A plywood subfloor is required when you feel the existing floor needs to be stiffened and when you want to add another layer of flooring over the existing flooring. The subfloor protects the existing floor while adding strength to the new flooring. The plywood subfloor gives a solid base to new flooring that could be in the form of tile flooring, carpet flooring or even resilient tile flooring. (This is Part 2 of a 2 part series. To return to Part 1, click here.)
There are two types of plywood subfloors that you can choose from. The first one is the square edged plywood and the other is the tongue-and-groove edge plywood. While square edge plywood is used when you are planning a wooden floor above the subfloor, the tongue-and-groove edge plywood is used if you wish to install tile or carpet flooring over the subfloor. Ultimately, what kind of plywood you use would depend on the kind of flooring you want. Good plywood material is found in most local carpentry material supply shops. Take the help of a professional if you cannot decide by yourself.
You need to bring together all the required materials. Begin with completely clearing the existing floor of all furniture and anything else that will come in your way. Ensuring you keep the room clear will help you work faster and better. It is also necessary that you take the help of carpentry or construction professionals to lay the subfloor. However, you may experiment a bit and try and do it by yourself too. The best thing to do would be to try out the process on a small area before moving on to a bigger one. Follow the steps given below to get a sturdy plywood subfloor.
Step 1- Prepare the Layout
Place the joists on the existing floor and place blocking to prevent the joists from moving. Place the plywood with the smooth side up. Cut the plywood to fit.
Step 2 – Get the Panels in Place
It is now time to lay down the plywood panels and secure them in place. Once the panels are placed alongside each other, the final step in securing them.
Step 3 – Nailing the Plywood Subfloor
Start fixing the panels to the joists using nails and screws. It is important to remember that the nails must be placed at a fair distance from each other. Also, make sure they are secured firmly in place and do not end up hurting your feet. You may also use a speed drill to secure the screws in place.