1/4 plywood over roofing felt making noise

Discussion in 'Floor Preparation' started by WakeDoc, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. WakeDoc

    WakeDoc New Member

    I recently purchased a home built in the late 60's. Before ripping out the shag carpet we noticed a sticky/cracking noise when walking across the floors. Hoped the noise was being caused by the carpet pad but, no such luck the removal of the carpet made the noise worse. Finding a hole in the flooring from an old gas heater pipe we learned we had a 3/4 plywood subfloor, with something between it and 3/16 to 1/4 plywood. Pulled a piece of the plywood to find it was laid over roofing felt. The top layer of plywood is being held to the 3/4 plywood subfloor by nails. Everywhere you walk it sounds like you are walking across a sticky floor in sneakers. I tried screwing deck screws in from the top layer to the subfloor in a 2 foot x 3 foot area. While it did reduced the noise a little it did not reduce it completely. What I also notice is when I put the deck screws in and tightened them down the top piece of plywood pulled down more than the existing areas, like it was putting the three layers of material in a bind. I am planning to put down either hardwood or engineered wood flooring but, want to resolve this issue before starting the install. It seems roofing felt is a common practice, would like to know if there is a solution to get rid of the sticky noise before demoing the top layer of plywood and roofing felt?
  2. Chris Mha

    Chris Mha Charter Member Senior Member

    You're going to have to pull all of the 1/4" underlayment up. The tar in the roofing felt is sticking to the underlayment. You can nail it all you want but not likely to go away
  3. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    You gotta take it back down to the subfloor to fix it. My thought is a sticky layer of adhesive residue that was not properly dealt with. Peel n stick tiles that were removed but nothing was done about the sticky residue left on the floor? Roofing felt and plywood laid over untreated adhesive residue will cause the new layer of flooring to temporarily stick and release as foot traffic moves across the room.

    I'm just throwing this out there because I have seen this exact situation before. It could be from something else but you will still have to take it back down to the subfloor to find out.
  4. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Something under there could be asbestos. It probably wasn't fastened properly. Who knows if it was clean prior to laying down the 1/4". I agree you need to start right to stay right if you're putting money on top of that. The popping noise will multiply with the hardwood fasteners.

    So pull, investigate, replace the plywood underlayment.
  5. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    I never found it necessary to use felt paper between subfloor and underlayment. And not all nails are equal. If the previous "installer" used felt paper, that person may also have used the wrong nails or fastening procedure.

    Yep, remove it down to subfloor, scrape, clean and start again. If you need underlayment to add rigidity, quarter-inch isn't gonna do much. Minimum 3/8, maybe even half-inch nailed properly will stiffen the floor up real nice.
  6. WakeDoc

    WakeDoc New Member

    When adding back new underlayment what is the best process, nails, screw, etc and does it make a difference whether I use plywood or OSB?

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