LVP Underlayment: UltraPlyXL, IntegraPly, PlyFloor

Discussion in 'Floor Preparation' started by HomerGuy, Feb 20, 2019.

  1. HomerGuy

    HomerGuy Member

    I'm in the planning stages of installing ~650 sq ft of Armstrong Vivero full spread. Planning to cover my OSB sub-floor with 1/4" underlayment.

    The following products are readily available in my area:
    UltraPlyXL America's BEST Plywood Underlayment | UltraplyXL Premium Plywood Underlayment

    IntegraPly IntegraPly™ Superior Grade Underlayment • Integra Wood


    The UltraPlyXL is the cheapest at roughly $0.45 per SF and the PlyFloor the most expensive at $0.99 per SF. I'm leaning toward the UltraPlyXL as not only is it the least expensive but it seems to be high quality as well. Is this a good choice?
  2. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I like to diamond grind OSB to allow the underlayment to lay as flat as possible lessening movement vertically to reduce squeaking.

    The underlayment should be the most water resistant and fasteners by the thousands.
  3. Chris 45

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

    Ultraply will work just fine for your purposes. The biggest difference I see in ‘1/4”’ underlayment is the top layer of veneer. Some brands the top layer is toilet paper thin and I occasionally sand through it when the seams don’t line up exact. Then I have to prep it again. It still works, just a peeve I have.

    1/4” narrow crown staples are the fastener of choice for 1/4” UL. You want a staple every 2” on the seams and every 4” to 6” in the field. Yes, it’s a lot but 1/4” is not a very stable underlayment. If you don’t use that many fasteners, just the moisture from the adhesive alone can be enough to cause the underlayment to expand and bubble up. I’ve seen it happen.

    If you’re going to purchase a narrow crown stapler, I recommend Ridgid. When the stapler is out of staples, it won’t fire anymore. That’s feature is gold to me because when I get to stapling I just go until the stapler stops. Then I reload and go again. If it didn’t stop, I’m sure there would be more than a few times that I thought the floor was thoroughly stapled but actually wasn’t. It also has a depth adjustment on it. You don’t want to over sink the staples. Just barely below the surface is all you want.
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  4. HomerGuy

    HomerGuy Member

    Diamond grinding OSB? I've never heard of that, but I can appreciate the advice to keep the subfloor as flat as possible. I recall someone mentioning a 10' piece of baseboard can be used as a straight edge. I will be hitting any high spots with my belt sander/

    Good advice on buying a stapler with dry fire lockout. With that many staples needed, I can see how easy it could be to run it empty.
  5. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I never heard of it either till I got tired of replacing sand “paper”

    Maybe sandpaper manufacturer facturer is doing catch and kill so no one finds out about it.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Chris 45

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

    At the level you’re operating at, diamond grinding OSB is just another day. What did you use before you have the set up that you do now?
  7. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    My struggles you’re asking about?

    One piece was 20” buffer with sanding pad, a pearl abrasive shroud/Bosch grinder with 7” sandpaper disc, Stihl vac,Bosch vac,rigid vac.

    We tried to walk off OSB for gluedown plank. Ground it, 2 coats of Ardex feather finish(first coat some wood chips will pop off floor from moisture) think I ran a diamond over first coat quickly to clean then second coat. Asked clerk at hardware store if I could look at our work,Looked at it like two years later and it was fine.

    Belts, I do remember those as well, usually it would peel an inch off the width, then the seam would break.

    Here’s some recent pics of floor prep.

    Attached Files:

  8. HomerGuy

    HomerGuy Member

    Just wanted to hop back on here and say thank you to all those who answered my questions on this underlayment thread and my other thread (Which direction to run LVP?) on which direction to run the LVP.

    I ended up going with IronPly. I went to purchase UltraPlyXL and it was suddenly out of stock at all the stores around me. I considered RevolutionPly at Lowes but got nervous with only the one year warranty. I know warranties aren't much to write home about, but it just didn't give me the warm fuzzy. I found a flooring supply house that had IronPly in stock and purchased that. Same manufacturer but with a "lifetime" warranty. It was about $125 more overall than the RevolutionPly. I figured that was a cheap price to pay for arguably a little more peace of mind.

    Looking back I'm glad I used a product with the pre-marked "X" to help ensure I put enough fasteners down. It also really helped when spreading the glue, as I could use the X's as a reference line where to stop.

    Another thank you for recommending the Ridgid stapler. Worked great and I was so thankful to have the dry fire lockout feature. I can't believe how many staples I put down. My little Dewalt pancake compressor was running non stop, so I switched to the big boy compressor in the garage. Without the dry fire lockout feature I would have missed fasteners for sure. It was just

    Overall it took me about 4.5 days to install the underlayment and full spread LVP over ~675 sq ft. And man was I sore afterwards. But I am very happy with how it turned out.

    And in case anyone was following along on my direction thread, we ended up running the planks down the length of the narrow hallway. We dry laid them in both directions and once we saw them laid out it was apparent that the long axis was the way to go.

    Now to put up new casing and baseboard. I discarded the old stuff as the wife wanted a different style.

    Attached Files:

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  9. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    Mike, i have been diamond grinding all wooden sub-floors for as long as i can remember, sand paper is expensive and slow. Hit a nail with a diamond grinder? It does not break... it hits back!!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    Thanks for doing that. We love to hear how things turned out and especially like the "after" pictures. Looks great.
  11. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    So what diamond pad would you get for a Clarke 7" edger?
  12. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Not that I get a thrill out of hitting hardened nails the other day for a closed bank for aluminum channel transitions but the ones I missed with the ride on I told the nails to get out of the way with my grinder.

    For a Clarke sander I don’t believe they make a Diamond segment blade for those. May not be able to handle the torque. I have a cdc larue shroud for an angle grinder could possibly part with.

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