Second subfloor layer?

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RickA1

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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 including 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.

Rick.
 

DennisT

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Like all things in life, it depends. You can add another layer and that may look best. The problem comes with outside doorways and stairs. Too large of a change and you can have problems there. Depending on how much you need to add, plywood is the best but will be more expensive than particle board. It will also work much better for stiffening the floor.

Glue and screw would be best, but gluing isn't needed and it is really hard to undo something like that in the future. You know, like a couple years into the future when your wife goes "Honey, let's change this to match the real hardwood".

Determine which way the floor joists go and orient the plywood to be perpendicular to them. Use screws long enough to go through to the joists and far enough into them to get a good hold. This will minimize the possibility of squeaks.

Oh, and read a lot of the posts here and elsewhere. There's some pretty good info here.
 

Ernesto

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Hello.
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.

Rick.


I doubt your "reaL" hardwood is 1 inch as most all is 3/4 in thick. However! You can buy 3/4 in engineered from our friend Ken Fisher off his website.

http://www.uptownfloors.com/
 

RickA1

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Thanks guys. I guess I need to remove the carpets to get a good look and make sure I don't miss anything. And yes, oak is 3/4 in.
Oh, and thanks for that link. Love it. Just way more than my budget :)
 
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RickA1

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Determine which way the floor joists go and orient the plywood to be perpendicular to them. Use screws long enough to go through to the joists and far enough into them to get a good hold. This will minimize the possibility of squeaks.

I've read in couple of places that the second layer should NOT be screwed/nailed to the joists. What are the pros/cons of doing it?

Thanks!!
 

Floorist

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I've read in couple of places that the second layer should NOT be screwed/nailed to the joists. What are the pros/cons of doing it?

Thanks!!

The second layer should NOT be nailed/screwed to the joists. The two layers should not be glued together, ask any carpenter. All wood, contracts and expands, it will split if it cannot.
 

RickA1

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The second layer should NOT be nailed/screwed to the joists. The two layers should not be glued together, ask any carpenter. All wood, contracts and expands, it will split if it cannot.

Thanks. Based on what I've read, looks like the aligned reco is to nail/screw 6 in apart on edges and 8 in apart on center. That's a lot of nails/screws, but I'd rather spend more time here than having a bad result later.
 

RickA1

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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.

Thanks!!!!
 

RickA1

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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!!!!!!
 

RickA1

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engineered is more stable then solid .

Yes, I know that. But I've read horror stories on delamination and other quality issues with chinese engineered floors. That, but the fact that solid has the right thickness to avoid extra leveling work, made us choose solid.
 

JIMMIEM

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Yes, I know that. But I've read horror stories on delamination and other quality issues with chinese engineered floors. That, but the fact that solid has the right thickness to avoid extra leveling work, made us choose solid.

As long as you realize that the relative humidity in your home should be kept within a certain range year round the solid hardwood will be fine. You already have solid hardwood in the home. Any problems with that? The wider the floor boards the more sensitive to humidity extremes.
 

RickA1

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As long as you realize that the relative humidity in your home should be kept within a certain range year round the solid hardwood will be fine. You already have solid hardwood in the home. Any problems with that? The wider the floor boards the more sensitive to humidity extremes.

Thanks JIMMIEM. :)
 

Ernesto

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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!!!!!!

Yes, acacia is notoriously bad about movement and have read many a complaint on the internet. And especially out in arid regions. I'd let that stuff sit through 4 seasons before I'd touch it.
 

RickA1

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Yes, acacia is notoriously bad about movement and have read many a complaint on the internet. And especially out in arid regions. I'd let that stuff sit through 4 seasons before I'd touch it.

After reading some reviews that say that Lowe's acacia is as soft as pine, we decided to go with hickory.

Thanks!!
 

Floorist

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Acacia....One species is native to Madagascar, 12 to Asia, and the remaining species (over 900) are native to Australasia and the Pacific Islands.

Some of what is now called acacia had other names at one time.
 

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