Step by Step: Installing a Floating Subfloor

Hf1008 Sbs Main

When I worked in New York and New Jersey, soundproofing never seemed to be an issue, but here in Miami, it's extremely common. It's usually required in high-rises, and we also do a lot of soundproofing in two-story homes (the truss construction used here can be noisy without soundproofing). This project was a two-story home in South Florida. About 95 percent of homes here have a concrete slab on the first floor; some older homes have crawlspaces. The second floor can be a 4-inch slab or plywood over trusses 24 inches apart. In this case, it was trusses and 5/8 -inch plywood. Our clients specified that they wanted soundproofing to minimize the sound from the second floor; the only way to do that with solid wood flooring was to lay our soundproofing using a "floating subfloor" method, consisting of one layer of soundproofing, two layers of 3/8 -inch or 1/2 -inch CDX or equal plywood, and wood floors nailed over the floating subfloor to create a complete floating floor system. (For more on soundproofing, read "Underlying Truth" in the August/September 2008 issue of Hardwood Floors.)

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