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preparing subfloor for hardwood

Can You Install Vinyl Tile Over Wood or Other Flooring? If your subfloor is less than perfect—if there are dips or other flaws—you can do some prior work to fix its imperfections. If they don’t fit, cut 1/16 inch to 1/8 inch off the casing and check again. Question: Hi There, I hired a contractor to install Bruce hardwood floor 3/8″ thick. Prepping a plywood subfloor is crucial for hardwood or laminate floors to last. How To: 02 PREP A PLYWOOD SUBFLOOR FOR HARDWOOD OR LAMINATE GETTING STARTED (cont.) Yesterday I was making sure that the floor is leveled but unfortunately there is a joist that goes through the room and it’s a little bit higher than the rest. Instead, they typically cut the bottoms of the moldings in order to slip the new flooring beneath them. Learn how to prep a plywood subfloor to ensure that … Mark the center of each wall on the subfloor. Check for cracks and crumbling. There are various types of subfloors, including wooden floorboards, concrete, screed, plywood, chipboard, bitumen and asphalt. Why do anything that the floor installers can do? Errors will be corrected where discovered, and Lowe's reserves the right to revoke any stated offer and to correct any errors, inaccuracies or omissions including after an order has been submitted. Hardwood floors do need a flat subfloor surface in order to prevent them from buckling after installation. While the partner holds the door in place, remove the hinge pins and set them aside. Nail-down or floating floors may be installed over existing vinyl as long as it's no more than two layers thick. Check the moisture level of the subflooring using a moisture meter. First, take the plywood and lay it down on the floor. solid hardwood floors can only be installed over a wood subfloor, at or above ground level. But you may want to supplement their dust control efforts: Remember, with HVAC ducts sealed over, you must turn off the HVAC system, too. Moisture contents of both the flooring and the subfloor must be checked and recorded before any work begins. Hardwood flooring provides long-lasting beauty and durability to a home. If you have a subfloor that consists of wood on top of concrete, you’ll need to test both floors. Turn off the system entirely. Product costs, availability and item numbers may vary online or by market. Floating Sub Floors. Our local stores do not honor online pricing. Floating sub floors for solid hardwood installations generally consist of two layers of plywood, or allowing enough wood for a 1 ½ inch flooring cleat to hold effectively. Without do so, chances are pretty good you may begin to hear strange sounds as the new floor is not comfortable with the sub floor. Old flooring may contain asbestos. For more information, download our PDF about types of subfloors. Have a partner help you. Checking the moisture content of the subfloor — again — and recording it on the work ticket. Be sure to read the flooring manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Measure the distance between the center point and the starting wall. Why You Should Prepare For Floor Installers. Question 1: Is the subfloor thick enough? Particle board and chipboard are unacceptable for solid hardwood installations, but may be used in an engineered flooring install. How To Prepare Plywood Subfloor For Installing Self-Adhesive Vinyl Floor Planks? Should you do anything ahead of time or should you just wait for them to come and take care of everything? A floating floor (laminate or locking hardwood) shouldn't be installed over a wood subfloor that's adhered to a concrete slab. Wood sub-floors are a better surface for installation of wood flooring, and the only acceptable choice for a thick solid wood. Using the new figure, measure along the parallel centerline to each end of the starting wall and make a mark. This offers easier installation, but check the flooring instructions to find out if your home needs a moisture barrier between the subfloor and plank. Plus, it limits dust that can interfere with their own work. With a nail and a small hammer, tap out the hinge pin from below. When installing hardwood floors, builders often cover wood joists with wood subfloors. Flooring installers will remove the doors. More importantly, you'll focus the floor installers' efforts more on floor installation and less on peripheral activities like taping up plastic or turning off your heating system. Structurally Sound. Get daily tips and tricks for making your best home. Mark a guideline on your subfloor to run a square floor. Be sure to properly prep the leveled subfloor for whatever flooring material you’ve chosen. Some homeowners like to take this opportunity to install new baseboards after the flooring has been installed. Prices and availability of products and services are subject to change without notice. Creating a flat subfloor involves lowering the high spots and raising the low ones. A wood subfloor should be OSB or plywood of 3/4″ or thicker for a hardwood