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Old 03-03-2009, 06:33 PM
2 posts, read 13,089 times
Reputation: 10


I just learned about this site through another flooring question I saw on Google so decided to try putting my question out there. We appreciate any direction you can offer.

We are replacing the kitchen floor in a small, older (1950s) home that has been vacant awhile. The vinyl tile was separating at the seams so we removed it (the vinyl tiles) and found the particle wood layer (per the Internet think this must have been but down in the 60s or 70s) was damaged from leaks. So we removed the particle wood layer and got to the plywood layer. We found the area where the washing machine sits was in really bad shape so we removed the plywood layer there. We then found that the tongue and groove layer is rotted in this area.

We have decided to go ahead and pull up all of the plywood to make sure there isn't additional damage that we aren't aware of - the plywood condition looks good everywhere else but just a little wary and figure it will be easier to get the same thickness consistency by starting with a fresh slate from this level up.

Our main question is after fixing the necessary tongue and groove level, would it be advisable to paint a sealer on this level (the entire floor, new and old part) so it doesn't get damaged or have potential rot issues in the future? And then instead of doing a 3/4" plywood level and 1/2" particle board level, we are thinking of doing a 7/8" plywood level - would anyone advise us against this? And then we are planning to seal this level too. Is there a certain sealant people would recommend, especially with the Dallas area's high propensity of mold? After all of this is done, we are planning to then put down vinyl tiles again.

This is a little fixer upper/1st experience with flipping. The new kitchen floor may out last the house but figure better to be safe than sorry.

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Old 03-04-2009, 07:54 AM
37,315 posts, read 59,511,430 times
Reputation: 25330
I suggest that you check a site called GardenWeb - The Internet's Garden Community on the links for building a new house or the flooring link or the remodel link
there are very knowledgeable people on that site all the way around--you get contractors/builders/people being the GC for their own homes/ and newbies asking for info...
you have to join to post a question but you can read/search w/o doing that...I don't think I get any spam from posting there...
I suggest the building a new house forum first because that is where most of the people hang out--that and the kitchen forum--and the others sometimes don't get as timely a response to a query...but do a search for info and you will probably get quite a few hits...I learned an awful lot about home construction aspects over the past 4 yrs or so...

Building a Home - GardenWeb
Flooring - GardenWeb
Remodeling Forum - GardenWeb
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Old 03-04-2009, 11:12 AM
Location: East Tennessee...but TEXAS is still HOME!
102 posts, read 428,009 times
Reputation: 64
Although this isn't a home repair site, I can offer some help for your situation.

First, get rid of ALL of the particle board and DO NOT replace it. It is not a structural component and is not required by code. (FYI: There are 2 main reasons why particle board was ever used on floors to begin with; 1. It was easier to cover up pre-existing rot and damage with a layer of cheap particle board than repair it properly. 2. A new smooth, flat surface was needed to install new vinyl tile or other floor covering.)

Second, the next layer of plywood is the original underlayment. This was originally installed to create a smooth, flat surface to install flooring on. This is the layer you need to repair and replace. This is the layer your finish floor will be installed on, so it needs to be pretty flat and smooth. Since you have already found some rot near the washer, it would be adviseable to check for rot anywhere else there may be a water, ie: sinks, drains, air conditioners, etc. It probably isn't necessary to remove all the plywood in all areas unless you suspect there may be damage.

Third, the sub floor (Tongue and groove layer) needs to be repaired and replaced. And if water has been leaking for a long time, it is very possible that the floor joists need to be repaired or replaced as well. It is not necessary to apply a sealer to these materials. Just make sure there are no leaks to begin with. No moisture, no rot.

However, if there is a lot of moisture in the crawl space, you need to take measures to prevent future rot and/or mold. The first step would be to insure there is adequate ventilation to the crawl space. Make sure there are enough vents around the house to properly ventilate the crawlspace. Usually, one about every 12 feet or so is sufficient. Second, if there is a lot of moisture rising up through the ground, you should consider covering the entire crawl space with a moisture and vapor barrier. These measures will help prevent damp, stale air from accumilating, which creates rot and mold.

Finally, if you have ANY DOUBT WHATSOEVER in your abilities or knowledge of construction, please, PLEASE use a qualified contractor. There is so much to understand about the building and remodeling process that IS NOT SHOWN OR DISCUSSED on these confounded flipping shows that many well intentioned, but ill informed "flippers" quickly get in over their heads. Then they end up cutting corners, using illegal building practices, and using the cheapest of the cheap materials to create the "illusion" of a beautiful home. Just remember, a pile of sh$t covered up with a pretty hat, is still a pile of sh$t.
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:45 AM
2 posts, read 13,089 times
Reputation: 10
Dixierambler and Lovestoread,
Thanks so much for your responses. I realized later that I got my web forums confused but we pretty much did everything dixierambler suggested but forgot to think of the venitilation. Will double check the vents today.
Thanks bunches - really appreciate the help! Hope to have this house finished and for sell to a first time buyer next week!
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:31 AM
Location: East Tennessee...but TEXAS is still HOME!
102 posts, read 428,009 times
Reputation: 64
Originally Posted by kimcool View Post
Hope to have this house finished and for sell to a first time buyer next week!
Glad to hear you're about finished. I would love to hear about your experience flipping this house. You know, surprises, inspections, profits, etc. Was it as easy as you thought it would be? Do you have any background in construction?
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