Latest Discussions : Flooring & Stairs

KRL

07:34AM | 03/18/03
Member Since: 03/17/03
5 lifetime posts
Hello:

I'm a novice at this whole house-ownership thing, so forgive me if this is a dumb question... I just bought a house that has hardwood floors in the recently remodeled kitchen. The floor is spongy (has some give) in some spots between the joists. When I inspected the floor from the basement, I discovered that there is no subfloor. So my questions are: is this something I should worry about, how can I fix it, and is it a problem to not have a subfloor? Also, there is one particular slat of floor that has a crack running down the length - how can I fix this?

Thanks for your help!

carpetman

09:25AM | 03/18/03
Member Since: 01/26/03
542 lifetime posts
sombody screwed up that installation,yes you need a subfloor,whats the answer,pull it all up,install the subfloor.re-install.
i dont think its possible to repair this job,what do you think HARDWOOD GUY?

KRL

06:29AM | 03/19/03
Member Since: 03/17/03
5 lifetime posts
If I need to lay down a subfloor, I would like to avoid pulling up the existing cabinetry, if possible. Could I just lay new flooring down on top of the existing floor?

Piffin

06:46PM | 03/19/03
Member Since: 11/06/02
1278 lifetime posts
What you are suggesting is that you consider the existing flooring to be the subfloor and then add another floor over it. This is unorthodox but could possibly work, depending what kind of floor you are considering. The fact that you have sponginess now is not a good thing (unless you are over three hundred poinds, in which case you could make almsot any floor give a little) so you would probably need to add 3/4" of plywood underlayment and then your vinyl flooring. Anytrhing else would be thicker.

Thickness is a consideration for you if you have a dishwasher. If you leave the cabs in place and bring the floor up, the dishwasher won't fit back in. If youleaveit in while doing this, you will not be able to get it out to replace or repair it.

carpetman

09:15PM | 03/19/03
Member Since: 01/26/03
542 lifetime posts
i spent a little thinking about this,and i wonder if the floor could be strengthened from underneath , do you have good access to the bottom of the floor? perhaps you could cross brace the sleepers in the main walkways.perhaps others will comment.
i don't think you should add something to the top and ruin the new floor. good luck

KRL

11:36AM | 03/20/03
Member Since: 03/17/03
5 lifetime posts
To clarify the problem a little more - the house is a city rowhouse that was built in 1920. It's been suggested to me that it wasn't so uncommon back then to lay the hardwood, which is ~3/4" thick, right onto the joists with no subfloor. So I'm not dealing with the new, thinner (cheaper) hardwood flooring designed to be placed atop a subfloor.

At this point, I may do one of two things - place a second layer of hardwood flooring on top of the original, underneath the cabinets etc. Or, since I do have very good access to the floor from the basement, I'm considering bracing the floor from below using plywood fastened to the joists. I'm leaning towards the latter. Any thoughts?

carpetman

06:31PM | 03/20/03
Member Since: 01/26/03
542 lifetime posts
i would try to fix the problem from below,before i tryed anything from above.but it still make no sense to me how this could have been installed with out a sub floor.3/4 hardwood is installed by nailing the tounge,is your floor top nailed?is it t & G ?how wide is the wood?and what kind of wood is it?

KRL

02:21AM | 03/21/03
Member Since: 03/17/03
5 lifetime posts
The floor is top nailed onto the joists. It is not tongue and groove. The wood is ~3" wide, and I believe it's pine.

KRL

02:24AM | 03/21/03
Member Since: 03/17/03
5 lifetime posts
Actually, it is t+g where it's nailed to the joist, but not along the side (i.e. the slats don't fit together with t+g).

carpetman

12:01PM | 03/21/03
Member Since: 01/26/03
542 lifetime posts
that explains it.that is your sub floor,it was never intended to be a finish floor.

pchessick

04:43PM | 01/02/08
Member Since: 01/01/08
2 lifetime posts
Just wondering if you ended up adding a subfloor from below. I've got the same situation - 1909 house, hardwood (pine, actually) right on top of the joists. I am in the process of adding plywood from below and would love to hear from others who have tried this. Thanks!

xxdrexx

04:45AM | 12/22/08
Member Since: 12/21/08
1 lifetime posts
pchessick, How did adding the subfloor from below work? I'm in the same situation and have good access to the wood floor from my basement. How did you do it and how were the results?

pchessick

03:59PM | 03/12/09
Member Since: 01/01/08
2 lifetime posts
The good news is that it worked pretty well. It's much quieter, no dust coming up from below, and less of a spongy feel. The bad news is that it was a bit of a pain. I bought two screw jacks, attached them to sandwiched 2x4s, screwed verticle 2x4s onto the other end, and put up 4' sections of plywood at a time. Why two jacks? I wanted to stagger the cleats on the sides, so I had two jacks to support two sections of plywood at a time. It was pretty hard going to try to shoot nails properly - there was a lot of wood and metal (from the jacks) in the way. In fact, I got so frustrated after not too long that I hired someone to finish the job for me. I'm not thrilled with the work he did, but it got done, and it's better than it was before! I hope this is helpful. If you want more info, let me know.

tinadev1

12:49PM | 09/30/10
Member Since: 09/29/10
1 lifetime posts
Hey. I know I've very late to the party... by a year... but I read something in the posts above and wanted to comment. When it was noted that your original antique wood floor had NO subfloor, and that it was simply nailed directly to the beams below, someone commented that "it was never intended to be the finished floor". I beg to differ. In my area of the country there are many antique homes with no subfloor.

I live just outside Charleston, South Carolina, in a 2 room over 2 room, balloon framed servants cottage, with double front doors, built in 1870. All of my floors are pine. One room was more for guests, funerals, sitting in on Sunday and such, and has tounge and groove flooring. The other room, which was used quite hard, has random width plank flooring. Neither room has a subfloor. All of the flooring is nailed directly to the beams below. The cracks in the flooring on the plank side, are getting pretty large now. None of the flooring squeeks, and is only "spongy" in two spots: one 2x2 foot space at the foot of the stairs, and on some very small random spots of a few boards near one window where beetles munched on the wood (and it was treated) years ago.

As a side note, there is insulation under the house (and in the attic) but absolutely none in the walls. Because the house is balloon framed, we have installed "fire breaks" in the wall cavities.

Not everyone could afford to have finished floors in their homes back in the day, and they knew it ahead of time. One clue to this will be the ORIGINAL interior door frames. If they are cut and installed all the way down to the existing floor, then that's most likely what they had planned all along. However, if the ORIGINAL door frames are elevated off the wood floor by at least 3/4", they intended to go back and add a second, "finished" floor on top of that subfloor. Back in the day they didn't go back and chop off door frames with a jamb saw like people tend to do now. They planned ahead. :)

BV002768

11:10PM | 12/10/13
I live in a 1996 16x80 mobile home. over the last few years I have noticed the flooring between the joist is sagging. I do have 3/4 in plywood over my joist, I guess that is the sub-floor.
I have a lot of washing when it rains that runs underneath the trailer. I believe its causing the dirt to wash out from underneath my blocks. who do I call to have this worked on?

BV021650

03:15PM | 02/17/20
Thanks tinadae1 that's exactly what I have doors are 3/4 off the ground.


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