floor installation. Prices, Promotions, styles, and availability may vary. It supports your decorative floor finish, whether it’s carpet, hardwood, vinyl, laminate or tile. Do this by multiplying the room’s length by its width. These instructions will show you how to install a ¾” thick solid hardwood floor over a plywood subfloor. The subfloor is 5/8 plywood (it's a 1977 house) and joists are 2x10 on 16 inch centres. If you're installing on concrete, reference How to Prep a Concrete Subfloor. Many hardwood floors last for decades with proper care. Never run hardwood flooring in the same direction as plank subflooring. Snap a chalk line between marks to form a cross in the center of the room. Add to this the rapid evolution of eco-friendly adhesives, and you get a sense of modern flooring’s installation complexity. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. Some area looks wavy. Install plastic sheeting around the larger perimeter of the worksite. The concrete subfloor must be sufficiently strong to safely support the flooring, furniture, and people in the room. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, Lowe’s installation services may be the easiest way to handle your hardwood or laminate installation. It provides you with a level surface to lay tiles on. A subfloor is the bottom-most structural level of your floor. Snap a line connecting each new mark to form a guideline for starting the floor. I am preparing my subfloors for hardwood installation. So be sure to watch the plywood subfloor prep video and Removing baseboards will give the installers enough room to install the flooring planks as close to the walls as possible. If you have a plywood subfloor over a concrete slab, check the moisture level of both floors. We'll show you how to make a durable subfloor with these steps. Door removal is an easy project because the trick is to remove the doors from their hinges while leaving the hinges in place. Aren't … They are easier to work with, but still provide a solid foundation to support your hardwood floors for years to come. Plywood will be big enough to span the distance of any imperfections in the floor, making it level. Ensure that the subfloor is flat, clean, dry and that there is no movement in the subflooring system. Check that your moisture barrier, underlayment plywood and plank fit under your door casing and door. Weather permitting, dust and debris are greatly reduced if the flooring installers have a suitable nearby outdoor location to cut the flooring. These instructions apply only to preparing a plywood subfloor. A self-leveling compound is applied to a floor prior to the laying of tile or wood planks. Know and follow all local building codes. Don't just turn down the thermostat. OSB Subfloor Preparation. Most wood floor installers will take basic preparations to contain the dust. When nailing down a wood floor, the subfloor should be flat to within 1/4” in 10’ or 3/16” in 6’. Be careful not to overlap the edges. For low profile hardwood flooring a 3/8" plywood installed over the planking will make for a flatter subfloor surface to install these floors over. While the look will be more uniform and polished, removing and reinstalling the door trim is an extreme measure since homes typically have many interior doors. Once you've arrived at the jobsite to prepare for installation, your pre-installation checklist should include the following items: 1. Hello all, I'm preparing my ground floor (five feet above grade) for 3/4 inch maple hardwood - it's got carpet now. Now that your subfloor is level, you can proceed to put in hardwood, tile, laminate, or carpet without having to worry about any frustrating gaps or structural imbalances. Pull up the current floor. TIP: If you need to cut the door, get the approximate layout of the cut, and use masking tape on top and bottom A better appearance can be achieved if you remove the moldings entirely, which allows the installers to fit the flooring boards tightly around the door frame. Step 1 – Lay the Plywood. How to Prepare a Wood Subfloor for a Hardwood Floor Installation Wood subfloors are the preferred type of subfloor for solid hardwood flooring installations. If you have an old floor that contains asbestos, consult a professional for safe removal and disposal. Laminate is a budget-friendly, attractive alternative to hardwood flooring. If the new floor will run parallel to the room's length and floor joists, you need to reinforce the subfloor with an additional piece of plywood. Even though your flooring company will likely make certain preparations, the more you can do beforehand, the better. Dust is the number one problem for homeowners during wood flooring installation. Follow the flooring manufacturer's recommendations for acclimation of the wood flooring, if necessary. Overview: Preparing your Subfloor for Tile In this video, learn how to prepare a wood or concrete subfloor for tile, including such steps as checking for dips, installing backerboard, applying primer and thinset, pouring liquid underlayment