If you have an older home there's a good chance you have one by six diagonal floor sheeting and some of the knots have fallen out by now. Some of these large knots can create safety hazards for your home. Performing major remodels or whole house renovations on older homes you can run into quite a few problems with these kinds of wood floors.
One of the first things I do is remove the carpeting and padding. This exposes the floor sheeting for further examination. By the time I am done with all the plumbing and electrical repairs underneath the subfloor it seems that some of the 1 x 6 has been damaged. Your first thought of course is just to replace the 1 x 6 that is damaged and be done with it.
This is one way to approach the problem, another is to repair the 1 x 6 that was damaged and install half inch plywood over the existing floor sheeting. Please make sure the floor is level and has no humps or dips in it before you start installing the new plywood over the existing floor sheeting.
I ran into a problem like this on one job where the contractor was in a hurry to finish the flooring and chose to go right over the existing floor that was out of level. The bad part about this is when the homeowner chose to go with expensive wood flooring throughout his home. When you walked in to the front of his house you felt like you were going out to a small wheelchair ramp for about 10 feet and then of course it felt like you were going down for another 6 feet.
In order to repair this properly it would've taken the other contractor about 24 hours to repair the floor. In this case the homeowner would have been glad to pay for the repair after the fact. Sometimes when contractors mention a potential problem down the road and how much it will cost to repair that problem, most homeowners cannot see the value in the contractor's opinion at that time.
I felt sorry for the homeowner because this was not what he wanted and he was upset with the contractor but the job was done. This is my warning to any contractor, handyman or home repair specialists. When installing a new plywood floor over an existing floor to strengthen it up, use some common sense and repair the floor correctly or don't do the job at all.
Greg Vanden Berge is working on the internet to promote the education for creating simple to follow guides and home building books to help professional building contractors as well as the weekend warriors. He is currently working on more Building and Remodeling Library and adding useful content to help solve problems created by the lack of construction knowledge in the building industry.
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