subfloor for new wood flooring

Replacing carpet with 3/4" hardwood. Under the carpet is a mix of old floors, including lineoleum and maple in bad shape. Solid subfloor (doug fir planks---old house).
I can't do 1/2 or 3/4 inch plywood then 3/4" flooring---makes the floor way to high. What about 1/4" plywood for a nice flat surface, then nailing and stapling through flooring, through 1/4 and into original subfloor? Most manufacturers require 3/4 inch plywood beneath flooring.
Engineered flooring is an option, but I'd prefer 3/4" for my historic house.
Thanks. B.
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You are correct, most manufacturers want 3/4" plywood as a base. One of the main reasons why is because installers do not take the care to hit the joists with the staples, having 3/4" inch plywood allows for decent hold when the staples miss the joists. I would add 1/4" plywood for a nice smooth surface and then lay my hardwood and trying hard to ensure I hit the joists with my staples. It takes a little more time but I assure you it is well worth the extra effort as floor squeaks will be non-existent for the most part. Be sure to lay the paper barrier between the plywood and hardwood.
bks wrote:

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On Wed, 22 Feb 2006 06:58:11 -0500, <bks> wrote:

Installing 3/4" hardwood over a poor substrate or subfloor is an invitation to a squeaky floor and other defects. I don't see where 1/4" plywood under the new floor is likely to do much more than raise the floor by 1/4".
The best installation would be to tear out the old subfloor and install a new 3/4" T&G subfloor. That would be a big job probably.
Rather than installing the 1/4" plywood layer, I would think about working with the existing subfloor to make it as level and as sound as possible, then put down a layer of felt paper and install the hardwood directly to the existing floor.
If you use a pneumatic stapler and staple it tightly enough, the floor should turn out reasonably well. Try to run the flooring perpendicular to the existing joists. If you can't install blocking no more that 24" oc between the joists.
Good luck
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