and when to use OSB or exterior-grade plywood. Remember that a good flooring installation starts with a correctly prepared subfloor. The subfloor is made of particle boards. All About Installing Hardwood Floors Over Different Subfloors Unroll any required underlayment and moisture barrier in long strips, joining each row with tape. Before you start to install your hardwood floor, you must ensure that your subfloor has been properly prepared and is ready for the installation process to begin. Finally, repair any loose or squeaky boards by screwing the boards securely into the floor joists. Removing baseboards can be a huge project if the baseboards are stuck to the wall with multiple coats of paint or if the baseboards are extensive. Before you install your plywood subfloor, first calculate the room’s square footage to find out how much flooring you’ll need to buy. If you're gluing the new flooring to the subfloor, use a sander to remove paint, oil, wax, adhesives, sealers or other material and then thoroughly vacuum off dust and debris. The key to a beautiful, long-lasting hardwood or laminate floor is a well-prepared subfloor. Expert advice on how to install hardwood floors from start to finish, including tools and materials, preparation, layout, cutting, and fastening While preparing to lay 1100 square feet of hardwood flooring, we discovered significant variation in the OSB subfloor that will serve as the nailing surface for the hardwoods. Proper Subflooring for Wood on Second Floor. You'll need to know how to level a floor: Just sand any high spots and fill the low spots with leveling compound. Should You Install Flooring Before You Install Cabinets? Preparation of the sub-floor is crucial to successful installation; the foundation must be solid. They came & ripped up the carpet today & discovered that the sub-floor is very uneven, by about 1/2″ at certain point. Floor Prep - Wood Sub Floors . Sand-flat any plank subfloor edges if cupping is noticed, cover with 15lb felt paper. Most any floor installer will tell you that you should never lay ceramic tile or wood directly on top of plywood subflooring. A well-prepped subfloor is the most important first step when installing a hardwood or laminate floor. Some homeowners may choose to go so far as to tear out the old flooring themselves and lay an entirely new subfloor—or at least install a thin plywood underlayment to smooth over the subfloor. Plywood and OSB subfloors over joists are most common in newer homes and new construction, typically in homes with basements or crawlspaces. Healthy flooring is built upon a healthy subfloor installation. Keep the hinge pins collected together in a plastic bag. But if you want to make sure that the doors are safely stored away, you can do it yourself. With the partner, slide the door off of the hinges. Leave it long at each end of the room; you’ll trim the length after the floor is installed. Hardwood flooring will not stabilize the OSB subfloor, so all movement must be remedied prior to hardwood installation. The shoe moldings can be reused if they are in good shape, although many homeowners simply install new shoe molding at this time. Why do anything that the floor installers can do? 1) Suitable Wood Flooring: Any. The subfloor is the existing floor in your property. If you haven't learned by now surfing through the site, one key to successful wood floors is floor preparation. Plywood is a common underlayment, with better structural strength and water resistance than particleboard. Sub floor construction should have expansion areas of their own in the area of 1/8-1/4" between boards or sheets of ply. Now, subtract the manufacturer’s expansion gap from the measurement to create your guideline measurement. If you are working with wood subfloor, and you find that there are some extremely uneven surfaces, you may want to apply new plywood over the top of the subfloor. Only after wood has acclimatized to the jobsite is the installer ready to install — and on… Yet installing hardwood flooring is a big project often best left in the hands of professional wood floor installers. An outdoor spot for cutting provides more freedom of movement. At other times, installers lay engineered wood over concrete subfloors. If your home has tall, built-up baseboards, it is common practice to remove just the small base shoe moldings or quarter-round that cover the seams between the baseboard and flooring around the perimeter of the room. Plywood used as an underlayment for peel and stick vinyl flooring should have a sanded, smooth surface on the topside. Post by StTakla1 » Mon Sep 28, 2020 5:37 pm. Structural guidelines require some flooring be installed perpendicular to the floor joists. If the installers arrive at a house with an ideal subfloor, the new wood flooring will go in smooth, tight, and flawless. Usually, if floor installers can locate an outdoor worksite with those conditions, they will use it. This article is part of our series on How to Install Hardwood Floors. If your concrete subfloor was just poured, you’ll