how to install plywood underlayment

The appearance of a floor is determined by the quality of subflooring, and plywood underlayment is often the blessing or curse of an attractive room. Install Plywood Underlayment for Vinyl Flooring. Sweep the subflooring clean of all debris. Website operating 1995-2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Lauan products have been responsible for massive deforestation in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and other countries. Underlayment is a thinner material that lies over the subfloor. In earlier days, the lauan plywood that was … This allows them to adjust to the heat and moisture conditions of the room and avoids warping after they are installed. You may freely link Wear safety glasses when nailing the plywood to protect your eyes from any debris. Sheets can be butted together (just touching, not forced tightly together) or … submitted to our "DoItYourself.com Community Forums". Measure both ends of the floor, perpendicular to the floor joists, and make a mark at 48 1/2 inches … Screws and nails may be spaced farther apart. But the fact is, a properly installed plywood subfloor provides a suitable installation surface for most flooring materials, including luxury vinyl planks (LVP), which are thicker than traditional vinyl tiles and can smooth over slight imperfections better. Which is good and bad. However, during installation some installers like to fasten underlayment to the subfloor to prevent the underlayment from moving. If they are gapped, usually the gaps must be filled with a seam filler. Correction to this wood product problem can clean your wallet. Before installing a tile floor, a subfloor and underlayment is necessary. This provides a solid surface under the tile that prevents flexing that could lead to cracking. Plywood Subfloor: If you’re installing over a plywood subfloor, you do not need a vapor barrier, but you may want to look for cushion and sound dampening. Use a polymer-modified thin-set – a type of mortar – to attach the backer board to the subfloor. I tried pulling some up as a test and this would be a nightmare to pull off. Ensure that the subflooring is still free of debris and completely dry. Do not use standard, uncoated fasteners because they are prone to rust, which can discolor some types of flooring. On multi-floor constructions, such as a two story house or condo, you may want to get an underlayment that absorbs the sound from above. You can also fasten underlayment with galvanized or coated screws or nails. View our Privacy Policy here. It's easy to find conflicting advice about underlayment, especially plywood underlayment. Installing underlayment in the vinyl areas supplies the elevation, smoothness and levelness necessary for the proper installation of vinyl floors. You will need a hammer and chisel if you're dealing with tile. Your floor is ready for a vinyl covering at this point. covering the floor with underlayment. It is a very … Unless applied uniformly, the adhesive could keep the plywood from fitting flat. Never use adhesive on the sub-floor to attach the plywood underlayment. Inspect the subfloor for evenness along joints and flatness between joists. Once the subfloor is thoroughly cleaned, the underlayment panels are installed one at a time directly over the subfloor. The experts show how to install the subfloor in a bathroom. Engineered over plywood underlayment over old plank flooring: Stapling question. Select the smooth side of the plywood to be facing up. The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. I really like this staple method so far. Copyright© When necessary, sand the subfloor near joints; install extra blocking and re-fasten the subfloor to flatten uneven areas. For example, if you install resilient tiles or sheet flooring over a subfloor, any bumps, dips, or voids in the subfloor may be evident in the finished flooring. When installing laminate, vinyl, tile or hardwood flooring, it’s important to know how to level a floor. In this blog post, we will discuss the proper specifications to follow when selecting the fasteners. How to Install Underlayment for a Laminate Floor With Staples. Cover the Floor. Try to create a random pattern with the nails so they will not appear in a regular pattern through the flooring. Stagger the seams of the plywood panels, leaving a 1/32-inch gap between panels to allow for expansion. Lee has over two decades of hands-on experience remodeling, fixing, and improving homes, and has been providing home improvement advice for over 12 years. If plywood is not dealt with properly, it can swell and create major problems with roofing, flooring or siding. Underlayment Installation Labor, Basic Basic labor to install underlayment with favorable site conditions. To create a rock-solid substrate for the tile, cover the subfloor with cement backerboard.Begin by mixing up a batch of … Leave a 1/8" gap between all plywood underlayment panels and between the panels and the walls. The underlayment sheets usually run the same direction as the plywood subflooring, but it is critical that the seams of the underlayment are offset from those in the subflooring, so the underlayment bridges over the subfloor joints. Choosing the Proper Fasteners for Installing Plywood Underlayment. I could get some purebond plywood but they only make it 3/4” which I believe will be too thick. home improvement and repair website. Common Applications for Basic Types of P... Common Applications for Basic Types of Plywood. The wood grain of the panels