More in Floors
Materials and Tools:
soft mallet and tapping block
A bad or uneven subfloor can ruin the look of new hardwood. Before you install, your subfloor must meet four basic requirements: clean, level, dry and structurally sound.
Start by removing existing baseboards, molding and flooring.
Fill dips in plywood subfloor with leveling compound.
Use a long level to check the floor for level.
Loose or squeaky boards should be screwed tight.
Use utility knife or sharp screwdriver to identify damaged wood.
With chalk line, mark spots to be cut out.
Use carpenter's square to square replacement areas.
Cuts parallel to joists must be fall on top of joists.
Nail heads will show location of joists.
As an alternative, cut beside joist and nail 2x4 to side for attaching new plywood.
Locate wiring and plumbing.
Set saw blade 1/4 inch deeper than subfloor and cut along chalk lines. If damage is too near wall for saw to reach, cut subfloor with hammer and chisel.
With pry bar, remove damaged plywood.
With butcher paper, make templates of areas to be replaced and trace onto new plywood.
Cut out new plywood sections. New plywood must be same thickness as old.
Apply construction adhesive to exposed floor joists.
With drywall screws, screw new plywood to joists.
Fill gaps with wood putty and sand smooth.
Check clearance at doorways and transitions to make sure floor will accommodate hardwood.
Tip: Some types of hardwood flooring must be acclimated to installation space for up to 48 hours.
Nail shoe molding to wall, not floor.