replacing broken boards with ply

5 Mar 2006
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West Midlands
United Kingdom
I'm in the process of preparing the hallway floor for some amtico tiles. I've removed all the old carpet and underlay and found 2 trap doors, around 1m square each. They were used when the central heating was fitted and the "proessionals" who did it broke most of the tongue and groove and just nailed the boards back. Consequently, whenever walking around these two areas there is a lot of creaking. I've tried putting some screws in, but that only improves it slightly. I was thinking-

can I remove these two sections and replace with some 18mm ply. If I cut the exact shape they will slot in perfectly, and I can throw those 2 sections of split boards away. Only problem is the boards are around 20mm and my ply is 18. Can I pack the ply with 2mm of something to get it level?

once I've got a solid, quiet floor I can then board over with 6mm ply and lay the amtico.

any help is greatly appreciated.
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It doesn't sound like you need any help to me, you've got it well sussed.
thanks for the confidence. So it's ok to have two 1m square ply sections within a floorboard floor? I was worried becuase I've never heard of mixing the two. I suppose it is best to pre-drill and use screws to secure the 18mm sections? How much of a gap should I leave around each section where it meets the boards? I suppose a few mm should be left - I am concerned about the boards expanding/contracting through the summer/winter and squuezing the ply sections - and creaking. Once the 6mm ply and amtico are down there's no going back.
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Stop worrying and just do it. The boards will continue to shrink over their lifetime (anything up to 6mm per plank). If the patch is an unforced fit it will be fine.

Make sure the supposedly undisturbed boards are well nailed down, though. They're more likely to creak than the ply.

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