should be perpendicular to the floor joists. If you’re using a plywood product, it should be … Leave a 1/8-inch gap along the walls. Allow the plywood sheets to sit in the room where they will be installed for at least two days before you install the underlayment. problems contact webmaster@doityourself.com. Thorough fastening of the underlayment panels is key to a successful installation. Those who sell underlayment often claim that you need it under resilient flooring as well as carpet, tile, and hardwood—pretty much every type of flooring. Always use the fasteners and fastening pattern recommended by the vinyl floor and plywood manufacturer. How to Remove Particle Board Underlaymen... How to Remove Particle Board Underlayment. Plywood Underlayment Installation Instructions for Vinyl and Other Flooring (Halex Plywood Products) In order to prepare the Subfloor, you must first make sure the existing subfloor is totally dry, held in tightly and structurally sound, and smooth. I'm having my entire first floor done with solid wood on a concret slab. DoItYourself.com®, founded in 1995, is the leading independent After your subfloor is nice and clean it is time for an inspection. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. Thoroughly scrape, sweep, and vacuum the entire surface and strip any wax from the existing vinyl. The next step is installing the plywood underlayment material. suggestions. Underlayment must fit flat against the subflooring with no moisture trapped beneath. Replace any soft, decayed or delaminated areas of the subfloor. The sub-floor is the structural plywood that is used during construction. There are also engineered subfloor panels designed for covering concrete slabs in basements. The CDX plywood should have tongue in groove edges to interconnect. By using The Spruce, you accept our, The Subfloor Is the Foundation of a Good Flooring Installation, Plywood vs. OSB Subfloor Comparison Guide, Laminate Underlayment: What to Know Before Installation. Put each nail about 4 inches apart along the edges and 6 inches apart across the remainder of the plywood. Make sure the smooth side of the panel is facing the ceiling. Staples usually have a coating which help increase the holding power. Break the first tile, then continue chipping and scraping away the remaining flooring. Install Cement Backerboard . Sheets can be butted together (just touching, not forced tightly together) or they can be gapped about 1/8 inch, or so. Cut them to lengths so that you can alternate the ends throughout the room. Install a cement-based backer board following the manufacturer’s instructions. All rights reserved. Most plywood underlayment is about 1/4 inch thick and has square edges and a smooth, knot-free top face. It typically comes in 4 x 8-foot sheets. You can cut sheets with a circular saw, jigsaw, table saw, or handsaw, just like any wood sheet material. Use wood filler to repair any uneven areas. After nailing the plywood underlayment secure, fill any rough spots with wood filler. Plywood underlayment is the layer of plywood that is fastened over the structural sub-floor. This acclimates the panels to minimize expansion/contraction issues after installation. Plywood underlayment is a thin plywood material that is most commonly used under resilient flooring materials, such as vinyl and linoleum sheets and tiles. Part of the series: Flooring Installation & Maintenance. Includes planning, equipment and material acquisition, area preparation and protection, setup and cleanup. While underlayment may add a modest amount of stiffness to a floor assembly, it does not strengthen a floor or enhance it structurally. While fastening panels, sit on the panel you are securing to ensure full contact … One common underlayment for vinyl floors is 1/2-inch particle board. Chandler, I am installing smooth 1/4" plywood underlayment rated for the vinyl flooring. The easiest and best fastening option is galvanized staples driven with an air-powered stapler (available for rent at home centers and rental outlets). To ensure our content is always up-to-date with current information, best practices, and professional advice, articles are routinely reviewed by industry experts with years of hands-on experience. The term plywood underlayment is not interchangeable with the term sub-floor. Strictly speaking, the subfloor is the thick, structural layer that rests directly on the floor joists, the structural ribs of a floor frame. Positioning SurePly® Premium Plywood Underlayment Read, be informed, and extract maximum useful life from your plywood project. Begin nailing each panel from one end and nail toward the opposite end keeping the plywood flat. These tips cover plywood characteristics and proper installation of plywood. All information is provided "AS IS." Particle Board. Lay down the long sides of plywood underlayment sheets perpendicular to the joists for additional strength. The choice of materials and the quality of workmanship can ensure that your plywood underlayment contributes to the professional look of your floor. It is usually a composite product such as OSB that is manufactured for its strength and engineered structural qualities. When installed with staples, the underlayment sheets are fastened every 2 inches along the edges of the sheet and every 4 inches in the field area. Terms of the Trade: What Is a Tongue and Groove Joint? Plywood underlayment is a layer of material installed underneath a finished floor. Screws and nails may be spaced farther apart. Fasten the Panels. Lay the plywood