plywood subfloor for vinyl flooring

Concrete and wood subfloors each have their own subfloor preparation procedures. Vinyl flooring packaging will show two thicknesses, one for the total product and one for the wear layer. In most cases, as long as the old vinyl surface is flat, you don’t need to do anything more for this type of underlayment. You can cut a piece wider than the capacity of your small table saw by marking the desired width on the piece and measuring to the mark from the opposite edge. Cut out the toilet drain opening with a jigsaw. Rinse the floor and allow it to dry. OK, your subfloor is ready, the material’s been selected and protected with the proper vapor barrier and now you’re ready to start running that new circular saw, right? If the door swings into the bathroom, then the floor break will extend into the door opening about 1 inch from the face of the drywall inside the bathroom. Keep windows open to allow adequate ventilation when sanding and applying patching compound. If the vinyl has a backing layer or pad already attached, 95% of the time, they will not suggest anything at all, aside from a … We use Porter Cable’s new 18-volt Lithium 6-1/2″ circular saw for our underlayment project. A final mark to check is the thickness of the plywood. They can also create voids between the underlayment and the subfloor, which can develop movement, floor squeaks and nail pops later. Leave a small gap between the underlayment and showers or tubs to avoid squeaks. Keep the piece on plane with the down edge parallel to the wall as you ease the piece into position. For heavy flooring, such as hard tiles the subfloor should be thick plywood, but for soft flooring (vinyl, carpet and soft tiles) thin plywood or even hardboard with the smooth side facing up will be sufficient. Using Subfloor Screws to Correct Squeaky Floors. Water makes it swell unevenly, which causes bubble-like irregularities in the surface. “For centuries tiles were successfully installed on a layer of sand, which worked very effectively as an independent uncoupling layer between the structural base and the tile floors. Wear a facemask or respirator when sanding concrete or wood. In fact it must be supported by a strong subfloor with limited gaps and it can bridge only small holes. The reason can be best summed up in one word—uncoupling. Before you install sheet vinyl, the subfloor must be in good condition. One concern with plywood, as a walked-on surface, is that voids in the interior veneer layers may allow a depression in the flooring if weight were concentrated in one spot, such as a big ol’ girl wearing high heel shoes. “The theory is simple,” says Peter Nielsen, technical director for Schluter-Systems. In addition to the visible surface flooring material—the carpet, tile, or hardwood—there is usually an underlayment, and beneath that is a subfloor that serves as the foundation and structural reinforcement for the floor. Typical constuction debris on the subfloor includes drywall compound, bits of insulation, expanding foam and drill debris from plumbing and electrical operations. Mark high and low spots. The wall panels are 2.44 inches thick with an insulation value of R-12. If this is a concern, marine-grade and underlayment-grade plywoods will avoid the voids. The type of finish flooring you plan to install can help guide you in choosing the correct subfloor. You can have these pieces cut by a lumber yard or use a circular saw on the job site. In some cases a vapor barrier should be used between the subfloor and the underlayment, particularly for first-floor applications when using particle board underlayment over a subfloor other than exterior-grade plywood. Another weakness of particleboard underlayment is that it really doesn’t like water. On the downside, particle board underlayment has very little structural strength. smooth any edges/fill any gaps. Use a cordless impact driver to remove all the screws holding down the ¼-inch plywood underlayment. If the subfloor is perfectly smooth plywood, then you could install the vinyl directly to it. It’s inexpensive, flat, smooth and bonds well to the vinyl adhesives. Whenever possible, plan your cuts so the factory edges of the underlayment come together, and place the saw-cut edges on the perimeters against the walls. Hold on there, Sawyer—you gotta figure out your floor breaks next. Even a little floor flex can cause a squeak where the underlayment rubs these fixtures. It’s better to have a little wiggle room than to scratch up the walls. So, what about those 100-year old floors that still look great? Vapor barriers are usually polyethylene sheets (4 mil or thicker) or asphalt-layered kraft paper. After establishing the floor break with the outside piece, add material to the inside of the room to complete the install. When you install your vinyl on a wood subfloor, the top plywood should be a minimum of 1/4″ thick. Fontanot Arke` Stairs introduces the SKY030 spiral staircase. If the tape releases easily, the floor is too damp for vinyl. Feather the edges of the patch to blend with the surrounding concrete. If the floor break takes place in an area other than under a door, I prefer to lay the first sheets along the floor break edge and work back into the vinyl area of the room. However, if the wood subfloor is a non-positively glued plywood floor, peel and stick vinyl can be placed directly on this floor, without a protective film or insulating underlay. In recent years many installers have been inappropriately working to create a more secure bond by adhering tiles directly to the subfloor. Tips on Installing Floating Vinyl Sheet Flooring, What to Use for Filler Before Laying Vinyl Flooring, How to Get a Concrete Floor Ready for Linoleum, Congoleum: Subfloor and Underlayment Recommendations, How to Prepare for Laying Tile Over a Concrete Floor. If it is uneven or wood slats, you will need to apply 1/4" underlayment to the top. It is lightweight, but … Some professionals, however, will use plywood as thin as 1/4 inch for resilient flooring if the subfloor is in particularly good condition. Get some 1/8" Hardboard, Lauan or birch plywood (one side smooth) and lay it down without gaps over the sub floor. Don’t overlook the importance of cleaning the subfloor before installing underlayment. The swelling results in ridges where the subfloor sheets come together. In most cases 4-by-8-foot sheets of particle board or plywood must be installed in preparation for the vinyl floor install. One is in the case of bifold or bypass doors where there is vinyl on one side and carpet on the other. Underlayment (Common: 7/32 in. Understanding the Upgrades: Enhanced Plywood and Subfloor Products. Floor breaks at door openings should line up with the center of the door itself. A thorough sweeping follows. Together you get the greatest benefit as a barrier that protects against air and water infiltration, intrusion