Currently Reading

10 Common Subflooring Installation Mistakes—and How to Avoid Them

Advertisement
Sponsored Content Construction Quality

10 Common Subflooring Installation Mistakes—and How to Avoid Them

A refresher on mistakes to avoid when installing subflooring


May 20, 2019
LP Legacy Subflooring

Subflooring is fairly straightforward to install. But careless errors—whether due to inexperience or simply lack of focus—can impact the performance of the subflooring as well as the finished floor above, leading to movement and squeaks.

Here’s a back-to-basics refresher on common mistakes installers make and easy ways to avoid them.

  1. A Crooked 1st Row: A crooked first row of subflooring will lead to inconsistent spacing along the tongue-and-groove profile, negatively affecting the effectiveness of the joint. Always chock a line 4’ in from the foundation edge, used as a guide for the first row.
  2. Installing Panels Upside Down: For a proper match-up between the tongue-and-groove profiles, install panels with the logo and other markings facing downward. Look for the stamp that says, “This Side Down.” This also allows inspectors to read the trademark stamp from below in the event of a field inspection.
  3. Improper Spacing: Butting panels too tightly doesn’t allow room for the natural expansion and contraction that occurs with wood products, which can lead to buckling or raised joints. Most manufacturers recommend a 1/8” (0.125”) gap between the panel 4’ ends and 8’ edges. Some subfloor products, such as LP Legacy® premium subflooring, feature a self-spacing tongue-and-groove profile that produces a gap just under 1/8” along the edges.
  4. Over-Driving Panels: Over-driving panels can lead to a damaged T&G profile. Always drive from the groove side, using scrap wood (e.g. 2’x4’) between the hammer and profile. Stop when the tip of the tongue touches the back of the groove and avoid excessive force.
  5. Using the Wrong Fasteners: Inadequate fasteners can lead to unwanted movement in the subfloor. We recommend the use of code-approved nails or screws to ensure a secure hold between the panel and support members (refer to LP or APA product installation instructions).
  6. Improper Fastener Placement: Using too few fasteners can affect the stability of the subfloor, and fastening too close to panel edges can lead to splitting and a poor hold on the panel. Drive perimeter fasteners 3/8” (0.375”) back from the nearest panel edge and space them 6” on-center along panel edges and 12” on-center along center supports.
  7. Gluing Too Far Ahead: It’s tempting to lay down many beads at once. But if it skins over, the panels won’t adhere properly. For best results, work no more than one panel ahead. Also consider applying a small bead inside the groove to help reduce movement and noise.
  8. Delaying Fastening: Similarly, waiting too long to fasten the panels can also affect adhesion. Completely fasten each panel, as you go, to avoid future movement and noise.
  9. Letting Water Stand: For some subfloor products, standing water can lead to swelling, so be sure to sweep it off or drill drainage holes. This is less concerning for a premium product like LP Legacy, with superior moisture resistance that reduces the need for edge sanding, even in extreme conditions. LP Legacy panels also feature self-draining notches along the panel ends.
  10. Storing Panels Improperly: Leaving some types of panels exposed to the elements before installation may lead to damage and swelling. Always store panels in a clean, dry area and off the ground. Cover panels with plastic sheets or tarps; keep the cover open and away from the sides and bottom of the panels to allow for air circulation.

 

LP Legacy Sub-Flooring

A well-installed subfloor is one that homeowners can forget about after moving in. Avoiding these common errors helps ensure your flooring system is stable, quiet and reliable for years to come.


And consider a product like LP Legacy® premium subflooring, which boasts superior moisture resistance and a combination of strength, stiffness, and density that contributes to better fastener holding and less deflection, for a more solid feel underfoot and less likelihood of nail pops and movement. Learn more at lpcorp.com/legacy.

 

Written By
Senior National Product Manager for OSB and EWP

Kelly Harmon is the Senior National Product Manager for OSB and EWP for LP Building Solutions. He is one of LP's most experienced industry and product experts, having spent almost twenty years in sales, marketing and management roles for leading building products manufacturers.

Related Stories

Construction

The Leading Cause of New Home Structural Failures? Fill Dirt

As the leading cause of new home structural failures, fill dirt is one of the most important structural elements of a home. And when fill dirt…

Sustainability

Building for Sustainability, One Block at a Time

The 2021 Sustainable, Healthier Home kicks off with a cost- and labor-efficient structural system 

Sponsored Fort Worth Front
Products

Building a Custom Home With Safety and Energy Efficiency in Mind

There is a growing movement in the construction industry towards the use of concrete instead of wood when building a new homes’ envelope. An…

Advertisement
Advertisement

More in Category




Advertisement
Advertisement

Create an account

By creating an account, you agree to Pro Builder's terms of service and privacy policy.


Daily Feed Newsletter

Get Pro Builder in your inbox

Each day, Pro Builder's editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Save the stories you care about

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

The bookmark icon allows you to save any story to your account to read it later
Tap it once to save, and tap it again to unsave

It looks like you’re using an ad-blocker!

Pro Builder is an advertisting supported site and we noticed you have ad-blocking enabled in your browser. There are two ways you can keep reading:

Disable your ad-blocker
Disable now
Subscribe to Pro Builder
Subscribe
Already a member? Sign in
Become a Member

Subscribe to Pro Builder for unlimited access

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.