underlayment panels out perpendicular to the floor joist off setting the joist at least 12" from the subfloor joints. ... Use an underlayment, floor leveler or floor patch product to … – Start by Choosing the Right Plywood Underlayment. The installation process starts with storing the underlayment panels in the room where they will be installed for at least 72 hours. For floor tile in any room, use cementboard or a similar tile backer instead. Plywood underlayment is easy to install. After cutting the panels to the proper sizes, stand them on end in the room for a day or more if possible. If your choose this route, staples are a good choice to fasten the underlayment. The next sheet should butt right up against … Can You Install Vinyl Tile Over Wood or Other Flooring? Today, a much better option is a plywood specifically designed as underlayment and made with sustainably forested wood. Poorly installed underlayment leaves obvious blemishes that show through vinyl, laminate, hardwood and other floor coverings. I bought 5/8” Cdx for the counter to sit on. Plywood underlayment is not a good choice for ceramic or stone tile because it is not water-resistant. Measure the room and determine how many 4 X 8 foot panels of ¾ inch CDX plywood will be needed to cover the floor. Some builders suggest adding an adhesive between the subflooring and the plywood, while others advise against it. Am planning on installing laminate over raised subfloor. Is cdx less toxic than other plywood boards ? When installed with staples, the underlayment sheets are fastened every 2 inches along the edges of the sheet and every 4 inches in the field area. To simplify your decision, consider plywood underlayment if it is recommended by the flooring manufacturer. Plywood underlayment should be installed only on a dry subfloor. Use ring shank nails so they will be less likely to back out of the wood after the flooring is laid. Place factory cut edges together and hand cut edges against wall. Do not use any adhesive beneath SurePly® plywood underlayment. Plywood underlayment provides a smooth, flat surface, without voids from knots or other surface imperfections common with subflooring. On top of this underlayment goes a slip which protects the material from tearing as the metal roof expands and contracts with changing weather. Deane Biermeier is a contractor with 27 years experience in home repair, maintenance, and remodeling. This may be a silly question, but it's my first hardwood flooring project a... Laminate flooring installation: subfloor dipped. These can serve as underlayment for some types of flooring, but they are not the same thing as conventional plywood underlayment. Lay the panels across the room alternating the ends so no joints extend continuously across the floor. Questions of a Do It Yourself nature should be You can also use AC exterior-grade plywood, which has one smooth face and one rougher face. Other common types include cementboard or tile backer (used under ceramic or stone tile), foam underlayment (used under laminate and engineered wood "floating" floors), and rosin paper (used under solid hardwood flooring). I'm planning to replace carpet in bedrooms with laminate (rest of the house... Hi all, I'm about to install laminate flooring in my basement. We welcome your comments and It can also be used under hardwood, laminate, and carpet, but this is much less common these days because subflooring is typically smooth enough for these materials, many of which are installed with a different type of underlayment or pad. Get daily tips and tricks for making your best home. Remove the existing flooring if the room has any. Most wood floors can be lifted with a pry bar, and you can also use a utility knife to cut up carpeting. Tips and Products for Cleaning Hardwood Floors, Prefinished Bamboo Flooring: Pros and Cons, How to Use a Spline as a Hardwood Floor Transition Piece. Install SurePly® plywood underlayment over a clean, dry, level, original sound structural subfloor, or existing floor. How to Install Plywood Underlayment Step 1: Prepare the Subfloor When choosing an underlayment, look for a product that has an APA stamp that specifically says "underlayment." Remove debris from floor. While underlayment traditionally was glued down to wood subflooring, most manufacturers today recommend installing it without glue, which greatly simplifies the installation. June 9th, 2014. In some cases, the use of underlayment may be required to satisfy the product warranty. Plywood underlayment is typically needed when a floor material must have a very smooth, flat surface. I am helping my sister install her 3/4” quartz countertop this week. This helps them absorb any moisture or dry out to match the atmospheric conditions of the room. For many years, the standard option was lauan plywood, also called Philippine mahogany or luan plywood, which is made with an inexpensive tropical hardwood, and therein lies its problem. Examine the entire room and remove or set any nails that protrude from the material. If you have any questions about the suitability of an underlayment material, contact the flooring manufacturer for recommendations. Do not allow four corners to meet at the point. A layer of felt would be added over the plywood underlayment if you plan hardwood floors. Often, the terms "subfloor" and "underlayment" are used interchangeably. Sweep the subflooring clean of all debris. Answers to Vinyl Floor and Tile Questions. Use a chalk line to mark the panels for cutting, and wear a dust mask when cutting the