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Unread 11-30-2019, 10:32 AM   #1
orf
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18 gauge staples for subfloor?

I'm working on a house built in 1960 and I pulled up the old 3/4" subfloor (underlayment) because it would have placed the tile way to high when transitioning to the adjoining hall floor. Now I have to lay 3/8" plywood over 3/4" pine subfloor. It's not a huge room about 140 sq feet but I'd rather not nail the floor down. Would an 18 gauge narrow crown stapler with 1" or 1 1/4" staples work? I don't want to buy a 16 gauge because I'd never use it again. I plan on screwing 1/4" cement backer board on top. That would add a lot of screws that would further secure the 3/8" to the pine subfloor. Thanks for the help
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Unread 11-30-2019, 11:20 AM   #2
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Welcome aboard, Orf.

I wouldn't recommend staples at all. In fact, I would first screw down all your pine, and then screw down your 3/8th" ply (1/2" would be better), with the long edges perpendicular to your joists.

Speaking of joists, have you run the calculations to ensure the joist structure will support a ceramic tile installation? Unsupported length, joist size, center-to-center? Also, what are the dimensions of your pine? Tongue and groove? 90* to the joists or at an angle?

This picture illustrates why I wouldn't use staples. I hammered this nail home about 3 years ago. Yes, it's subject to more extreme temp variations but still.
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Unread 11-30-2019, 12:03 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum, org!

Glad you found us here before you’ve proceeded because I think you’re veering down a path you’ll regret. I’d also recommend temporarily backing up to assess something else (the pine planks). We like to give awesome advice that is specific to your situation. So...

1) Can you tell us the condition of your pine plank subfloor? Perhaps a picture?
2) Are the planks secured well to the joists, or are they a little loose or rocking at all?
3) And can you tell us if the planks are running perpendicular to the joists or are they on a diagonal? This directly affects the minimum required thickness of ply you’ll need.

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Unread 11-30-2019, 01:06 PM   #4
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1/2" plywood is the minimum thickness for going over planks. And that's assuming the planks are perpendicular to the joists, not diagonal.

That's also assuming your planks are in good condition and well attached to the joists.

If your joists are adequate to support a tile installation, you could reduce the height by removing the planks altogether, and replacing them with 3/4" plywood. More work, but gets the results you're wanting.

What is the joist spacing?
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Unread 11-30-2019, 06:36 PM   #5
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Also, when installing the cbu, make sure to read and follow the installation instructions. ALL of them require thinset underneath the cbu, then, you can either use hot dipped (not electroplated) roofing nails or the appropriate screws (the screws are possible to get flush, the nails won't be, making spreading the thinset messy as the trowel catches on them).

If you want to save an 1/8" or so, you could use Ditra instead of the cbu over the new plywood. That should bring you back to the same elevation as the 3/8" ply you planned while using the industry standard minimum of 1/2".
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Unread 12-01-2019, 09:12 AM   #6
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Thanks to all for the heads up. The pine boards are 1x12's. They run perpendicular to the 2x10 joists. It would be easy to rip the boards up but difficult to replace since the walls are built on them. They are rock solid and jumping on them gives no feeling of movement or deflection. If 1/2" is the way to go then 1/2" it will be. I was thinking about Ditra but isn't it the same thickness as 1/4" cement board? I have removed 3/4" so I'd like to keep things as close to 3/4 of an inch as possible including the ceramic tile. I do have a roofing nailer but nails are not galvanized. I hadn't considered using it but is that a possibility for the plywood subfloor and not just cement board?
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Unread 12-01-2019, 09:32 AM   #7
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Ditra is only 1/8” thick. And no, roofing nails are insufficient for installing plywood.

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Unread 12-01-2019, 09:46 AM   #8
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You'll want to use deck screws for securing the plywood to the pine boards. You could use screws as short as 1 1/4" for that.
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Unread 12-01-2019, 07:10 PM   #9
jadnashua
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Roofing nails can be used with some CBUs on the flooring, but the qualification about hot dipped versus electroplated still applies...never said you could use them for plywood...
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