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Ask The Doc A Question!

Question:

Hi,

I am having my building contractor install Bruce Hardwood flooring...contractor is saying that it is OK to lay down hardwood on OSB and that I do not need to upgrade subfloor to plywood. I know this goes aginst what you are saying but what are the pitfalls of OSB. Remember Bruce hardwood apparently is also agreeing with my contractor that OSB is ok as a subfloor when applying hard wood strips. (They are nailing hardwood & not using any glue) What are your thoughts on this matter? much appreciate you help and advise on this topic.

thanks

Ken

Answer:



Dear Ken

Oh boy here we go again with the old OSB / Plywood debate. I stand firmly on the 3/4" plywood or pine board subfloor side of this issue. I am not interested in what works well in the short term. My hardwood floors are going to last 100-300 years because I refuse jobs that are to be installed on the OSB. And I have lots of research to back this up. Studies done by a famous wood science university, and lots and lots of antidotal information. Plus a web site of an OSB manufacturer themselves, which shoots holes in their own argument. Oh, also a class action lawsuit involving a mass failure of this product made by a well known southern lumber baron. This material has a really checkered past. That all said, I felt so strongly about this negative effects of this product, I wrote another Strip Floor article, meant to influence the minds of the professional floor installers. I don't care to influence Bruce or your builder, they may be stuck in their past habits. I devoted about a third of this article to the pitfalls of this material.

As always your Most humble servant, Joseph, the Wood Floor Doctor.

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3. Plank Floor: What Special Considerations This Type Of Floor Raises

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