I'm installing 1 3/4 t&g osb for a basment floor on 2x4 sleepers. This
is my first subfloor project.
How do I get the tongue of one 4x8 sheet to mesh with the groove in the
adjoining one? Pushing doesn't seem to do it (although I found out
that construction glue is really, really sticky), and hammering just
smashes the hammered side. Kicking it didn't work.
I'm wishing for something like a come-along that would PULL the two
sheets together, but I have no idea if such a thing exists.
I'm doing this myself, so I'm wondering if the normal method is to have
several beefy guys just lean into each sheet to make it snap in. If
so, the damn book neglected to mention that in the "needed tools" list!
Maybe use a hydraulic jack to push, & a 6' 2x4 along the edge?
The usual method is to use a scrap piece of the T&G edge. mate it to
the big sheet then pound on the the scrap. You can do the same thing
by scabbing something to the sleepers back a bit and then prying
againsst the t&g scrap. It helps to have a helper who can step on the
edge you are trying to mate to make the t meet the g right.
Place a 2x4 flat along the "hammer" side of the OSB. Hit the 2x4 with a
sledgehammer. Take care not to get overly aggressive with your hammering.
Most subfloor panels specify 1/8" gap at all sides for expansion.
You'd think that, wouldn't ya?
However, if you nail it tight and it gets wet, the wood will try to swell.
If it has room, it will expand in the gap you left around the edges. If you
left no edge, it will expand anyway, raising the seam, and probably
delaminating the sheets.
Then you call the supplier to complain of this horrible product he shipped
and demand that it be replaced. So he sends the rep to your jobsite and
thirty seconds later the rep shows you the stamp on the panel that says to
maintain 1/8" gap.
After the rep leaves, you learn how difficult it is to remove screwed and
glued sheets of subflooring.
Therefore, although it may "defeat the purpose," I follow the instructions
as much as possible.
I will bet that you mean 1-1/4" as I have never heard of
1-3/4". But to get back to your question, lay a 2x4 along the
free edge, then tap the sheet into the groove with a sledge
hammer. Doesn't take much effort.
For future installations, I always use the tongue as a leading
edge and tap the groove onto it. It is easier to install that
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