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Thread: subfloor replacement questions

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member yarg28's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Default subfloor replacement questions

    we recently moved into a 45 year old bi-level home. The kitchen had several low spots and we were wanting to put a nice wood laminate down so I'm trying to get the subfloor prepared.

    I all ready have the center of the subfloor cut out and the joists appera to be in good condition. No cracks, no splits, no water damage. It looks like with a little shimming I will have a decent shot at a relatively flat floor.

    My concern is that I currently have the subfloor cut to about 12" away from all of the walls. I'm not sure how much closer i can go. I'd like to replace as much of it as possible but i'm not confident in my knowledge to move forward.

    Do i need to add any bracing to the exterior walls? I dont see how the sub floor can be carrying much of the load of the exterior wall but im also not a structural engineer. I dont want my kitchen wall to fall off. Am i being to concerned?

    Are there any guidelines on how close I can cut before I have to worry about the load?

    Any recommendations on bracing techniques if they are needed?

    thanks for the help.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    The exterior, load-bearing walls are sitting on something below, so you can tear out the subfloor right up to that edge. If you've already torn out some of the subfloor, you should be able to look under there and verify that - might take a mirror and flashlight to get a good view, though. An interior wall may be loadbearing or not. You'd need to know which way the joists run. If the wall is running the same way as the joists, it is unlikely to be a load bearing wall, but you'd need to be careful as cutting out the subfloor without messing up that wall would want you leaving the subfloor spanning the joists around either side of that wall. Because when you replace the subfloor, you won't get it sitting and be supported on the edges, you may need to add blocking or sister a joist to have enough thickness to support the new pieces. Adding construction adhesive on the joists when installing subflooring really adds to the integrity of the subfloor. If you have a sag in a joist, you could sister a straight one next to it. This both adds strength, and give your subfloor a flat place to sit.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014


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