Re-doing floors and wondering: 1) does this make sense, 2) will it work and 3) does my DIY work?

Here's the deal. At this point most, if not all, my floors need to be replaced. The actual floor is partical board (I think that's what it's called) and when it gets wet it soaks up the water and then kinda flakes apart. The kitchen sink had a leak before I moved in and that section needs to be replaced. Under the washer leaked, before I moved in, and it's shot. And now a branch put a hole in the ceiling and besides the ceiling needing to be patched, the floor still got wet and sagging. SO orgianlly I was going to have someone replace the floors with 3/4 inch plywood but last night while my wheels were turning instead of sleeping, I was wondering if I actually need a sub-floor or can I use strips of wood to make a planking kinds floor?? I have no idea what is under the floors but thinking there has to be some kind of support beams to nail the planks to. I thought it might work easier, doing it myself and able to move furniture around as I go. I hope this makes sense. No pictures to show. Thanks as always.
  12 answers
  • 3po3 3po3 on Apr 10, 2012
    Sounds like you've got a mess. It's hard to offer much advice without knowing more about the subfloor, etc., but I think you are better off getting some contractors in there to look at it in person. Even if you want to do this DIY, it wouldn't hurt to get some estimates.

  • Pat S Pat S on Apr 11, 2012
    Yeah, it's a mess. I've already spoken to someone to rip up the floors and replace with the 3/4 inch plywood...but like I said the wheels got turning and I thought if it's do-able, I could move furniture from side to side as I do it. I want wood plank floors in the end so was just wondering about skipping a step and cost.

  • The Particle board definitely has to go. I'd have to know what is under that to make more recommendations. Normally PBd is just an underlayment that is used to elevate of smooth the flooring surface, say for carpet of sheet vinyl. It would notrmally be 1/2" thick and there would be 5/8" or 3/4" ply under it. But there have been some cheaper tract homes built with 1-1/8" Pbd T&G as the entire floor sheething. If you have hot air heat supplied via ducts in the floor, you can lift a register out and see what the cross section looks like. I just notice that you are in FL, the land of house-on-a-slab though...How old is th ehouse? What overall style of construction? Is it up on piers perhaps?

  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Apr 14, 2012
    Plank floors as you mention were very common back in the old days before plywood was available. Hardwoods were often laid on top of the planks. planks to be economical will normally be pine...which as a flooring material is pretty soft. These planks would need to be set perpendicular to you floor joists. The real can of worms however is whether the PB is actually your sub floor and is below your wall shoe (bottom) plates.

  • Pat S Pat S on Apr 16, 2012
    Thank you for the suggestions but this doesn't answer my question because I pulled out the register and the only thing I see is duct work. In a spot that is completely gone, there is nothing but it's not in a space I can see what's holding it up. Just looked in another spot but can't see past the swollen partical flakey board. I can feel some kind of supports but not sure yet what it is. I might be able to see underneath from outside. The look I am going for is: beachy. I thought if "planks" aren't good, I am pretty sure I can have plywood sheets cut plank size at Lowes or Home Depot and then I can get it home too. Oh yeah, it's a mobile home and most have had the floors redone in others in the park. Mine weren't because I bought this from family. In the 70's the manufacturers went from plywood to PB back to plywood. I'm afraid that I won't be able to give you a better answer until I start ripping it up and I don't think I'll be ready till later this summer when I can't do anything outside. Sorry for the delay too but.. I've been working outside too. Thank you again.

  • 3po3 3po3 on Apr 16, 2012
    Let us know when you know. I'm curious.

  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Apr 17, 2012
    You should have mentioned the "mobile home" part up front...these homes are built a lot different than normal "stick" built homes. Your PB sub floor is most likely set on some metal framing that is tied to the main "beam" that run front to back and provide the backbone to the home. If I were to upgrade this as my home I would strip to the supports, install plywood sub, backer board and TILE for the kitchen and bath and hardwood over just plywood for the bedrooms.

  • Pat S Pat S on Apr 17, 2012
    Sorry about not mentioning it up front... I goofed. Could I just ask what backer board is. I'll let you know what I find.

  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Apr 18, 2012
    Backer board is a cementitious product that is used as the substrate for laying tile. Back in the olden days a special form of "drywall" called green board was used. It had a slightly more water resistant paper any tile installed work their salt will use real backer board. The two main type of backer are the "wonder board" type which is a dark grey and very cement like with a fiberglass mesh for the "skins" The other main type and my preferred brand is the "hardibacker" type which is a high pressure composite of cement and fibers. Both of these products are completely water resistant and provide the best base for setting tile.

  • Pat S Pat S on Apr 18, 2012
    okey dokey, I know what you mean just didn't know what it was called... thanks.

  • KMS is right. Now that we know it is a mobile from the seventies, the PB is surely the subfloor and it is attached to steel frame members. The fact that it is deteriorated definitely means it has to be replaced. 3/4" plywood or Huber Advantec is the right material to use for the new subfloor. Here I diverge fro KMS - I would never use real tile in a mobile. Stay with your plank idea. Dry the boars well to acclimate to conditions, and then glue and nail them down. For glue, use PL Premium, or Bostic wood flooring glue

  • Pat S Pat S on Apr 19, 2012
    thank you again.