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Hello 8 years ago we installed hardwood floors throughout our entire condo. At that time we had asked our association if that was something we could do. We weren't sure if the foundation or the condo would sustain all the hardwood. They said it was okay.

I was in our basement--it's unfinished--and I noticed that the nails are sticking through the plywood I also noticed wood particles on the floor. Which leads me to believe that the plywood is coming apart. Perhaps also there's a crack in the plywood. I know nothing about this type of stuff. Could any professionals let me know if this is normal? I am starting to question if it was okay to install these hardwoods to begin with. Thank you kindly!

  • Welcome. Please take the tour to learn how to participate on Stack Exchange sites. – isherwood Feb 13 at 20:02
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    A picture says a thousand words. Consider including one or two. – MonkeyZeus Feb 13 at 20:37
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    there is no way to push a nail through plywood without splintering the back side of the plywood unless you pre drill the holes ... that means that splintering is normal – jsotola Feb 13 at 22:51
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Most of the time, anything that's fastened to plywood is required to have the nails penetrate beyond flush with the lower/back face of the plywood. This is to give maximum grab to the nail shank. What you're seeing is perfectly normal and expected. Other examples are roofing shingles and vinyl siding.

The wood debris on the floor is a result of normal vibration causing slivers to drop over time. It's not cause for alarm, and to prevent it in the future do some brooming or otherwise rub down the underside of the subfloor to knock the slivers off all at once.

  • Thank you for answering! I can't post the picture not sure why. Do you know if it's common for the plywood to come apart slightly? It look like it started to split just in one are however. – Denise Westland Feb 13 at 20:39
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    The editor will explain why. It's probably because you're new. Host the image elsewhere and link here. I'll need to see it to respond. – isherwood Feb 13 at 21:00
  • Specifically re: plywood "coming apart" - it's made in multiple layers - typically five to seven - with crossing grain patterns. I.e. one layer will be North-South and the next East-West. This makes the overall board much more resilient than a single layer. What you're seeing is splitting of (primarily) a single layer, and it does not compromise the overall plywood sheet. – GalacticCowboy Feb 14 at 12:45

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