Wood Sub Floors | Types of Wood Sub Floors

Types of Wood Sub Floors


Filed Under Wood Sub Floors

Over the years wood sub floors have progressed through an evolution of preferred materials and now we even see some builders reverting to the old styles for their more rustic projects. If you are working on or thinking about a restoration or repair project involving wood sub floors you can expect to find one of the following varieties.

Dimensional Plank Lumber

Dimensional plank lumber is the form of wood sub floor most often found in older homes. The plank wood sub floor is usually 3/4 to 1” thick and four to eight inches wide. These boards will normally be installed on a forty five degree angle to the frame and nailed to the floor joists.

Plank wood sub flooring is often used today in timberframe construction for second floor floors and first floor ceilings. The exposed nature of the timberframe home allows the open ceiling to show the plank wood sub floor. These exposed wood sub floors are treated as a finished refinement and are stained and finished along with the other exposed wood elements of the structure. These plank wood sub floors are usually built with two inch thick lumber, however.

Particle Board Sheets

For a period of about twenty years from the late 1960s to the early 1990s, particle board was considered an acceptable material for wood sub floors. The particle board ended up being an inferior option and was discontinued. Unfortunately, it is very common to come across particle board sheeting when having to do repairs on wood sub floors.

Plywood Sheets

Since the late 1980s to early 1990s the predominant wood sub floor material was accepted to be plywood sheeting. The plywood sheeting used for sub floors is available in various thicknesses from 5/8” to 5/4” with ¾” usually being sufficient for most installations. Ply wood sub flooring now often has a tongue-and-groove edging to allow for better interlocking and less problems with squeaking or lifting.

While there may be a few unique instances of other types of wood sub floors, they are extremely rare and you almost certainly will not run across them. If you happen to find yourself with a question not answered here, feel free to contact us by email and we will do our best to get you an answer.

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