Introduction

Plywood is the most common type of subfloor in new homes. Plywood is rated for use, based on whether it’s for interior or exterior applications, and what type of material you plan to use for the finished floor. Available in standard sheets of 4' x 8', your work will be easier if you minimize the number of cuts you need to make to cover the floor. Lay out your floor carefully before you start attaching sheets to the joists. Also, plan the layout so that the cut edges are against the perimeter of the room. Make sure the sheets are spaced evenly and butt each sheet tightly.

Step 1

Snap Guide Line Across Floor Joists for Plywood

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Plan Layout

Lay sheets of plywood measuring 4' ? 8' across the floor joists, starting at one corner of the room. Make sure the edges parallel to the joists fall on the joists. In addition, make sure that the sheets are spaced evenly, butt each sheet tightly, and run a circular saw set to the depth of the subfloor between the sheets.

Step 2

Apply Adhesive Then Lay Down Boards

Use a chalkline to create a line across the floor joists to mark the position of the first sheet of plywood.

Apply a consistent bead of construction adhesive on the floor joists. (This will help prevent a squeaky floor once the finished floor is installed.)

Lay the first piece of plywood on the chalk line. Keep the wood about 1/8" away from the walls to allow the material to expand.

Drive nails in every 6 inches along the joists. Screws or staples may also be used.

Step 3

Cut the Boards to Size

To cut plywood to size, use a pair of sawhorses and 2?4s to create a stable cutting station.

Using a circular saw with the depth of the blade at 1/2" deeper than the plywood sheet, cut the plywood to size.

Step 4

Lay the Rest of Boards

Lay additional pieces of plywood, inserting the tongue into the groove joints of each piece of plywood.

Use an extra piece of lumber as a smash block to protect the plywood tongue. Smash the additional pieces of plywood in place so they are joined together tightly.

Step 5

Check Butt Joints of Plywood Flooring for Level

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Check for Levelness

Check the butt joints of each piece of plywood to make sure the floor is level. If a sheet is raised, drive extra staples (or nails) to force the sheet into place. Using a flat trowel, cover all of the seams and fasteners with reinforced flooring patch. Sand the floor smooth with a hand sander.