Advice on removing particle board subfloor

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Topic by kokako posted 01-13-2013 10:36 AM 20390 views 1 time favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 2913 days

01-13-2013 10:36 AM

I have a house that I’m renovating that unfortunately has a particle board sub-floor.

Ideally I’d like to remove the particle board and install good ply, but the problem is that the particle board runs under the walls…both the interior and exterior…

Obviously I could cut the ply as close as possible to the walls and then screw an over lapping strip of ply underneath.

Is this the best way to go? How much over lap?

In the bathroom, I must remove it as the bath was leaking and the sub floor has completely fallen through…

Any links to books or diagrams would be very much appreciated..

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


13 posts in 2253 days

01-16-2013 05:23 AM

Not good at all that the particle board runs under walls! Over time, particle board can crumble, meaning your walls will shift. It’d be nice to be able to place some solid-wood shims under the walls every 16”, but that’s not very practical to try. Maybe a clean cut that’s as close as your circular saw can get to the wall is all you can do, and the ply you place is the same thickness. Good luck!

-- A liberal’s disdain for corporate greed is only matched by a conservative’s distrust of unrestrained government.

View GaryL's profile


206 posts in 3029 days

01-16-2013 07:51 PM

Is it particle board or OSB?
If it’s OSB, and still sound, I would leave it and only replace the areas that have been compromised.
If you cut as Smitty suggests then you’ll need to add framing under the cut to support those edges as well as your new ply. An overlapping piece of ply would not be sufficient.
Glue and screw to avoid squeaks in the future.
I’ve replaced to many nasty bathroom floors that were rotted by the tub and toilet. It just takes some time to do the framing properly to be sure that everything is structurally sound. It not just tearing it up and laying new ply.

-- The difference between a pro and an amateur, an amateur points out his mistakes

View MarcioWilges's profile


28 posts in 1603 days

12-15-2014 09:40 AM

Is there any way possible for the removal of the particle boards? It would be better to install a more sturdy floor layering as compared to a particle board supporting your floors. If you are not able to remove them, then the method you suggested earlier which is to overlay them with plywood is definitely a good move. If you are not entirely confident, get a professional to help you instead of risking the entire floor from collapsing.

-- Marcio Wilges @ http://www.platinumremovals.com.au/

View SebastianB's profile


2 posts in 1093 days

03-23-2016 12:21 PM

Why does it run under the walls? That’s not good.
As the others said, your best shot is to make a cut as close as possible. Good luck.

Best regards,
Sebastian Barnet from Strong Move House Removals

View SebastianB's profile


2 posts in 1093 days

06-23-2016 08:01 AM

Have you found another way to move it?

Probably the guys at Man and Van Best Move can help?

View tony845's profile


1 post in 956 days

08-05-2016 01:47 PM

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View Amir33's profile


2 posts in 955 days

08-06-2016 11:36 AM

I agree with ha.!

View dylan05021986's profile


1 post in 911 days

09-19-2016 08:50 PM

Great advice from people here in this forum i also had the same issue.

Dylan from Man and van London

View DIYDan's profile


1 post in 795 days

01-13-2017 10:50 AM

Hi Kokako.

Your suggestion of cutting the the ply as close as possible to the walls and then screwing an over lapping strip of ply underneath isn’t a bad call. I’ve been in the same situation when particle board runs underneath like this. It’s not easy. Good luck. Dan Henderson from Alexanders Home Removals

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3 posts in 155 days

10-16-2018 12:15 AM

Good to know particle boards can’t run through walls. I actually considered that at one point.

-- buying a house without a realtor https://instaoffer.io/

View MoshupTrail's profile


39 posts in 2460 days

10-17-2018 10:45 PM

1. Framing is ALWAYS put in on top of the subfloor.
2. If your house was built in the last 30 years the floor is probably OSB – see Gary’s comment. BUT – if the bathroom wetness caused the floor to crumble, maybe it IS particle board.
3. So the real question is why? I was advised not to try to install a hardwood floor over a particle board subfloor once. Makes sense. Hardwood needs a solid surface to nail in to. If you just want a little more strength, you could just layer plywood on top of the particle board. And glue it.
4. If you just want to replace the floor in the bath, then do that.
5. Only if the subfloor is visibly crumbling under the wall framing would it make sense to do anything. And even then, if it’s just a small place maybe not – depending on how the wall is supported. If the wall is running perpendicular to the floor joists, then you only care about those spots. The rest of the subfloor isn’t really supporting anything. If the wall is parallel to the floor joists, then you do care but only a bit. It’s not likely it’s load bearing in this case – unless it’s directly on a floor joist. But in that case it’ll have plenty of support.

So I would say don’t bother unless things are really bad. In that case you might end up doing a LOT of work. I think it would be very difficult to put in shims under the wall and on top of any joists. I’d try a piece of plywood the exact thickness of the original particle board.

Good Luck!

-- Measure twice, cut once.

View Design59's profile


5 posts in 67 days

01-11-2019 03:17 PM

It should not run under the walls. I recently had the same problem in a rental house that was not discovered until after I bought the house. It has caused some of the walls to shift over time.

-- Table leg and Component Vendor, NC, https://www.design59furniture.com/

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