Home>Discussions>INTERIORS>Molding & Carpentry>Screws or nails? What's best for this job?
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Rodney H
Re: Screws or nails? What's best for this job?
Rodney H
neil wrote:

I am installing 1/4" OSB on top of an old subfloor in my 1890 attic in order to prepare it for carpet. The subfloor is solid but a little rough with some small gaps which I am covering with the OSB.

Ring shank nails have been suggested to me as well as screws. Will the nails keep the floor from squeaking? I know the screws should secure it well, but are screws over doing it? If I use screws, what type should I use? All I see at the hardware store are drywall screws.

Thanks for the help.

I agree with the one other quote, wondering why you are using only 1/4 inch OSB. With the cost of OSB so cheap these days, go to at least 7/16" for about $5 per sheet (in our area, at Menards).

Yes, I agree with the others, but make sure the old floor boards are secure. You have 2 different options for this. If you go with the 7/16", use nice long deck screws that are long enough to reach through the OSB AND old floor boards. I would use the 3" screws, so you know there will be no squeaks. Buy some good PL-400 construction adhesive, so everything is solid. Use thinset over the seams when done, and you will have a really nice floor.

If going with thinner material, still screw the original floor boards with 3" screws, then apply the adhesive, and screw the OSB on top of it. Seems like doing it all at one time would make more sense. I just remodeled a 107 year old home, with lots of squeaky floors. The OSB glued and screwed directly into the floor joists really did the trick, and with a pretty low cost. When using thinner OSB, it will always follow the contour of the old floor, still making your floor look unlevel. The thicker OSB will make for a better base for carpet, too.

Good luck.


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