Homebuilding: Laying Tongue and Groove Plywood


Article by: Mike Merisko

You have just finished framing the first floor , How to Keep Your Tools Useful for Every Season deck for a brand new home , Remodeling Ideas and your ready to start putting down the 3/4" tongue and groove plywood. If you framed it well and got your 16" centers laid out right, the process should go smooth as silk. The key to success is in the framing of the joists.

The first step in laying plywood over the floor , The Top 3 Ways To Look For Replacement Windows Online joists is to snap a chalk line. This gives you a straight line to follow. I always snap this line at 48 1/4" in off the edge of the rim joist. This ensures that in the course of installation the plywood (which is 48" wide) will not hang over the edge of the rim joist. It doesn't matter whether you start in the front or back of the house. , Bathroom Lighting and Home Decor Accessory Ideas For best results, start where you have the longest run without a jog in or out in the foundation.

After you have snapped your line, determine which joist the first sheet of plywood will break. If the joists where laid out 16" o.c. (on center) from the end of the building, , Planning Your Replacement Windows Installation the edge of the plywood would split the joist at 8 feet. Sometimes the roof , Bathroom Lighting and Home Decor Accessory Ideas layout determines the floor , Shower Doors - How to Combine Practicality With Style joist layout. This is usually the case when the roof , Basic Information About Trash Can Liners is a hip roof. , How to Choose a Wood Floor for Your Home In this instance start with the joist that will allow the plywood to cover all the joists, even if it hangs over the edge of the first joist. This will be cut off later.

After you have determined where to start, apply construction adhesive to the top edge of the joists. Apply no more than 48" the width of the plywood. Lay the first sheet in the glue with the groove edge on the chalk line. Holding the sheet to the line, nail , 5 Must Haves For Setting Up A Basement Bar the leading edge of the plywood to the rim joist so it splits the joist. You'll be covering 3/4 of an inch of the joist with 3/4" exposed. Still holding the plywood to the chalk line, put a nail , How to Keep Your Tools Useful for Every Season in the rim joist at the first joist. Now put nails , Guide to Finding the Best Mohawk, Berber, or Carpet Tiles in the rim joist where the floor , 4 Tips for Fireplace Efficiency joists are nailed into it. When nailing off the field these nails , Top 7 Pull Down Attic Ladder Tips can be used as a guide to find the joists.

Now the groove edge can be nailed. On the leading edge, move the joist so the edge of the plywood splits the joist. Once you have the joist where you want it, nail , Bathroom Lighting and Home Decor Accessory Ideas the plywood to it. Now taking your tape measure, hook the leading edge of the joist you just nailed, and pull it along the edge of the plywood. Mark 16" centers on the plywood and pull the leading edge of the joists to this mark and nail , What are the Benefits of Cabinet Refacing? them. This will help keep the joists in line and will help make sure future course of plywood break on 16" centers no matter which joist you start with.

Glue up the joists for the next sheet. Butt the next sheet to the one previously installed, making sure to hold it to the chalk line and nail , Top 7 Pull Down Attic Ladder Tips the groove edge corner. Nail , Slash Utility Bills This Summer With A Whole House Fan it to the rim joist just like the first sheet. Once again move the joist so the plywood splits it. Hook that joist with your tape, mark centers and move the joists to the lines. Keep laying the plywood in this fashion to the other end of the building. , Bed Buying Magic

Your now ready for the next course of plywood. If I've started with a full 96" sheet on my first course, I like to start my second row with a 48" piece. This works great if the building , How to Choose a Wood Floor for Your Home length is in increments of 4 feet (24',28',32',36' etc.). This isn't always the case. If the building , The Benefits Of A Hepa Air Filter is an odd length you can usually use your ending cutoff to start the next course. Stagger the joints a minimum of 32" apart.

Start the next course by gluing the joists. Do not apply the glue more than 4' beyond the first course of plywood. Stand the sheet on its tongue edge next to the groove edge of the sheet you are standing on. Make sure its butt edge is lined up on the joist it is breaking on and let it fall , Slash Utility Bills This Summer With A Whole House Fan into the glue. As it hits the glued up joists, step on it and try to pull it in with your foot. Only under the right conditions will the tongue go completely into the groove. Sometimes the sheet can be jumped into the groove. This involves standing on the sheet and jump with force towards the the sheets in the previous row. In most cases it takes a sledgehammer and a 4' to 6' 2x4 beater block to persuade the sheets together. The block keeps the groove edge from getting damaged by the sledge. This is a two person operation. One stands on the tongue edge of the plywood to guide the sheet into the groove while the swings the sledgehammer. This will be the process for the rest of the installation.

Once the piece is in place, , A Study of Furniture Elements For Smaller Bedrooms nail , Guide to Finding the Best Mohawk, Berber, or Carpet Tiles off the tongue edge, making sure the leading edge is breaking on a joist. Move the joist so the groove edge breaks on the joist. Pull 16" centers from that joist, mark the plywood, move the joists if necessary, and nail , Ceiling Fans – Some Essential Facts to Consider them off.

To keep the joists at the ends of the building , An Introduction To Garage Doors straight, do not glue or nail , How to Combine Styles in your Decorating Scheme them. Ideally we'd like the plywood to be hanging over the ends. After all the plywood is in place, , Boilers snap a line from one corner to the other and cut this over hanging plywood off. Move this joist to the cut edge to make it straight and nail , Home Remodeling Ideas it off.


-Field can be nailed as you go (recommended to set sheet in glue) or after all plywood is in place. , Adding Sofa Slipcovers Is A Quick And Easy Way To Give Your Home A Makeover

-do not glue more than 4' out from sheet. Keeps glue off your tape when you pull centers.

-When nailing groove edge, nail , Dried Flower Wreaths Keep Nature's Beauty Alive at least 2" from edge to keep from collapsing groove.

-Before installing plywood, check for damaged grooves and tongues.

Mike Merisko (c) 2006
About the Author: Mike Merisko has been a carpenter for 26 years. Most of those years were spent in the homebuilding and remodeling industries. He was also in business as a carpentry and general contractor. , Top 7 Pull Down Attic Ladder Tips While that is his forte, he also has experience in bridge building, , 5 Luxuries to Add to Your Home When You Remodel commercial construction, and exhibit building , The Top 3 Ways To Look For Replacement Windows Online which is how he earns his living these days. You can browse through articles by him and others at his website http://www.sawkerfs.com or visit his blog at http://www.sawkerfs.blogspot.com

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