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Old 01-22-2010, 08:43 AM   #1
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Floor plywood question - need input please

OK, I need some guidance with this issue. I have a ’78 Argosy 27’ that had the old gold (from the 70s rug) that I have taken out. I plan to replace it with linoleum flooring that looks like wood. This type of linoleum “floats”. It is in strips and glued together on the edges. The plywood floor under the rug is in OK condition, no rot but many stains. I want to seal the plywood floor to preserve the wood and make a solid surface for the new linoleum. What would be your suggestions here? Thanks
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:51 AM   #2
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West System epoxy is probably the most durable. It won't be cheap to do that much area, though. You could go with something like Thompson's or Olympic water seal in the main field area, and then hit the edges with epoxy, since the edges get the most water from exterior leaks, and interior leaks that shift toward the edges for egress.

If you're just interested in making a smooth, level base for the new floor, then I'd put down a skim coat of Ardex (you can find this at local flooring supply houses, but probably not the blue or orange boxes). You could do the Ardex over the water seal and/or epoxy too, if you like.

Just curious, which plank-style product do you plan to use for the new flooring?

Good luck!
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:53 AM   #3
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Thompson's Water Seal would probably be a good choice. It is supposed to last many years outdoors in the weather, so should last indefinitely indoors, under a carpet. Just read thje directions to make sure it can be used in that manner.
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Old 01-22-2010, 09:31 AM   #4
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thanks for the info. What about a polyurethane for a sealer?
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Old 01-22-2010, 10:38 AM   #5
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Sure, you could use poly as a sealer. Would probably work a bit better than the water seals. Although I wonder if you could use both? The water seals are designed to penetrate, and poly is made more to seal the outside surface of the wood. The two together would probably be fairly formidable, unless they might react badly in some way to one another.
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Old 01-22-2010, 10:53 AM   #6
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The Thompsons has a high linseed oil content. Polyurethane over the top of that would not adhere properly so go with one or the other. The Thompsons might give you a little offgasing stink over time--don't know--never used it inside an enclosed space. Once the poly cures, though, the stink is done.
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Old 01-22-2010, 10:59 AM   #7
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The Thompsons has a high linseed oil content. Polyurethane over the top of that would not adhere properly so go with one or the other. The Thompsons might give you a little offgasing stink over time--don't know--never used it inside an enclosed space. Once the poly cures, though, the stink is done.
Thanks, I suspected something like that might be the case.

For what it's worth, I sealed the the top of my new floors with poly, the bottoms with Thompson's water seal, and used a penetrating wood hardener/rot inhibitor on the open plywood edges. HOWEVER, if I had it to do again, I'd use epoxy around all of the open plywood edges, it's the best.
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Old 01-22-2010, 10:59 AM   #8
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Sealing the plywood below a floating floor can be a double edged sword... It will retard absorption of moisture into the sub-floor and can help to minimize decades of accumulated orders in the floor, but at the same time this will serve to trap moisture between the sub-floor and the finish floor. This is not a good thing.

...So, there are benefits, but also detractors
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:15 AM   #9
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Sealing the plywood below a floating floor can be a double edged sword... It will retard absorption of moisture into the sub-floor and can help to minimize decades of accumulated orders in the floor, but at the same time this will serve to trap moisture between the sub-floor and the finish floor. This is not a good thing.

...So, there are benefits, but also detractors
Good point, Steve. My flooring is not floating, it is permanently affixed VCT with strong VCT adhesive.
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:20 PM   #10
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You could also use a water-based polyurethane floor finish. No off-gassing, and easy to apply. I used this to seal under my flooring before I installed it.

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Old 01-22-2010, 01:51 PM   #11
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No Thompson's for me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjustice View Post
thanks for the info. What about a polyurethane for a sealer?
In my opinion, Thompson's is crap...

I used it many years ago and was REALLY disappointed with the product. At the very least, comparison read the ingredients on the can prior to purchase. Epinions.com only gave it 2.5 stars with 13 reviews - it would be a lot less if I had posted. Several of my friends have had similar experiences to mine.

I primed my floors on the redo of both the '87 MoHo and the '78 Sovereign with a good paint primer - Oil base primer would be better than Water base if you have time to let it dry...Polyurethane would be OK, but again, IMO, oil base is better than water base.

Anything that will penetrate and last would do a good job...Thompson's has no suspended solids for the sealing agent to bond to.

Since no one will see the color an option would be to purchase an "oops" paint from one of the big box stores (an off color mix or some other cause to be rejected by a consumer). These paints are sold at a very deep discount (like, 75%), and are really a good quality paint. Just go with a high end exterior paint since that is one job you certainly do not want to do twice.
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Old 01-22-2010, 05:01 PM   #12
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I like what Bob Thompson wrote in this link here.

"it is not all that necessary to coat the wood with fiberglass resin or epoxy.... seal it with 3 coats of boiled linseed oil. The "lin" in linseed oil is a basic ingredient in "linoleum" and most oil based paints. Mix the boiled linseed oil, 1 part boiled linseed oil to 3 parts mineral spirits, then apply 3 coats to the wood or until the wood will no longer absorb it. The mineral spirits will allow the linseed oil to penetrate deeply into the wood. This will seal the wood against absorbing the moisture which would lead to decay and rot. Be sure to not use a copper based wood preservative as it may react with the aluminum. Boiled linseed oil and mineral spirits should be readily available at Wal-Mart or any building supply store. -Bob Thompson"
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Old 01-22-2010, 05:44 PM   #13
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I like Dennis' idea with the oil based paints. Makes a lot of sense.

But, I did something similar to UTEE. I used the West epoxy around the perimeter/edge of the floor, then used verathane in the main field areas (top and bottom for both). I also used the epoxy underneath the entire piece in the bath. We have a rear bath. The bath takes up one sheet of ply back there in ours, so we had just enough left over from the perimeter/edge application for the bath area. It only took one quart of the West epoxy and one gallon (IIRC) of the verathane.

Let us know what you decide and post a few pics. A new floor really makes you feel good about your progress.

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Old 01-22-2010, 09:21 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by utee94 View Post
If you're just interested in making a smooth, level base for the new floor, then I'd put down a skim coat of Ardex (you can find this at local flooring supply houses, but probably not the blue or orange boxes).
If you decide to use a leveling product be sure to chose one that is flexable enough for the movement of a TT. These are cement based, and most will crack under movement. Call the munufacturer and ask about this specific application.

Carol
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