology Wood Underlayments for Resilient Flooring

Screws pucker in plywood because of the lamination used, not solid wood where a deck screw will work and displace the wood around the flared/beveled head. Go to a lumberyard for real plywood if box store doesn't carry it. My local box has real ply, may be a regional thing...

Gary
 
  #21  
Old 08-17-12, 02:53 PM
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All,

In case you are following this circus (or just need a good laugh):

1) Our bathroom is only 11' x 5'. Since underlayment is supposed to be installed across the grain of that of the subfloor, I need two 4' x 8' pieces of underlayment. (cut into three big pieces)

I went to Lowe's, bought UltraPly, cut it to shape (around the cabinets, toilet connection, and ventilation register), and layed it down. Well, in researching the proper fasteners to install it, I went to Ultraply's website which said that their panels were supposed to be installed with the stamped side down. All of mine were stamped side up.

I could save two of the pieces if I flipped them over, but the third was too short. Back to Lowe's again (a different location). They didn't have UltraPly; they had SurePly. Hmmm. well underlayment is underlayment, I thought. So I had them cut it in half. Well, unlike UltraPly, SurePly is installed stamped side Up, and has X's all over it where the fasteners should go. But the field locations are regular and 4" perfect squares, not the irregular/random pattern that I've read everywhere that is supposed to be used.

So, now, I am going have 2/3 of the bathroom UltraPly stamped side down, and 1/3 SurePly, stamped side up. Well, that won't work.

Back to the first Lowe's to get another $20 sheet of UltraPly (so everything matches).....<sigh>.

BTW, Lowe's doesn't carry 7/8" length, glavanized, 1/4" crown, divergent, glued staples. I only found one source online that meets all those specs, and it's about $40 for a box of 5000! I don't need anywhere near that many for my small bathroom, nor do I want to pay that.

I found these Surebonders at Northern Tool which are only $4 for a pack of 1000.

Surebonder Crown Staples 1000-Pk., 18 Gauge, 1/4in., 1in.L, Model# 350-1G | Air Nailers| Northern Tool + Equipment
They aren't glued or divergent point, but they meet everything else. Unless I find something better that is cheap/small qty, they are what I will go with.

Now, I have to figure out what to do with this extra cut sheet of underlayment...



Respectfully,

Leaning
 

Last edited by leaning; 08-17-12 at 04:15 PM. Reason: fix wording
  #22  
Old 08-21-12, 09:34 AM
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All,

In case anyone is curious about SurePly:

I called them today, and discussed 1) why they want ink (stamped) side up (which is different than other underlayments), and 2) why they put little x's where to put the screws/staples (a great aid!), but have the x's in a regular, checkerboard arrangement rather than a random, irregular pattern. Bottom line was that unless you overdrive the fasteners, regular or irregular arrangement of fasteners is not a concern, and they haven't had any complaints of ink bleeding through the surface (vinyl sheet, etc.).
<shrug>.

Leaning
 
  #23  
Old 08-26-12, 06:42 PM
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Underlayment questions

OK, for around $20, I bought a HF narrow crown stapler and 1000 1/4" crown, 1" staples, and then went to town stapling.

1) Do I need to mud over the staples (they are about a 1/16" (maybe less) under the surface (I can see the top of the staples in the indention).) (We are putting down Armstrong sheet vinyl)...?

2) I bought Chapco Ready-to-Use patch (crystalline silica; calcium carbonate; resin polymer, urea (!), and water). Is that OK? (I also note that it says "Do not sand or grind dried patch areas. So I can't sand it??)

3) The bottom of the sink cabinets is inset about 2". I pushed the stapler as far as I could up against the door, but it won't reach that inset area. So, I stapled every two inches down even with the doors. Do I need to drill some screws to the underlayment in the inset area, or can I skip those and just use the 2" out staples? (Will the underlayment in the inset area tend to curl up, or I am overthinking this?)

Thanks for your help! I have to find more stuff to staple, because that tool is just too fun.

Thanks!

Leaning
 
  #24  
Old 08-28-12, 07:24 AM
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Hello!

Bumping this so I can make sure I get the underlayment staple questions above answered before the floor guy comes on Friday.

Thanks!

Leaning
 
  #25  
Old 08-31-12, 03:52 PM
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Don't know how I missed your post 23.
1) No you won't have to put anything over the staple indentations. Since you are using narrow crown the hole isn't big enough to worry about.
2) Don't think you will need it.
3) The kick area seldom gets stapled. It is held in pretty good from what you indicate by stapling so close together. I think you will be fine.
Tools are cool things to have I have too many, but it sure makes my life/jobs go so much better!
 
 

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