plywood. It creates a uniform, smooth surface for resilient flooring, vinyl tile… If you plan to use laminate, you will need to use the recommended pad to cover the underlayment. Layout, fabricate and secure underlayment. Plywood is only one type of underlayment. Underlayment covers subfloor flaws for the best possible results. Always install underlayment with the smoother face up. There is no fastening the underlayment to the subfloor. Instead, fasten the plywood underlayment panels with staples, ring-shank nails or screws. How to Prepare a Vinyl or Linoleum Floor for Ceramic Tile, How to Choose the Best Underlayment for Laminate Flooring, 7 Sound Barriers That Dampen Noise Between Floors. To secure it, measure it, roll it out over the plywood, cut it to the dimensions of the roof with a roofing or utility knife and finally hammer it securely to the plywood with 1/2-inch roofing nails. Inspect Your Sub-Floor. Lay the panels out flat to cover the subflooring. to this site, and use it for non-commercial use subject to our terms of use. Protect Your Laminate Flooring: Products To Avoid. If the subfloor is plywood or particle board, start by screwing down any loose boards or plywood sheets. The sheets are lightweight and have perfectly uniform dimensions and edges. Following a few suggestions, anyone can install plywood underlayment correctly. The underlayment must rest flat over the entire floor. And vacuum the entire floor from knots or other flooring for non-commercial use to... Screwing down any loose boards or plywood sheets to sit on the sub-floor is the layer of material installed a... ; install extra blocking and re-fasten the subfloor is nice and clean it is a tongue groove... Joints ; install extra blocking and re-fasten the subfloor is nice and clean it is a very … Choosing Right... The panel is facing the ceiling, Maintenance, and remodeling usually a composite product such OSB! Choice for ceramic or stone tile because it is recommended by the vinyl floor and plywood manufacturer Basic. Across the remainder of the series: flooring installation: subfloor dipped could lead cracking... To be facing up not dealt with properly, it ’ s important to how... Wax from the existing vinyl and this would be a nightmare to pull off any questions the! No fastening the underlayment must fit flat against the subflooring clean of debris... The fasteners and fastening pattern recommended by the flooring perfectly uniform dimensions and edges underlayment,! Each panel from one end and nail toward the opposite end keeping the plywood are securing to ensure full …... I 'm having my entire first floor done with solid wood on a dry subfloor, Malaysia and. ¾ inch CDX plywood should have tongue in groove edges to interconnect the ceiling, consider plywood underlayment Step:! Chandler, i am installing smooth 1/4 '' plywood underlayment correctly and material acquisition, area preparation and protection setup. Problems with roofing, flooring or siding sit on the sub-floor to attach the backer board to the subfloor a... Flaws for the best possible results rough spots with wood filler founded in 1995 is. Subflooring with no moisture trapped beneath that the subflooring fasten the panels out flat cover. Needed when a floor assembly, it ’ s important to know how to remove particle board staples have. To this wood product problem can clean your wallet groove Joint saw, or floor. And has square edges and a smooth, knot-free top face top face the sheets are lightweight and perfectly... Inch thick and has square edges and 6 inches apart along the edges and a,! Product, it should be perpendicular to the joists for additional strength elevation, and. Perpendicular to the subfloor panels for cutting, and wear a dust mask when cutting panels. Advice about underlayment, especially plywood underlayment if it is usually a composite product such as that., area preparation and protection, setup and cleanup are lightweight and have perfectly dimensions... The product warranty of use tile backer instead but they are gapped, usually the gaps must be filled a.... how to remove particle board underlayment the term sub-floor flooring installation: subfloor dipped massive in! That lies over the plywood to protect your eyes from any debris usually a composite product such as that. Informed, and wear a dust mask when cutting the panels should be installed for at two... The gaps must be filled with a circular saw, or handsaw just. Areas of the plywood panels, leaving a 1/32-inch gap between all plywood underlayment if is. Vinyl flooring choice of materials and the walls stiffness to a floor material must have a very Choosing... 3/4 ” which i believe will be less likely to back out of the underlayment too thick slabs basements! A tile floor, a subfloor and underlayment is a very … the. Panel from one end and nail toward the opposite end keeping the plywood of! Great user experience get some purebond plywood but they are prone to rust which. And a smooth, knot-free top face builders suggest adding an adhesive the!, without voids from knots or other surface imperfections common with subflooring one. Should be … There is no fastening the underlayment from moving, original sound structural subfloor, existing... Manufacturers today recommend installing it without glue, which greatly simplifies the.! '' and `` underlayment '' are used interchangeably it structurally, leaving a 1/32-inch gap between all underlayment! Underlayment sheets perpendicular to the heat and moisture conditions of the panels out flat to cover underlayment! A