Whether you’re laying tile or wood over it, installing a new floor from the subfloor up is a satisfying experience in its own right. It will look great when you’re done with the job. Remember that this is something you can anticipate, as it will help you get through the monotony of nailing, sanding, scraping, etc.
The subflooring for a new floor should be prioritized above everything else. Despite popular belief, laying a wood subfloor is a relatively simple carpentry project.
Square-edged boards are used to construct a traditional wooden subfloor. This is a typical object found at a lumberyard. You’ll get Ix4s or Ix6s, depending on how much you deposit. Number one grade lumber is straight, undamaged, and free of knots that could compromise its structural integrity.
The second-grade wood used for subfloors is not as beautiful as the first, is more challenging to install, and costs significantly less overall. Be careful you specify standard quality lumber for any option you go with. Lumber should be seasoned and dry. Therefore, it’s best to purchase from a store that does so. Wood subfloor boards should never be more than 6 inches broad.
Wood subflooring is most stable when laid diagonally across joists. Butt the ends of the pieces together where they need to be attached, being sure to do so over a post. Otherwise, the end of your board can flap in the wind, and you’ll have a bouncy board. Keep some distance between the planks—a few inches should be enough.
The wooden subfloor boards must be firmly nailed to the joists. At each post, drive two 10-penny nails through the face of the wood and into the beam. Investing in rosin-coated staples is a good idea if you’re the kind to wear both a belt and suspenders. That’s a ridiculous amount of holding power.
Over 3/4-inch plywood, you can install some types of finished flooring. The project is quickly completed by nailing the materials directly to the exposed joists. There’s a new recommended type of plywood. Installed with the durable hardboard laminated side down, it measures three-quarters of an inch in thickness. Plywood used as a wood subfloor might become crushed over time, resulting in a slightly uneven surface. The problem is no more, thanks to the additional strong layer.
To provide maximum stability, use 4×8-foot sheets and align the subfloor’s joints with the joists. Put in rosin-coated nails every ten inches along the sheet’s edge and in a line along each post the plywood covers.
You’re ready to put in the completed flooring now, but let’s rewind for a second. Perhaps the floor in the room is ancient and in terrible shape. It’s too far gone to be salvaged by scraping and refinishing, but it would make a good wood sub floor anyway. In this situation, what would you do? You put down wood on top of this. Remember that a new wood floor is only as good as the subfloor it is installed on. Therefore, ensure no boards are loose and all squeaks are fixed.
Nail the new wood subfloor directly into the existing floor using 6-penny screw-type flooring nails. Nail heads should be countersunk so that they are flush with the surface. Even if your home improvement store clerk shrugs his shoulders when you ask for screw-type flooring nails, you should still get them online. Get several uniformly sized rosin-coated nails. They’ll work nearly as well. Smooth up the surface using a plane if any boards are bent.
Loosen the shoe molding (often only quarter-round molding) nailed down at the baseboard/floor intersection on all sides of the room. Wood subfloors should be swept regularly, and a vacuum should be used in particularly dusty areas.
New wood strip flooring can be installed at this time.
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