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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a friend with a floor problem.

He had a home for sale and while it was for sale there was a water leak in the line to the refrigerator. The maple floors were removed and replaced with mullican pre-finished maple. The new floors were stapled down to the 3/4" osb.

Roofing paper was used on top of the 3/4" osb, but i don't know if it was 15 pound or 30 pound.

The problem now is that floors are squeaky as hell. You can see some pieces of floor move up and down as you step on it.

My friend hasn't paid the general contractor yet. He contacted them and the flooring subcontractor and they first told him the humidity was too high. Mind you this is in iowa in the winter. They took a humidity reading and decided the humidity was too low and it should be brought up to 40% to see if that would stop the squeaking.

He turned on the humidifier and took it up to 40% and beyond and kept it there for 3 weeks and it had little or no effect.

I'm thinking the 3/4" osb was compromised when the flooding took place and also when the ruined floor was removed.

We don't know if the installers put in a staple every foot or every 6 inches.

Any thoughts on how to proceed?

My friend is thinking about having them screw it down from below and has even ordered some magnets to identify the problem spots. But there are a lot of problem spots.

Total square footage is about 400 square feet and meets up with the front door, staircase upstairs, staircase downstairs, and carpeting in other rooms. This area is comprised of the entry and kitchen.

He got a new kitchen out of the flood somehow too, so these are sitting on the new floor.

Thanks in advance for the help.
 

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it was probably T&G OSB?

you need to establish if its the floor or the subfloor..


what was the condition of the subfloor after rip out?
how long after leak was floor ripped and how long was it exposed?

was the subfloor dry before the new install took place? any cupping evident?

bottomline no one can assess this that isn't on site.

you can hire an independent inspector.

first the obvious..
shim the OSB at the joists..Drive them in every 6 inches or so as needed.
see if this helps..if not..its the flooring

if you see boards actually moving then my guess is the floor in underfastened or they are not holding which can happen in OSB

how wide is the flooring?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the quick reply.

I have my friend beside me now.

The OSB is T&G.

The OSB is a single layer subfloor. This is common in these parts for new construction.

The condition of the OSB after floor removal was that there were some divots where the nails were pulled and some joints were swollen, but it wasn't crazy bad.

The leak was discovered after max. 3 days. It wasn't a huge leak. There was no standing water. The drying process was started and after 3 days the floor was removed.

Seven weeks later the new floor was installed. Was it acclimated in the house? We don't know.

The entry (far from the kitchen) wasn't affected.

He thinks the width of the new floor was 2 1/4".

He says the floor was acclimated for maybe a week, but it was in boxes stacked on each other.

Thanks for the quick reply.

We're leaning towards undernailing as well and the condition of the osb is questionable.

As you say, if you weren't standing beside the guy doing the install, you don't know how good of a job was done.
 

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I'm not a flooring contractor....just a GC.... and I've never (and will not probabkly) put nail/staple down hardwood over 3/4 OSB.

I did in one of my own properties put down stapled pre-finished 3/4 on a OSB Sturdy floor(think it's 1 1/8) with 2 1/2 staples.... I did add screws to the OSB and I think I used 30 lb felt (because I had an extra roll)... and I did staple the **** out of it.

It has performed fine for 5-6 years (still know the buyers)

I'm not fond of OSB for anything but carpet.... in my case I had to match my living room flooring to hardwoods in the rest of the house, without adding more sub-floor.


Don't like to say it.... but I've heard a temp fix if it is the hardwood sqeeking (not the subfloor) is to douch it with talcom pouder... work it into the TnG,,, and sweep it up.

Just commenting.....
 

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Uggh. I think I'm going to vomit.

This is either a nailing schedule issue or a milling issue.

Neither is difficult to determine.

Moisture has dick to do with it. The anger of the Acclimation Fairy who protects all wood installations is not a factor either.
 

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Thanks for the quick reply.

I have my friend beside me now.

The OSB is T&G.

The OSB is a single layer subfloor. This is common in these parts for new construction.

The condition of the OSB after floor removal was that there were some divots where the nails were pulled and some joints were swollen, but it wasn't crazy bad.

The leak was discovered after max. 3 days. It wasn't a huge leak. There was no standing water. The drying process was started and after 3 days the floor was removed.

Seven weeks later the new floor was installed. Was it acclimated in the house? We don't know.

The entry (far from the kitchen) wasn't affected.

He thinks the width of the new floor was 2 1/4".

He says the floor was acclimated for maybe a week, but it was in boxes stacked on each other.

Thanks for the quick reply.

We're leaning towards undernailing as well and the condition of the osb is questionable.

As you say, if you weren't standing beside the guy doing the install, you don't know how good of a job was done.

the floor was removed for 7 weeks before new install?

was the subfloor squeaking then?

undernailing and milling can be an issue..the case in milling would be sized groove but unlikely.

knowing if the subfloor squeaked prior to install is important.

the leak had to be bad enough to warrant a 400 sf replacement..

the subfloor could very well have been compromised then.



I know of a situation I recently visited..over 2000 sf brand new install squeaking like mad and movement..all over OSB..4 inch plank..