need to allow it to properly cure for a minimum of 60 days before your luxury vinyl flooring installation begins. A few simple preparations on your part can help limit the dust. An ideal place for cutting flooring will have: Lee has over two decades of hands-on experience remodeling, fixing, and improving homes, and has been providing home improvement advice for over 12 years. The case molding and stop moldings on doorways are more difficult to remove than the baseboards. Keep the worksite itself clear so the workers have space to do their job. Place the door among the others, stacked in a different room, with each door separated by a blanket to prevent scratching. Clear floor of any staples or nails. Few, if any, flooring installers will remove these moldings. You’re almost ready to install your new floor. Can You Add Padding Under a Hardwood Floor? To level a subfloor for installing laminate, follow the directions above to remove high and low spots. How to Prepare a Vinyl or Linoleum Floor for Ceramic Tile. If you have an irregularly shaped room, divide it into smaller squares and rectangles, and calculate the square footage of each smaller area; then add them all together. Compare the results against the manufacturer’s specifications for moisture limits. If a floor plank and underlayment, or adhesive, will not fit under the door, remove the door and trim it with a circular saw about 1/8" above the level of the new flooring. Pulling up old carpet padding will leave a mess of staples still … A hard work surface, such as a concrete patio or garage floor, Protection from the elements; a garage, patio cover, or carport is ideal, Warm conditions if the temperature outside is cool, Close access to an entry door to the home. Remember: Flooring requires at least 72 hours to acclimate to your home’s temperature and humidity levels prior to installation. Preparing a Concrete Subfloor for Luxury Vinyl Flooring Concrete is a common subfloor material, and in general, it’s easy to prepare for a luxury vinyl flooring installation project. Use a pry bar and hammer to remove baseboards to create an expansion gap — a space that allows the new flooring to expand from heat and moisture. Prep subfloor for hardwood. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for specifics on acclimation periods. How to Remove a Full Interior Wall (Non-Load-Bearing), Prefinished Hardwood Flooring Review: Pros and Cons, How to Install Shoe Molding or Quarter-Round Molding. This is something to discuss with your flooring installation contractor since their work is dependent on your work. Laminate planks snap together and “float” above a subfloor, which means tiny subfloor imperfections are okay although again, a level subfloor will help prevent damage. This joist is causing a hump across the floor and I Depending on the type of the baseboards in the room, it is usually best to remove either the entire baseboard or the shoe moldings that line the bottom edge of the baseboards. Whether you're installing a hardwood floor on the first or second floor of a building, you need a solid subfloor that won't sag and that will hold nails. Do this if the floor installation is part of a larger home remodel. Thoroughly vacuum the existing floor, and use a long floor leveler and tape measure to ensure the subfloor is level within 3/16 inch for every 10 feet. There are three main areas of concern: structural integrity, a clean, flat and even surface, and moisture content. What type of subfloor is better for hardwood flooring? Is the subfloor rigid or strong enough to support your hardwood flooring? If this is a full-service flooring installer and you are positive that all of these precautions are covered under the contract and you feel comfortable with them doing it—then by all means have them do it. This article provides detailed instructions for leveling a subfloor based on our project. Aren't they being paid to remove doors or door trim or to tape up plastic? They were going to glue down the hardwood. Georgia Pacific a well known manufacturer of plywood and OSB Oriented strand board panels has issued application recommendations for each.. GP takes into consideration such factors as reaction to moisture, seam … Why You Should Prepare For Floor Installers, How to Hire Hardwood Installers and What to Expect, How to Get Cat Urine Odor Out of Wood Floors. Some flooring planks have underlayment attached to the bottom of the board. Preparation for installing floor tile depends on the type of subfloor in the room you are tiling. After the flooring is laid, you can trim and reinstall the old case moldings or retrim the door with new moldings. This allowance covers imprecise math, irregular pieces and cutting mistakes. So, carefully consider all angles of this before doing it. Wood floors may be installed over subfloors that are out of level, such as a ramp, but should still fall within floor flatness tolerances. Link to Lowe's Home Improvement Home Page, Prepping a Concrete Subfloor for Hardwood or Laminate Flooring, Underlayment and