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Will ripping out hardwood floors ruin the subfloor?

Posted by threeapples (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 27, 12 at 21:13

Our hardwood floors have not settled down yet. We cannot wait forever and I'm starting to think the only solution is that they are replaced. How on earth will pulling out floors that are nailed and glued down not ruin the subfloor? My husband said the subfloor cannot be replaced because it is screwed and glued into our supportive beams and we do not want to rip the subfloor off the beams and compromise the integrity of them. I'm kind of nervous. Does anyone have experience with this?

And, please no remarks about my builder--I'm dealing with that on my own, right now I just want to learn about what damage putting new floors in will cause. thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Will ripping out hardwood floors ruin the subfloor?

my husband just said they were not glued, just nailed down.


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RE: Will ripping out hardwood floors ruin the subfloor?

I don't think you have a choice...

FWIW, I thought anything wider than 4.25" needed glue.


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RE: Will ripping out hardwood floors ruin the subfloor?

I'm hoping you'll hear from someone even more knowledgeable, but I am thinking if it does "ruin" the subfloor, you won't need to tear out the subfloor, but rather just put another (thin) layer of sheating on top.

But, I don't think it should wreck it too bad, if taken out in the right direction. Normally hard woods are nailed in at an angle. If you pull them up at the correct angle, it should not tear things up too badly.


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RE: Will ripping out hardwood floors ruin the subfloor?

Not a big deal at all if the subfloors are plywood.


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RE: Will ripping out hardwood floors ruin the subfloor?

" I thought anything wider than 4.25" needed glue."

For what?

Nails wit tongue and groove flooring work fine in any width.
you CANNOT stop the wood from changing width with humidity.

Not even with glue.

As long as the removal crew uses reasonable care it should not damage sub-floor significantly.


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RE: Will ripping out hardwood floors ruin the subfloor?

If your choices are a dinged up subfloor (that'll never be seen again) vs living with improperly installed cupped 5" floorboards, the answer seems clear.

This is the flooring company and your GC's worry, not yours. What are they telling you?


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RE: Will ripping out hardwood floors ruin the subfloor?

"My husband said the subfloor cannot be replaced because it is screwed and glued into our supportive beams and we do not want to rip the subfloor off the beams and compromise the integrity of them."

If your builder needs to rip up three layers of construction to fix a problem caused by his subs, then that is what has to happen. Why is your husband taking the side of the builder (who, of course, wants the easy/cheap/quick fix)??

Houses get taken apart and put back together, for many reason, all the time. Get the floors you paid for. Don't settle for less.


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RE: Will ripping out hardwood floors ruin the subfloor?

Also it seems unlikely that replacing the subfloor is impossible. People do this as part of renovations all the time. I replaced/repaired part of the subfloor in my last house, a ~50 year old ranch. I didn't have to tear out any framing to do it. Sure the wall framing ran over the subfloor in many places, but the subfloor was just cut close to the walls and replaced. The contractor did a good job making it all level. You couldn't tell the difference once hardwood had been laid over the top of it.


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RE: Will ripping out hardwood floors ruin the subfloor?

"I replaced/repaired part of the subfloor in my last house, a ~50 year old ranch."

That many years go sub-floors did not get attached to engineered joists.

Most only had nails holding them to 2x lumber.


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