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We have a 1920's house with some 1/2" X 6" planks. Unfortunately the floor is in quite rough shape with finger wide gaps in some spots, I started to attempt to sand and flatten it but I think it will be too much work. That said, would the proper course of action be to put down some 1/2" subflooring (particle board or plywood tongue and groove) first. Screw it down then lay the laminate over top? If not what would be the correct thing to

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As long as your floor is "flat" then you really need to follow the install advice for the type of laminate you are installing. Some laminates require nothing, some a pad.

If your floor has a lot of damage and bumps then you probably want to patch it with a compound like floor leveler. You don't want to have large potmarks (anything greater than an inch) in your floor and leave it thinking the pad and laminate will cover it.

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There are quite large gaps between flooring so I dont think I can use a floor leveling compound. Currently there is not a half inch difference in the floor, however, I have cut and laid the laminate and I am not happy with the movement in the floor. –  ted May 28 '13 at 21:06
    
There are gaps with nothing underneath? Do you have any pictures? –  DMoore May 29 '13 at 3:24
    
Just wood planks over the joist, there is about a finger between some of the more rotten spots. I don't think I can upload images. –  ted May 29 '13 at 20:06
    
I would use use wood filler or floor leveler. –  DMoore May 31 '13 at 5:46
    
I was told by staff that sold the floor leveler that the gaps between planks were too large. –  ted May 31 '13 at 18:47
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