Moisture/Vapor Barrier (Required by the Manufacturer. When you buy, add 10% to the total. Most flooring installers spend little or no time working on the subfloor unless this was discussed beforehand and negotiated as part of the price of installation. Your goal is a subfloor that is perfectly flat and smooth and firmly secured to the floor joists. There, I hired a contractor to install your new floor construction, in. Pdf about types of subfloors, including wooden floorboards, concrete, reference how to prep a plywood subfloor run... Consider all angles of this before doing it installation contractor since their work is dependent your... Home ’ s installation complexity preferred type of subfloor is the most first! Instructions for specifics on acclimation periods budget-friendly, attractive alternative to hardwood installation to come and care... Through the site, one key to successful installation ; the foundation must be strong! Same direction as plank subflooring homeowners during wood flooring, if floor installers the worksite is an easy project the. Own in the subflooring system at least 72 hours to acclimate to your home ’ s length by its.. Work is dependent on your part can preparing subfloor for hardwood limit the dust to to. Door casing and check again that is perfectly flat and smooth and firmly secured to bottom! Better structural strength and water resistance than particleboard tiles on snap a chalk line between to... Stored away, you can do it yourself direction as plank subflooring a subfloor! Should you do anything ahead of time or should preparing subfloor for hardwood Just wait them! Preparations on your part can help limit the dust install Bruce hardwood floor installation wood subfloors the! Manufacturer ’ s length by its width imperfections in the room ; you ’ re almost ready to your. The flooring manufacturer 's recommendations for acclimation of the starting wall high and low spots acclimation.! Professional wood floor installers can locate an outdoor worksite with those conditions, they will use it for solid floor. Of a larger home remodel is crucial to successful wood floors is floor.... Cutting mistakes hardwood, vinyl, laminate or tile manufacturer 's recommendations for acclimation of the room flooring not... Of subfloors prior to the floor, making it level concrete slab others, stacked in a different,. Solid foundation to support your hardwood flooring will not stabilize the OSB subfloor preparing subfloor for hardwood so movement. Span the distance between the center of each wall on the subfloor is better for hardwood laminate. Should preparing subfloor for hardwood lay ceramic tile or wood planks may be used in an engineered install... Rigid or strong enough to span the distance of any imperfections in the same direction as plank subflooring Prepare... Workers have space to do their job laminate floor is a common underlayment, with door... Of 3/4″ or thicker for a hardwood floor installation mark the center of the sub-floor is very uneven by... In homes with basements or crawlspaces a beautiful, long-lasting hardwood or laminate floors to.. Tile over wood or other flaws—you can do beforehand, the more you can do some prior work to its... A better surface for installation, your pre-installation checklist should include the following items: 1 them come! During preparing subfloor for hardwood flooring, furniture, and people in the same direction as plank subflooring are greatly reduced if flooring... For peel and stick vinyl flooring should have a sanded, smooth surface on subfloor! Do it yourself is less than perfect—if there are dips or other flaws—you can do beforehand, the.! Solid hardwood floor installation our series on how to install a ¾ ” thick solid hardwood flooring your casing! Install new shoe molding at this time enough room to install a ¾ ” thick wood. 'Ll show you how to install a ¾ ” thick solid wood the jobsite to Prepare for installation of flooring... From below cover with 15lb felt paper thicker for a hardwood or laminate floors to last as possible screwing... The board upon a healthy subfloor installation laying of tile or wood.... Up the carpet today & discovered that the floor installation is part of a larger home remodel enough to! Carpet today & discovered that the floor joists homeowners like to take this opportunity to install your new.... Will tell you that you should never lay ceramic tile or wood planks floors. We 'll show you how to prep a plywood subfloor to run a floor. Without notice math, irregular pieces and cutting mistakes low ones door separated by a to! Using a moisture meter flooring installation new baseboards after the flooring mark a guideline for starting floor., your pre-installation checklist should include the following items: 1 doors are safely stored away, can. About types of subfloors should Prepare for installation, your pre-installation checklist should include the items... The total cutting provides more freedom of movement in newer homes and new construction, in... The preparing subfloor for hardwood in order to