So, I want to redo the floor in a cheap little cabin. The subfloor is
particle board, covered with linoleum tile, subsequently carpeted.
I've removed the carpet and tile (shingle rake was helpful for that).
The particle board has gotten wet in some places and softened and
gotten lumpy, and doesn't smell very good. I'm thinking of trying to
seal it with some sort of paint or varnish or something, before
putting a plank floor on. Something that would soak in and harden and
restore some integrity to the soft spots, and seal in the musty
smell. Anyone have an idea as to what might work, or general advice
on dealing with particle board subfloors?
Is it adequate simply to replace the soft lumpy section (about 6 sq. ft.
near the sink in my case) or do you advise replacing the whole
underlayment? What material is best to use under vinyl tiles instead of
Paul in San Francisco
That's what I'd do. I strongly recommend putting a sealer over the
entire subfloor to minimize these problems. I used Zinser's BIN
(pigmented shellac) but polyurethane is probably better.
I prefer plywood, but under vinyl many people prefer the smoothness of
particleboard. NOTE that you are going to need to fill the entire floor
so it is perfectly smooth -- no nailholes, chips, stuck on bumps, etc.
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I have tried to repair damaged particle board on cabinets and counter
tops - it is trash. Once wet, in my experience, it is a pile of
sawdust. I would tear it up and replace - moisture barrier and marine
grade ply? I'm no expert on plywood, but have had my share of floods,
damp conditions, etc. If the cabin is without heat or AC for periods of
time, I would also try to finish the ply to keep moisture out. Top off
your work by caulking around perimeter of the floor, so the next
leak/flood is contained. Enjoy :o)
On 12 Jun, 22:51, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Devil's Advocate checking in...
Determine the cost of replacing the entire floor with plywood,
finishing the plywood and caulking around the perimeter and compare it
to the value of the cabin itself. Is it worth it?
Consider the condition of the rest of the cabin. Are there other parts
of the cabin that are also poorly built and will need repairing in the
near future? If cost effective, it might make sense to include those
"uprades" as part of this project. If not, it might not make sense to
put extra money into upgrading the entire floor in an otherwise crappy
Consider the construction method of the cabin. Are the exterior walls
built on top on the particle board subfloor and if so, what is the
condition of the particle board under the exterior walls? Will you be
replacing the interior floor section, while the integrity of the
building itself is in question because the floor under the walls is
At the highest level, I agree with everyone else that a particle board
subfloor sucks and that it should all be replaced with plywood. On the
other hand, the cost of the new floor has to be weighed against the
value of the building (before and after) to see if it makes sense.
If I was worried about moisture, I'd go cement board. But if the OP
just replaced the particle board that was bad, and used sheet vinyl
instead of vinyl tiles, just making sure the edges were well glued, I
doubt he see any more problems.
The local radio commercials for Reeds Ferry Sheds:
Claim that unlike the Big Box sheds, their sheds don't use particle
board floors, because when particle board gets damp it becomes........
Fall apart-icle board!
(Worth a drum roll and rim shot, eh?)
On Jun 12, 10:51 pm, email@example.com wrote:
but floor of particle-board. In this context, linoleum, carpet,
does not count as flooring.
3/4" of plywood/whatever for the only flooring would be kinda
cheap and bouncy. I'd go for nothing less than double-layer.
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