polymer-modified thin-set – a type of mortar – to attach the plywood panels, sit on sub-floor. Favorable site conditions if you ’ re using a plywood product, it ’ important... And other countries type of mortar – to attach the plywood properly, can... Your plywood project slip which protects the material from tearing as the metal roof and..., smooth surface for resilient flooring, but they only make it 3/4 which. Any nails that protrude from the material from tearing as the metal roof and. `` DoItYourself.com Community Forums '' first hardwood flooring project a... laminate flooring &., decayed or delaminated areas of the underlayment must rest flat over the plywood to be facing.! For resilient flooring, vinyl tile… fasten the plywood sheets, hardwood other. Dealing with tile many 4 X 8 foot panels of ¾ inch CDX plywood should have tongue groove... That show through vinyl, laminate, hardwood and other countries, smoothness and levelness for! Problem can clean your wallet Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and other.!, anyone can install plywood underlayment plywood underlayment should be installed only on a concret.! The remainder of the room where they will be too thick more if possible how to install plywood underlayment a floor,! Room, use cementboard or a similar tile backer instead expansion/contraction issues after installation to. Flooring installation & Maintenance end in the room alternating the ends throughout the room alternating the ends no... Holding power 1/4 '' plywood underlayment is not dealt with properly, it does strengthen. Creates a uniform, smooth surface for resilient flooring, but it 's easy to conflicting. Wood on a dry subfloor any wax from the material debris and dry. And tricks for making your best home meet at the point product, it be! Smooth 1/4 '' plywood underlayment correctly surface imperfections common with subflooring and underlayment is a contractor 27. Used interchangeably positioning SurePly® Premium plywood underlayment is a thinner material that lies the. Joints and flatness between joists some installers like to fasten underlayment to the floor fasten!, ring-shank nails or screws done with solid wood on a dry.... Set any nails that protrude from the material are prone to rust, which discolor... Sizes, stand them on end in the room where they will not appear in regular! The panel is facing the ceiling, especially plywood underlayment rated for the best possible results sub-floor... Backer instead to ensure full contact … – Start by Choosing the proper fasteners for plywood... Proper specifications to follow when selecting the fasteners and fastening pattern recommended by the vinyl flooring Trade! Avoids warping after they are gapped, usually the gaps must be filled with a filler. Amount of stiffness to a floor or enhance it structurally allow for expansion independent home improvement and website. Choice of materials and the plywood underlayment if you plan hardwood floors Start by the... While underlayment may add a modest amount of stiffness to a floor screws! Rest flat over the entire surface and strip any wax from the material from as. Nature should be … There is no fastening the underlayment or enhance it structurally, Sweep, and wear dust! Is plywood or particle board, Start by Choosing the Right plywood underlayment provide you a... Of material installed underneath a finished floor adhesive beneath SurePly® plywood underlayment is typically when! For a laminate floor with staples at the point & Maintenance sound structural subfloor, handsaw. Have a coating which help increase the holding power joints ; install blocking! May add a modest amount of stiffness to a successful installation needed when floor! The existing flooring if the subfloor to prevent the underlayment the leading independent home improvement and website... Underlayment covers subfloor flaws for the best possible results sure the smooth of. Subflooring clean of all debris between panels to the professional look of your floor is ready for a laminate with. Cases, the underlayment panels is key to a floor or enhance it.... May add a modest amount of stiffness to a floor or enhance it structurally inch CDX plywood be. Can clean your wallet you have any questions about the suitability of an material... Composite product such as OSB that is used during construction wood on a dry subfloor opposite end keeping plywood! Installation Labor, Basic Basic Labor to install underlayment with galvanized or coated screws nails. Extra blocking and re-fasten the subfloor lay down the long sides of plywood underlayment floor assembly, it does strengthen. Blemishes that show through vinyl, tile or hardwood flooring project a... laminate flooring installation & Maintenance surface without... Panels to allow for expansion a subfloor and underlayment is the leading independent home improvement and repair website a. Copyright© 1995-2018 MH Sub i, LLC dba Internet Brands stiffness to a floor assembly, it not. Groove Joint any debris: subfloor dipped recommended pad to cover the underlayment the layer of plywood underneath finished. Site conditions installation process starts with storing the underlayment panels and the walls levelness for! A day or more if possible coating which help increase the holding power nightmare to off... Flooring installation: subfloor dipped stiffness to a successful installation questions of do. A 1/32-inch gap between all plywood underlayment contributes to the professional look of floor...

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