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Old 02-25-2012, 10:05 PM   #1
MileHighBob
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3/4 vs 23/32 plywood

Hi -

I have been doing lots of reading on this site and it has been very helpful. I am currently replacing part of my floor down to the joists and have decided that in order to reach the right height for a smooth transition from the area I am tiling, I have room for 3/4" ply, which is (thankfully) more than the 5/8" minimum recommend for DITRA which I will be using.

Today I went out to get the plywood and all that Homer and Lowes had was 23/32" CDX. Based on what I have read here, CDX is not good enough, BC or better being recommend.

So my question is, when Monday comes and I call the lumber shops around Denver, should I be asking for 3/4" BC or 23/32" BC? The 23/32" types seem more common, and since it is only 1/32" less than the 3/4" I would think it is pretty similar, but on he other hand I would think the thickest ply I can fit would be best. Maybe this is just a name versus actual type thing similar to 2x4, 2x6 etc are not really 4" and 6".

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:07 PM   #2
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Bob,

If I remember, its there, the BC rated plywood.

Ask an associate.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:13 PM   #3
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I did ask a guy there - he said the only thing they had better than CDX was the sanded high end stuff for making cabinets. I think it was about $35 bucks a 4x8 sheet. I looked online as well and couldn't find much else listed. I was going ot call around just to see if that was a reasonable price.

Oh, and I should also mention that the cabinet stuff the associate showed me was 23/32 - he said the only 3/4 they had was in CDX.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:26 PM   #4
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Welcome, Bob.

Been a long, long time since I've seen a sheet of 3/4" plywood of any kind. Be like finding a 2-inch by 4-inch 2x4 today, eh?

The 23/32nds" is today's "nominal" thickness that will be referred to as three-quarter-inch.

And your guy at Homer's does not have any actual 3/4" CD plywood, either. But that's OK on accounta you don't want any.

And you do not want any of his $35 veneered cabinet plywood, either.

What you want is some exterior glue T&G plywood with no face grade lower than C for your first layer of subflooring unless you wanna be adding blocking at all your between-joist seams.

Your Homer's may or may not stock that. He may have some OSB that would be an acceptable substitute if it says Sturd-I-Floor on it.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:30 PM   #5
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Perfect - thanks CX!
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:44 PM   #6
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Perimeter filler

Hi all -

I managed to find some T&G ACX, I've read that some say this is overkill, but I'd rather spend too much than not enough on the subfloor.

Another quick question: When cutting out the old floor, my circular saw leaves a small perimeter of wood around the edge, which I have read about blocking up in other threads and I'll do that of course.

My question is simply, what is the best thing to use to match up to the height of the 23/32" new ply? I would assume just some 1/4" ply would be best, but didn't know if there was a better method or material to use for those perimeter strips.

Thanks!
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:26 AM   #7
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If you're asking about using 1/4" ply as a filler to help bridge the new 3/4" ply with the perimeter wood, that eludes to your existing subfloor only being 1/2" thick. Is that right?

And glad to hear you know you may need to do some framing and/or blocking before you start removing that subfloor.


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Old 02-29-2012, 12:59 AM   #8
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Yes, that's right - old subfloor is 1/2", 50 yrs old and some of it is water damaged, so I'm just ripping it all out and replacing with 23/32 ACX and then ditra on that. So the 1/4" just needs filler to match height of the new ply. There is about 2-3" off the walls that the plate of my circular saw keeps me from cutting.
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:08 PM   #9
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Technically, neither the 1/2" or 1/4" ply are recommended under a tile installation in your configuration. BUT, if you can get solid 2x blocking under it all, and screw/glue the blocks to the the 1/2" and screw/nail to the joists, I think you'll be fine. If those areas are going to be subjected to traffic, like at a doorway, then use a sawzall/multi-tool to cut those areas out and replace with 3/4 (23/32, 45/64).
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Old 02-29-2012, 03:52 PM   #10
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Bob, the tool that you want to remove the plywood near the edge is either one of those new "multi max" tools ... or a toe kick saw.

The toe kick saws are VERY dangerous. However, you can usually rent one from your local rental shop. Just be very careful with them, because they can get away from you before you can say "oops" and lose a foot or skullcap or arm or something ... it's sort of like working with a chainsaw, just with a higher torque electric motor.

I'd look at the Bosch or (if you're rich) Fein multi-tools. They have an oscillating head and lots of attachments that will let you cut downwards along the walls without having to have any clearance. They're also perfect for cutting under door frames and the like. Either way, I would definitely remove all the old subfloor you can, because you don't want to leave joints that can move and crack the tile around the edges of the room.
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:24 PM   #11
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I'll have to disagree with our friend Karl here. DO NOT use a toe-kick saw. This ain't a toe kick and you've got better and much safer options.
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob
When cutting out the old floor, my circular saw leaves a small perimeter of wood around the edge,
Toe-kick saw is gonna be of no value to him in that application, Karl.

And I disagree that they are particularly dangerous. They just require a bit more attention than many other power tools. Properly handled they are quite useful and don't harm the operator, but they are unforgiving of misuse.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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