I think there is a fastener holding issue..it does exist..curious to know how the first floor performed before flood and rip out
 

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Paul
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Uggh. I think I'm going to vomit.

This is either a nailing schedule issue or a milling issue.

Neither is difficult to determine.

Moisture has dick to do with it. The anger of the Acclimation Fairy who protects all wood installations is not a factor either.
I'm with you... I'd lean toward a nailing issue if it is showing movement when being walked on. Not to mention Mullican is typically a pretty good product in my experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the replies guys. We're done with dinner now and will reply.

The floor did sit for 7 weeks before the new maple was installed.

Must emphasize that the first floor was fine.

I think the reason why the entire floor was replaced was to match it all up.

The subfloor was not squeaky before the install. It seems to be attached fine to the joists.

Looks like we have determined it is either the new floor wood or improper floor (milling).

I was thinking the osb could have been compromised during the removal process and we would do good to put 1/2" of plywood on top of it. This of course would cause problems with the transitions.

So lets move on to the solution.

You guys think to remove it all and start over and make sure there is a nail every 6" or what?

Screw it from the unfinished basement below?
 

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Thanks for the replies guys. We're done with dinner now and will reply.

The floor did sit for 7 weeks before the new maple was installed.

Must emphasize that the first floor was fine.

I think the reason why the entire floor was replaced was to match it all up.

The subfloor was not squeaky before the install. It seems to be attached fine to the joists.

Looks like we have determined it is either the new floor wood or improper floor (milling).

I was thinking the osb could have been compromised during the removal process and we would do good to put 1/2" of plywood on top of it. This of course would cause problems with the transitions.

So lets move on to the solution.

You guys think to remove it all and start over and make sure there is a nail every 6" or what?

Screw it from the unfinished basement below?
ok..

first flloring installed with nails or staples as well?

reasoning is to try and eliminate or narrow down.

I have been in wood flooring 24 years now.

I have only once in my life encountered an improperly milled material ( from a reputable manufacturer) not lumber liquidators..
some may argue the "reputable" on Bruce..but they do make a good product

it was a Bruce I believe at the time but can not confirm as its been too long.
this was about 15 years ago..noticed it right away once install commenced.

knocked in maybe 40 sf before the install was scrapped.

materials were replaced and no issue..it does and can happen..but once in 24 years highly reduces the idea.

is fastening the issue..well yes I believe so..but I think it maybe a hold problem..not a number problem.


every excessively squeaky sub floor I have encountered has been OSB..there are known manufacture deficiencies and qualities produced due the manufacturing process..

do a little homework on the issue and you will see it truly exists.

another issue can be broken tongues..but that may to cause wide spread squeaking? unlikely?

maybe you can pull a few boards and take a look.

regardless..
whoever did the install or contract
ed the install is responsible to remedy
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Those guys left after dinner now.

Bottom line is that they had a good floor and insurance and are entitled to another non squeaky floor.

I don't think the tearing out and re-install helped the integrity of the osb, not to mention the water damage (localized).

I would absolutely hate to start cutting out and replacing the floor sheathing and scraping or sanding the adhesive off the joists.

I don't know if the original floor was nailed or stapled.

Like you said, I guess it will come down on their insurance company, who will come down on the general contractor, who will come down on the flooring contractor. For all we know, the flooring contractor told the general that it wouldn't work and were told to shut up and do the install.

Thanks for the input from everyone.
 

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How old is the OSB? I remember NOFMA wouldn't warranty naildown on OSB until a few years ago when companies like Advantech could prove their gluing processes met some standard or another (my CRS is kicking in). Get some round magnets to see where the fasteners are. My bet is they had the pressure on their guns too high (splitting tongues), nailed too far apart, and skip nailed. Can you look under the floor to see fastener penetration?
 

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NOFMA doesn't offer warranties. Only recommendations. If its 3/4 OSB, there's no reason to assume that's the problem. Millions of square feet are on it right now without event. Plenty more is on 1/2 inch CDX with no ill effect.
 

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You're aware that's an acceptable method that's done on commercial jobs all the time right? I mean there are requirements to be met first but it's not some insta-hack certification if it's done.
 

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NOFMA doesn't offer warranties. Only recommendations. If its 3/4 OSB, there's no reason to assume that's the problem. Millions of square feet are on it right now without event. Plenty more is on 1/2 inch CDX with no ill effect.
theres every reason to assume just as much as assunings its a material milling issue.

there are many known problematic OSB subfloors..

just like there a plemnty of moisture problems, plenty install errors..plenty material issues.

there is usually always more success but doent negate the facts or problematic sites or jobs.

I stick to my guns here.
he says its T&G OSB..the number one problem.
says there was joint sweeling.another problem

subfloors got wet..another problem

everything was fine before the leak and now not.

cold it be installer error? sure
could it be material milling ? sure.

could it be OSB? absolutely. Logically the facts presented lead to one direction strongly, but do not eliminate other possibilities.

its widely accepted that OSB is not a best choice for subflooring under wood or any floor for that matter...it does not offer the fastener holding power of plywood or plank.

when wet it becomes compromised shrinks and usually shrinks away from fasteners that it was installed with.

Logically the first choice is subfloor.
 
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