from foundation leaks, sump pump failures and burst pipes, as well as extreme hot and cold temperature transfer through walls and floors. As you install the pieces, move them away from the wall and tighten the joints out “in the field.” When the pieces fit and the joints are tight, tack them in place with a ring-shank nail or with the staple gun. Rated Sheathing or Sturd-I-Floor may be used with an underlayment for vinyl, ceramic tile or fully adhered carpet. In fact, you can leave gaps the thickness of the base board. After notching the sheet so the floor break extends into the door opening, you can then layout other cuts as measured inside the walls. In the case of a kitchen or bar area, you need to know the cabinet layout so you can make the floor break at the edge of the outside cabinet box. If you are installing vinyl flooring in a large area where light from a patio door shines across the surface, it’s a good idea to use carpenter’s glue at the seams between pieces to ensure that they stay well connected to each other as well as to the subfloor. These materials can break down over time, leaving a void between the underlayment and the subfloor. The uncoupling membrane is adhered to the surface being tiled using a layer of thinset adhesive applied with a 1/4-inch V-notch trowel. Fastener spacing should be approximately 3 inches on the outside perimeter of each piece. Once reserved for subfloors and sheathing, construction-grade plywood is now making a splash as affordable residential finish flooring. Pull up one piece of plywood underlayment and inspect the floor below. Also available is a version with One-Key™ which allows users to customize performance for unrivaled […]. The edge of your underlayment is the place where the vinyl and the carpet meet. Pull it up. You can cut out openings*, make adjustments, and test fit your piece without ever leaving the room. Watch for this if your project experienced a lot of rain during the framing stage. It soaks in water like a sponge. DITRA is only 1/8-inch thick, weighs only two ounces per square foot and is easy to install. The basement wall panels and subfloor system can be installed as a system or can be installed separately. The tile is then adhered to the uncoupling membrane using another layer of thinset. In other words, figure out where the door is and place the edge of the underlayment right under the center of the door panel. Look in the drywall tool area to find a good T-square for your underlayment install. Add enough water and the particle board will fall apart. Alternatively, mix a few drops of dish detergent in water to clean the floor. If you already have flooring in mind, it’s always a good idea to refer to the manufacturer to see what they recommend beforehand. One of the big considerations when installing different types of flooring in the home is getting the finished elevations to match. Set all screw heads slightly below the surface. The final result is a staircase that is highly resistant to atmospheric elements. Stir ready-to-use floor patching compound with a paint stirring stick. If removing the old floor is impractical or the rough area is too severe to use an embossing leveler, cover it with a new layer of plywood underlayment. This void can allow noticeable movement, floor squeaks or cause fasteners to poke through. Plywood has been a standard subfloor material since the 1950s and remains the preferred subflooring for many builders. The system comes in 2-by-2-foot panels that quickly and easily intstall using a tongue-and-groove system. Vinyl underlayment is an optional add on to click lock vinyls that are 4mm or thicker. If a vapor barrier is not required by code, you need to decide if the subfloor provides protection against moisture. A hardwood floor sander works great for this task. Attach medium-grit sandpaper to a belt sander to grind off the high spots on the concrete floor. Vinyl flooring is usually not installed directly over the subfloor in residential applications. This avoids the need to write down measurements or to draw a diagram. An uneven surface is not the only concern. Whenever practical, run the long direction of the underlayment sheets in the opposite direction of the subfloor material so they cross each other. Also, if you start with a nice straight factory edge along a carefully established floor break it will greatly improve the transition between flooring types. Nailing patterns should be 3 inches on the perimeters and 6 inches in the field. Sand any rough edges with medium-grit sandpaper. Measure and cut 1/4-inch or thicker plywood with a circular saw to fit the entire floor of the room where you are installing vinyl flooring. underlayment. One common underlayment for vinyl floors is 1/2-inch particle board. If the plywood subfloor you’re placing is 5/8 of an inch thick, you need a screw about 1 5/8 inches long. However, you need to make the call as to the quality of the existing floor the level of imperfection you are willing to tolerate. Arrange the plywood on the floor so the joints of this layer do not align with the subfloor joints below. Step-by-Step Outdoor Spiral Staircase Construction, How To Cut And Install Crown Molding And Trim, Install Plywood Underlayment for Vinyl Flooring. You can install vinyl over an old vinyl floor subfloor. This process insures weather resistance and durability. 2. If, for example, you are installing vinyl in a bathroom, you will want to make the floor break under the door going into the bathroom. If it’s car decking (tongue-and-groove dimensional lumber) with gaps and knot holes, a vapor barrier is a good idea. Although highly successful, these traditional methods have the limitations of being thick, heavy and challenging to install, and they are not at all suited to modern home construction.”. Smooth it in place and allow it to dry. Why? Underlayment for Vinyl Flooring . Before nailing off the pieces in the field, drive a few fasteners with plenty of weight near the nailing spot to make sure the underlayment is against the subfloor. Vinyl or linoleum flooring in a basement can transfer cold temperatures from the floor to the room. These ridges can create noticeable humps and bumps in the underlayment. Designed for the toughest applications on the jobsite, this is the fastest cutting reciprocating saw in its class and the most durable SAWZALL® reciprocating saw yet. I suppose that could happen, but it’s not likely. Another common underlayment material is plywood, which has an advantage over particle board in structural strength and water resistance. Plywood used as underlayment for sheet vinyl flooring should also have a sanded, smooth surface on the topside. A typical wood-framed residential flooring system is more complicated than you think. The trick of plywood underlayment board in structural strength top plywood should a. 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