Anytime someone is installing new flooring, whether it is carpet, wood, vinyl, or laminate, the floor beneath should be as level as possible. Of course each type of flooring will be have its own varying degree of flexibility according to the material, and for small trouble areas, a cement patch will be sufficient. But the best guarantee is to install a new particleboard subfloor.
Depending on the amount of angles, it can be an easy job, but if it becomes necessary to make a lot of difficult cuts, remember to take your time, measure twice (if not three times or more), and cut once. (Of course you can make a couple of small cuts to insure a snug fit.)
1. If necessary tear out any rotten or old preexisting subfloors because there is nothing worse than a home with floor build up. You will be much happier with the job if you take the time to remove the old floor. (Do not remove the existing flooring down to the rafters unless wood rot has been discovered.)
2. Before installing each sheet, cover the bottom with lines of Liquid Nails. Start in the middle of the room and lay down full sheets where possible. To maintain the strength of the floor do not lay the boards next to each other, creating a constant seam–stagger them so that one sheet begins halfway through the other.
3. Using a nailgun is the best and fastest method, but a handheld staple gun will work–as long as it holds large enough staples. (This can also be done with screws, but make sure whichever type is used that they are flush or beneath the surface.) Secure the seams every four inches, and the center every six. The rest of the floor can be laid accordingly.
4. For difficult cuts, use a jigsaw. But sometimes–as in the case of heater vents–it is just as easy to install the sheet and knock out the hole with a hammer–JUST DON’T FORGET.
5. If your tape-measuring skills leave something to be desired, sometimes it is best to lay the board on the ground and mark it with a pencil.
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