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Can You Put Hardwood Over Plywood? (How To)  

To improve the look of your home, it is quite possible to put hardwood over plywood, but you’ll need to make sure that the plywood is clean, smooth, and flat.

If necessary, sand or plane the surface to remove any imperfections or unevenness.

Install hardwood flooring over plywood by preparing the surface, adding a moisture barrier, and securing the hardwood to the plywood with nails or a stapler. Cut the boards to fit around obstacles as needed, and finish with trim to cover the expansion gap and give the floor a finished look.

installing hardwood floor

After checking and preparing the plywood, install a moisture barrier such as a vapor barrier or moisture-resistant underlayment over the plywood. This will help protect the hardwood from moisture and reduce noise.

To install the hardwood, begin by installing the first row of hardwood along a straight edge, such as a wall. Make sure the edges of the boards are aligned and the gaps between the boards are consistent.

Use a hammer and nails or a flooring stapler to secure the boards to the plywood. You can then continue installing the hardwood, working your way across the room.

Use a tapping block and a hammer to tap the ends of the boards together, ensuring a tight fit. If necessary, use a jigsaw to cut the boards to fit around obstacles like doors or pipes.

When all the hardwood is installed, you can finish the job by installing trim around the edges of the room. This will cover the expansion gap and give the floor a finished look.

Should You Put Hardwood Over Plywood?

installing hardwood floor

It is possible to install hardwood flooring over plywood, but it may not be the best option in all cases.

Installing hardwood over plywood may cause flatness issues, increased moisture risk, reduced strength, increased noise, and reduced lifespan. Plywood may not be as strong as other types of subfloors and may not be able to support the weight of the hardwood and any furniture or appliances.

Copyright article owner is ReadyToDiy.com for this article. This post was first published on December 28, 2022.

One potential issue to consider when assessing plywood floors is flatness. Plywood is not always as flat as other types of subfloors, such as concrete or particle board.

If the plywood is not flat, the hardwood may not lay flat and may be prone to damage. Another issue to consider is moisture. Plywood is more prone to moisture damage than other types of subfloors, and if the plywood becomes wet, it can warp and cause problems with the hardwood installation.

Another potential problem is that plywood is not as strong as other types of subfloors, so it may not be able to support the weight of the hardwood and any furniture or appliances placed on top of it.

Hardwood installed over plywood may also be more prone to noise, such as squeaking or creaking, compared to hardwood installed over a concrete or particle board subfloor.

Finally, hardwood installed over plywood may not have as long of a lifespan as hardwood installed over other types of subfloors.

What Tools Do You Need To Put Hardwood Over Plywood?

Tools for floor

To install hardwood flooring over plywood, you will need a range of tools to ensure a smooth and successful installation.

To install hardwood over plywood, you’ll need a moisture barrier, a nail gun or flooring stapler, and nails or staples. A tapping block protects the hardwood, and a jigsaw, measuring tape, and pencil help to cut accurate sections. A chalk line and a pneumatic finish nailer may also be necessary.

Here is a list of tools that you may need when installing hardwood flooring over plywood:

  1. Moisture barrier: A moisture barrier, such as a vapor barrier or moisture-resistant underlayment, is necessary to protect the hardwood from moisture and reduce noise.
  2. Nail gun or flooring stapler: You will need a tool to secure the hardwood to the plywood. A nail gun or flooring stapler can be used for this purpose.
  3. Hammer and nails: If you are using a nail gun, you will also need nails. If you are using a flooring stapler, you will need a hammer to tap the staples into place.
  4. Tapping block: A tapping block is a tool used to tap the ends of the hardwood boards together, ensuring a tight fit.
  5. Jigsaw: A jigsaw may be necessary if you need to cut the hardwood to fit around obstacles, such as doors or pipes.
  6. Measuring tape: A measuring tape is necessary to measure and mark the hardwood for cutting.
  7. Pencil: A pencil is useful for marking the hardwood for cutting.
  8. Chalk line: A chalk line is a tool used to mark a straight line on the floor, which can be useful when installing the first row of hardwood.
  9. Pneumatic finish nailer: A pneumatic finish nailer may be necessary if you are installing trim around the edges of the room.

What Preparations Do You Need To Put Hardwood Over Plywood?

installing hardwood floor

Installing hardwood flooring over plywood can be an easy DIY project, but it’s important to properly prepare and gather the necessary tools and materials to ensure a smooth and successful installation.

To successfully install hardwood over plywood, check the condition of the plywood, install a moisture barrier, measure the room and mark any obstacles, gather necessary tools and materials, and clear the room. Proper preparation helps ensure a smooth and successful installation.

Before you start installing hardwood over plywood, it’s important to make sure the plywood is in good condition.

Check to see if it is clean, smooth, and flat and if there are any imperfections or unevenness, you may need to sand or plane the surface to fix them.

You should also install a moisture barrier, like a vapor barrier or moisture-resistant underlayment, over the plywood to protect the hardwood from moisture and reduce noise.

Next, measure the dimensions of the room to determine how much hardwood you’ll need. Don’t forget to measure and mark any obstacles, like doors or pipes, to make sure the hardwood fits around them properly.

Make sure you have all the necessary tools and materials on hand before you start installing the hardwood, so you can work efficiently.

And finally, clear the room of any furniture or other items to make it easier to work, and cover nearby surfaces with drop cloths to protect them from dust and debris.

By following these preparations, you can set yourself up for success and end up with a professional-quality hardwood floor.

How To Put Hardwood Over Plywood 

confused woman standing

It is possible to install hardwood flooring over plywood if you follow a few simple rules and make sure that the plywood is not rotten.

To successfully install hardwood over plywood, check the condition of the plywood, install a moisture barrier, measure the room and mark any obstacles, gather necessary tools and materials, and clear the room. Proper preparation helps ensure a smooth and successful installation.

Here are the steps you can follow to do it:

  1. Prepare the plywood: Make sure the plywood is clean, smooth, and flat. If necessary, sand or plane the surface to remove any imperfections or unevenness.
  2. Install a moisture barrier: Install a moisture barrier, such as a vapor barrier or a moisture-resistant underlayment, over the plywood. This will help protect the hardwood from moisture and help reduce noise.
  3. Install the hardwood: Start by installing the first row of hardwood along a straight edge, such as a wall. Make sure the edges of the boards are aligned and the gaps between the boards are consistent. Use a hammer and nails or a flooring stapler to secure the boards to the plywood.
  4. Continue installing the hardwood: Continue installing the hardwood, working your way across the room. Use a tapping block and a hammer to tap the ends of the boards together, ensuring a tight fit. If necessary, use a jigsaw to cut the boards to fit around obstacles, such as doors or pipes.
  5. Install trim: Once all the hardwood is installed, you can install trim around the edges of the room to cover the expansion gap and give the floor a finished look.

It’s important to note that installing hardwood over plywood may not be the best option in all cases. For example, if the plywood is not flat or has a rough surface, the hardwood may not lie flat and may be prone to damage.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on December 28, 2022.

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