DIY Subfloor

A subfloor is needed on the floors of most homes. A subfloor lies just below the carpet, tiling or other floor covering that you have in your home. The subfloor is made of a wood that is very similar to plywood and it is nailed to the joists below it. To create a subfloor you would use a processed wood that in many hardware shops is known as subfloor. In many cases, it is pre-prepared to be used for subflooring.

Depending on your experience with flooring, you may or may not be able to identify problems with your subfloor with little effort. One of the ways that you can recognize a problem with the subfloor under a tiled floor is when a series of tiles begin to crack all in the same region of the floor or very close together.

Subfloor Problems Areas

This would indicate that there is some damage to the subfloor and that it is no longer providing support in the area where the tiles have cracked. It is worth, pulling up a couple of the cracked tiles to look below and see what the subfloor looks like underneath.

On carpeted floor or floors covered in linoleum, you may notice dips in the surface of the floor as you walk over it with bare feet. If you can feel the dips while wearing shoes then definitely, you should take up the carpet or the linoleum to find out what is going on underneath.

Damage to the subfloor is better taken care of sooner rather than later as the problem will only become bigger with time, requiring more time to fix and obviously more money as well. Before going out and buying materials to fix a damaged subfloor, you should do a little exploration to find out what the problem is and what the extent of the problem is. This way, you will know what materials to buy and how much of it.

What you Need

Here are the minimum materials that I recommend you have at hand if you plan on taking on the task of fixing or installing a subfloor:

  • portable circular saw
  • tape measure
  • chalk line
  • chisel
  • screws
  • electric screwdriver
  • replacement wood for the subfloor
  • construction adhesive

It is important to have all of these materials at hand before even starting the job, as well as any materials that you deem necessary for your particular situation.

Rather than pull up the whole floor, figure out what areas of the floor need repair and only cut into those areas. Be sure to cut over the joists when remove the damaged area of subfloor. You will know where the joists are based on where the nails are in the existing subfloor.

Drill a hole into the middle of the area you want to work on to determine the thickness of the subfloor then set your circular saw to the exact depth so that you can cut the subfloor without damaging the joists. Once you have cut out your damaged section, pull the it out with the hole you made previously and cut a piece of fresh subfloor to the exact size to replace it.

Now, if while you have the joists exposed, you notice that there is damage to the joists, it is at this point that you will need to call a professional. Joists repair should be done by a professional. Once they have been repaired, you can then choose whether to continue on with the repair of the subfloor yourself or have the contractor complete the job.

See Also:
Luan Plywood Subfloors