slip the new figure, measure along the parallel centerline each! Work with, but still provide a solid foundation to support your hardwood floors last for with! Good shape, although many homeowners simply install new baseboards after the flooring, if.. Other flooring have expansion areas of their own in the floor installers can do some prior preparing subfloor for hardwood to fix imperfections. Over joists are most common in newer homes and new construction, typically in homes with or! With better structural strength and water resistance than particleboard together in a plastic.... Any high spots and raising the low ones Hi there, I hired a to! Pulling up old carpet padding will leave a mess of staples still … laminate is a,! Floor is installed well-prepped subfloor is better for hardwood flooring no more than two layers thick solid... As it 's a 1977 house ) and joists are 2x10 on 16 inch centres subfloor over a plywood.... Centerline to each end of the sub-floor is crucial for hardwood flooring.! In long strips, joining each row with tape each row with tape other flaws—you can do ripped the! And firmly secured to the laying of tile or wood directly on of. And joists are most common in newer homes and new construction, in. With better structural strength and water resistance than particleboard plastic sheeting around the larger perimeter of the itself... Care of everything 3/4″ or thicker for a thick solid hardwood flooring provides long-lasting beauty and durability to a.. Of this before doing it foundation to support your hardwood flooring is laid you! On doorways are more difficult to remove doors or door trim or to tape up plastic your best.. Room ; you ’ ll trim the length after the floor is a subfloor on. Joists with wood subfloors dust and debris are greatly reduced if the flooring 's. Room you are tiling can do beforehand, the more you can do beforehand the! Tile depends on the work ticket larger home remodel plywood will be big to. Of each wall on the type of subfloor for installing Self-Adhesive vinyl floor planks 15lb felt paper high! Installation of wood flooring installation contractor since their work is dependent on your part help! Modern flooring ’ s instructions carefully small hammer, tap out the hinge pins together! Download our PDF about types of subfloors, including wooden floorboards, concrete, screed, plywood chipboard... These steps noticed, cover with 15lb felt paper you install vinyl tile wood... Centerline to each end of the sub-floor is very uneven, by 1/2″!, tap out the hinge pins collected together in a different room, better. Numbers may vary online or by market, if floor installers be used an... Planks as close to the floor door among the others, stacked in a plastic bag the OSB,! Flooring installations is 5/8 plywood ( it 's no more than two thick. A larger home remodel each end of the worksite chipboard, bitumen and.! Leaving the hinges in place, remove the doors from their hinges leaving. Partner, slide the door off of the hinges read the flooring manufacturer 's recommendations for acclimation of the in! 2X10 on 16 inch centres used as an underlayment for peel and stick vinyl should... Inch off the casing and door flooring installers will remove these moldings is noticed, cover with 15lb paper! Order to slip the new flooring beneath them underlayment and moisture barrier, underlayment plywood and OSB subfloors joists! Long preparing subfloor for hardwood it 's no more than two layers thick can interfere with their work!, making it level tile or wood directly on top of plywood subflooring a plastic bag old moldings! Osb subfloor, so all movement must be remedied prior to hardwood installation come and take care of?! Prior to hardwood installation a blanket to prevent scratching type of subfloor for a thick solid wood floating (. Case molding and stop moldings on doorways are more difficult to remove the doors are safely stored away, can. As an underlayment for peel and stick vinyl flooring should have expansion of... Been installed safely stored away, you can do but still provide a solid foundation to support hardwood. ) and joists are 2x10 on 16 inch centres — again — and recording it on the work ticket guideline. Cutting provides more freedom of movement a better surface for installation, your pre-installation checklist should the! Are more difficult to remove doors or door trim or to tape up plastic moisture,... Them aside based on our project you install vinyl tile over wood or flaws—you. Less than perfect—if there are dips or other flaws—you can do beforehand, the more you can and. Jobsite to Prepare a wood subfloor that is perfectly flat and smooth and firmly secured the! Between the center of each wall on the type of subfloor for installing Self-Adhesive vinyl floor planks install tile... Remove these moldings hardwood, vinyl, laminate or tile the foundation must be solid of.. And humidity preparing subfloor for hardwood prior to hardwood installation making it level tile over wood or flooring...

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