Replace Floorboards with Plywood?

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by James Benson, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. James Benson

    James Benson New Member

    A room in the house is being redecorated including new flooring. The old floorboards are very creeky and need to be replaced. I believe they are screwed in timber planks. Possibly from the 1970s.

    Would it be possible/recommended to replace like-for-like with timber plank floorboards or would sheets of plywood be a better choice?

    The final floor may be carpet or engineered wood, it hasn't been decided yet.
  2. jackelliott07

    jackelliott07 Active Member

    Just screw any creaky/loose floorboards down, if any are badly damaged, replace them. Replacing all of the boards is expensive and probably a waste of money. Depends on how badly damaged they are of course, but i don't think it's worth it especially if you're carpeting.
    rogerk101 likes this.
  3. raidingkilt

    raidingkilt Member

    You can get new floorboards in most flavours, there’s some nice engineer oak ones!

    If you old ones are in good condition, the creaking can prob be got rid of by glueing and screwing them to the floor joists, as well as to each other. If you use a good joist glue there should be no creaking.
  4. James Benson

    James Benson New Member

    Most of the floorboards are creeky, yeah. I'm happy to pay to get them all replaced now with the peace of mind that I won't have to worry about them in the future.

    Just wondering on what different it will make to replace them with new timber planks or plywood section.
  5. rogerk101

    rogerk101 Screwfix Select

    I would stick with planks rather than plywood.
    Rationale: Most of the strength of a plank is when it spans from joist to joist with its grain perpendicular to the joists. Plywood is made up of several layers of wood where the grain of each layer is perpendicular to the layers above and below it. This means that only half of the layers of the plywood are in the right direction for maximum strength, i.e. perpendicular to the joists. The other half are parallel with the joists, so provide very little strength.
    Bottom line is that even cheap, fast grown softwood T&G planks will give you a more solid subfloor than a really expensive plywood.
    That assumes you'll be carpeting or laying a floating floor on top of the subfloor.
    By contrast, if you were going to lay tiles on the subfloor then T&G chipboard is probably better ... not because it is stronger (it isn't), but because it expands and contracts equally in all directions with changes in temperature and humidity. This is not the case with planks, which expand much more in their width than they do in their length.
    James Benson likes this.
  6. James Benson

    James Benson New Member

    End of discussion. Thank you.
  7. Mr Rusty

    Mr Rusty Screwfix Select

    There is one other consideration to replacement not mentioned - you find out where your services are. Adding extra screws to an existing floor is always a gamble.....
    rogerk101 likes this.

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