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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Default Installing new hard wood flooring on a floor with no subfloor

    I have a 1913 house in Richmond, VA and would like to install Brazilian Cherry hardwood flooring in some of the house. However, as was common at the time, the house has no subfloor; the hardwood floor of the time was installed directly over the joists. I know there is "character" in the old flooring, but its just not what I want. Should I remove the layers of linoleum and tiles and then remove the original hardwood flooring in that area, install a plywood subfloor, and start building from there? Or should I install a subfloor of some sort over a particular layer of the current flooring? Or none of the above? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Installing new hard wood flooring on a floor with no subfloor

    Quote Originally Posted by failte7 View Post
    Should I remove the layers of linoleum and tiles and then remove the original hardwood flooring in that area, install a plywood subfloor, and start building from there? Or should I install a subfloor of some sort over a particular layer of the current flooring?
    These are the two options that I would consider.
    Remove all layers to get down to the orginal flooring --- evaluate the condition --- re-fasten as needed ---- apply a rosin paper overtop of the original floor layer then lay the new flooring perpendicular to the direction of the orginal.
    When you get down to the original flooring and it's in bad shap structurally then pull it up --- lay plywood for the sub floor and lay the new on top.
    Last edited by canuk; 05-02-2010 at 04:20 PM.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Default Re: Installing new hard wood flooring on a floor with no subfloor

    Oh, I should add a qualification to that. The space I want to re-floor is a fairly narrow hall. So the new hardwood floor would realistically need to go parallel to the existing floor, which appears to be STRUCTURALLY in decent shape. And I've heard that it can only go perpendicular, as you say, which would not look good. So if I want to go parallel, what should my preparations be? Thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    nova scotia, canada
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    Default Re: Installing new hard wood flooring on a floor with no subfloor

    if you want to go over the existing, you put down 1/4" underlay just to provide a slightly more even surface and then rosin paper.

    from there snap a chalkline parallel to the wall your going to work off. this line should be 3 courses of flooring away from the wall. now screw down strips of 3/4" plywood so that you can use the flooring stapler on your first course of flooring, a bead of construction adhesvie for the 1st course isnt a bad idea, after that just staple. when you finish to the wall take up the 3/4" plywood and insert a spline in the groove of the 1st course then go back towards the starting wall, glue the tongues on these course and hand toe nail through the tongues down to the old floor, predrill everything then use construction adhesive underneath to help lock down the closing course
    fire up the saw and make some dust

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    The Great White North
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    Default Re: Installing new hard wood flooring on a floor with no subfloor

    Yep -- as Mr. Kirk spelled out.

    The other thing to consider is the condition of the original flooring -- if it cupped then it will be a pain to try and achieve a good surface to work with.

    The reason you would lay the new strip flooring perpindicular is for strength and better fastening -- but if you have sheathing it doesn't really matter.

    Just be mindful of the height of the flooring in relation to the other rooms.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    3

    Default Re: Installing new hard wood flooring on a floor with no subfloor

    Thanks for the suggestions.

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