Replacing Subfloors

In the lives of many homeowners, there comes a time that you will be replacing subfloors in your home. There are some handy tips that you can follow for replacing subfloors in your house to make the entire process easier. The subfloors are the areas underneath your regular flooring that you see on a day to day basis.

With traffic throughout out your home, moisture and simple age there comes a time that replacing subfloors is much simpler than trying to redo the entire flooring. Subfloors can experience termite damage, flood damage or just normal wear and tear.

Claw Hammer Time

When you see an area of the floor that is sunken or not level anymore, you will more than likely need to replace the subfloors underneath. The primary thing to note is if you can readily taken out with a claw hammer, it ideally should be replaced. The most common places that subfloors need replacement are in kitchens and bathrooms. This is because of the high level of both traffic and of moisture in these rooms.

Removing Flooring

The first step for replacing subfloors is to remove the upper flooring in the area. Whether it is hardwood planks, tile, or vinyl, do this as carefully as possible so that you can either replace with the original upper flooring or have a minimal amount of new upper flooring to purchase.

Next, you need to find the supporting beams of the subfloor and determine if they need replacement. More than likely they will. Remove the subflooring with the appropriate tools such as jig saws, hand saws or reciprocating saws. Remove only a few of the supporting beams at a time after you have taken off the flooring pieces. Replace the supporting beams as they are removed making sure that the joist and seam areas are securely in place.


The next step for replacing subfloors is to actually replace the flooring pieces after you have put in new support beams. Work on small sections at a time to make certain that everything is back to its original condition. If the area is exceptionally wet due to flooding or heavy moisture, allow time for the area to dry out some before you replace the flooring over the support beams.

You can even apply several coats of sealant over the wood to protect for the future. If you use the sealant, allow it to cure and dry for a minimum of 48 hours before you replace the top flooring.

Another option is to place a thin layer of polyurethane over the subflooring once you have repaired it before replacing the top flooring. When the subfloor is replaced, you can then put back on the top floor and feel assured that your home project was a terrific success.