Should I Use Subfloor Adhesive?

Q:  I’m laying down subfloor and everything I read says to use adhesive with the subfloor.  Now, I don’t remember this from years past.  Is this a new-fangled thing that completely blows…or should I consider doing this?

A:  Nice, but not necessary.  Call me lazy, call me cheap, but I think you can get by without subflooring adhesive.

I agree that subfloor adhesive is a cool little addition to your new floor.  There are two main reasons why you might use subflooring adhesive:  1.)  if you’re afraid of the floor squeaking; 2.)  If you need an ultra-stiff floor for some special reason.

Gosh, what kind of “special reason”?  You tell me.  Is a piano room?  Plan on installing a 1 ton floor safe?  Is this your personal ballroom?

I really can’t imagine why you need to squirt subfloor adhesive–because that’s extra work for very little return, and we don’t like that.

Subfloor Adhesive
Subfloor Adhesive

Now, if I had hired a builder, I would damn well make sure they used subfloor adhesive.

Applying Subfloor Adhesive

  • Squirting it on every joist in the central area of each subfloor sheet.  Bead should be about 1/4″ thick.
  • Calculate about 65-70 linear feet per subfloor adhesive tube.
  • Squirting the adhesive on every “end joist” (where two subfloor sheets meet).  But you’re saying, “How?  Subfloor sheets are supposed to have a gap between them, and if I lay down the bead in the center of the joist, then I don’t get it.”  Well, ignore the center of the joist, and instead lay down two beads where the edges of the subfloor will fall.
  • If using tongue and groove plywood subfloor, squirt the subfloor adhesive in the grooves.
Applying Subfloor Adhesive - Copyright Liquid Nails
Applying Subfloor Adhesive - Copyright Liquid Nails

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