For the house we're having built, it's time to build the floor deck.
I'm not doing the work, but I'm curious... What's the better method
for building a floor deck? ...nailing the floor boards to the joists
with glue or construction adhesive? ...or screwing the floor boards to
the joists without glue? My builder told me that they typically screw
the boards to the joists without glue, but my brother told me that he
has always nailed the floor boards to the joists with construction
adhesive. Which is the better technique? Will screws without glue
work well, or will we end up with squeaks? (I think this is 3/4" OSB
on top of 14" engineered joists.) Please advise. Thanks! - John
Hey John. Crossposting in this instance would not have been a bad
thing. Everyone would get to see the replies and they wouldn't bother
posting if the same advice had already been given. It also makes it
marginally easier for you to read the replies (depending on your
We use construction adhesive on all floors, tack them down
with nails, then go back and screw everything down. You can
screw them down without adhesive, but the little bit of extra
cost is good insurance in my book. If you nail them down
(which I detest), then use ring shank nails and adhesive.
So I'm getting the impression that screws+glue is *DEFINITELY* better
than nails alone. But it sounds like screws by themselves, even
without glue, is a pretty decent technique, too. Would you say that
screws alone is just about as good as nails+glue?
This is what I mean about the crossposting. I answered this for you
already. From my reply to your post in alt.architecture:
"Nailed and glued is better for typical stick-built framing. If you
could assure very dry framing lumber, thereby eliminating most
shrinkage due to moisture loss in the wood, the screws would be as
good. Since you're going with engineered joists and OSB, it's a toss
up. I'd tell the builder to use glue and screw it. Cheap insurance
and he doesn't have to change his fastening method and tools."
And this is the response I gave in alt.architecture:
I've recently seen a new floor installation method that uses a strip of
closed cell foam tape on top of the joists instead of glue. The sheathing
is then put down using #8 screws on the same pattern as one would use 10d
nails. The foam has adhesive on one side and a slick surface on the other
to make sliding the sheathing into place easier. I'm told that the
adhesive on the foam works better on wet surfaces than the normal
construction adhesive and unlike glue won't spread to surfaces where you
don't want it. This floor is good and solid and does not squeak.
Bob Morrison, PE, SE
R L Morrison Engineering Co
i nail and glue my subfloors. have had only one squeaky floor, and
that was because the owner/general contractor covered it with a half
assed sheet of poly during a very wet spell during construction and it
got VERY wet (plastic trapped more moisture than it repelled). i just
started using the new foam subfloor adhesive applied with a
"professional" foam gun. really like how fast and easy it is.
Bob Morrison wrote:
Hi Bob, I believe a #8 screw has a root diameter of 0.112" while a 10d
nail has a diameter of 0.148". So presumably the #8 screw has a lower
shear strength. If so, does this difference matter in earthquake
The screw steel is harder and less ductile than that of a nail. You
should never use drywall screws to attach the subfloor - deck screws at
the least. If you're building in earthquake and hurricane territory,
or the screws will be experiencing significant shear, the screws should
be rated like those Bob mentioned.
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