Need to add second sub floor layer.

Discussion in 'Floor Preparation' started by RickA1, Aug 29, 2016.

  1. RickA1

    RickA1 Member

    Hello. We decided to install engineered hardwood in our home. I am no pro but am handy and have done lots of DIY including finishing my basement on my own, which included the laminate floor, so I thought, how difficult can it be to install engineered hardwood? Well, we haven't even decided on color yet and here I am in need of expert advice.
    Half of our first floor has real hardwood, half has carpet. My first problem? The hardwood is probably one inch thick. The engineered is a lot less. Unless I make up for the lost thickness, the door jambs/trim will not look good without major work (If anyone knows of some way to make this easy, please feel free to suggest....).

    So here's where my question comes. Is adding another plywood/particle board layer to the whole first floor something common? Any tips on how to attach to the first layer (Overlap, glued, screwed).

    Thanks in advance. I am sure there will be more questions.

  2. Solid hardwood is 3/4" thick, minus any sand and finish.

    You should pick your hardwood to determine what your fill height is.

    I would want to inspect subfloor to ensure all previous work is done correctly. No particleboard!
  3. RickA1

    RickA1 Member

    Thanks Mike. Yes, I need to get the right numbers to figure out my gap....but then adding a second layer is not far fetched for my situation? I already know I want to fix some squeaks.
    So how would you attach the second plywood layer?

  4. Purchase
    Acclimate properly (time, upright,spaced,moisture level)
    I like to offset 2ft from subfloor, side sheets offset by half. If subfloor perpendicular to joists, then same direction.

    Fastened according to underlayment manufacturers recommendations.

    I try to avoid fasteners from penetrating lower layer, so locating source of proper length fastener takes some homework. I like ring shank nails, but there are others. Elmer had some study results from a college study.

    Proper spacing of sheets( manufacturers recommendations as well)

    Proper method of fastening, usually fan type pattern versus locking in 4 corners and trying to pull down middle causing air pockets. Just a few pointers.
  5. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    That may be the predominant thickness, but solid hardwood comes in a variety of thicknesses. I installed 1" thick hardwood in my home office (previous residence). I installed a number or half-inch thick solid hardwood floors over the years.

    Why? One doesn't have a whole lot to do with the other. I would pick the underlayment based on my hardwood choice, not the other way around.

    I think all previous work is being removed, so it doesn't matter if it was done correctly or not. The only concern would be to make sure there are no squeaks or bad spots in the subfloor before adding an underlayment.
  6. RickA1

    RickA1 Member

    Thanks guys. I really hate the idea of adding the underlayment but looks I have no other easy option.

    I'm sure I'll think of other questions soon :)
  7. RickA1

    RickA1 Member

    Ok. I need some HELP. I'm in the seller research phase and I'm ready to stay away from this project. Buy Direct and Lumber Liquidator have the worst reviews. Lowes/HD seem to have low quality. What does someone that does not want to pay 8 $/ Sq ft do? I live in SW Ohio and am looking for a seller I can trust.

  8. I've seen good hardwood at 4$ a ft, but it's been a few years ago since in the market. Retailers may have some good deals. Just browse around nonchalantly casually asking about different products. There usually is 6 or 8 manufacturers of hardwood per store.
  9. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member Senior Member

    Just shop, keep your eyes open and something will show up.
  10. Another thing would be to talk to a flooring retailer in your area about the possibility of buying dropped or discontinued material. First quality goods that are just not big movers, once these are dropped the manufacturers and distributors will offer them at extremely attractive pricing to dealers. Usually it takes a phone call from the dealer to their supplier to see what's out there.

    A note though - I would avoid buying offgoods - especially in wood. Sometimes you luck out and get pretty decent material but many times you end up buying twice as much material to get enough installable product to do the job. This is how Lumber Liquidators got started - they used to buy up several manufacturers off goods and sell them cash and carry. I won't say it was intentional on LL's part because that could get me in trouble, but I would say much of the time the consumer had no idea they were buying off goods because of the terminology used, it was very confusing to someone not in the business. Terms like Cabin Grade rather than 2nd quality can be confusing unless you know what that means.

    Good luck and be patient there are good products out there in your budget, I'm sure.
  11. RickA1

    RickA1 Member

    Thanks guys. I guess my problem is I'm not in the business and I don't necessarily know what's a "good product". Most of the horror stories I've read have been about engineered (Delamination...). I'm thinking going with solid hardwood might reduce the risk of quality issues, but there's the budget, and still not sure where the best places to buy are.

    I''ll start looking around in local stores.
  12. RickA1

    RickA1 Member

    Looks like we found our floor. Solid Acacia from Lowes @ $4.59. It's beautiful, and has random widths. I'm pretty sure it comes from China, but I guess solid should be a lot less risky than engineered.

    ANy thoughts? I'll be back with installation questions in a couple of weeks :)

    Thanks for all the input!!!!!!
  13. RickA1

    RickA1 Member

    Quick update. After reading horrible reviews on this acacia floor (Most people say it is softer than pine..), we went with 3/4 x 3 1/4 hand scraped hickory; same place, same price. Already's beautiful, and finish feels very hard. Very happy with this find for that price.

    Right now preparing subfloors.....oh what a horrible job they did screwing these boards.... but luckily an easy fix, just time consuming.

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