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I'm planning to install a hardwood floor to butt up against ceramic tile. The tile looks like it will be 1/4" proud to the wood. Can I install 1/4" OSB over the subfloor, then the paper, then the Oak Flooring? Any problems long term?

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    Just keep in mind any areas this might cause issues in, such as steps designed for current height of the subfloor, or toilet flanges. Although 1/4" shouldn't be too big of a deal. Mar 4 '20 at 14:12
  • Are there instructions in the wood product you are using that discourages leveling compound? Mar 4 '20 at 15:04
  • No issues with toilet flanges as this is for living room and dining room adjacent to kitchen and hall way to bedrooms.- but thank you for reminding me of this.
    – B. Smith
    Mar 4 '20 at 15:12
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    The flooring will be installed by someone else. So I do not know about restrictions concerning a leveling compound. I've had no experience using leveling compound. However, not sure it is pertinent here as the entire sub floor probably needs to be raised. If it was just one area that was the question mark, I can see how leveling compound might be optimal. (I'll know more when I get motivated to tear up the entire 700 sq ft of carpeting)
    – B. Smith
    Mar 4 '20 at 15:16
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    I wouldn't use leveling compound to bring an entire room up, nor is it well-suited under a nail-down hardwood floor in my experience. All those nails are going to beat it up pretty badly.
    – isherwood
    Mar 4 '20 at 18:57
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That will work. That's probably one of the better things to use to bring your floor level.

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You don't nail/staple 3/4" hardwood into OSB. It won't stick. In a couple years you will have a floating floor and issues. OSB is great but it doesn't hold nails.

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  • ok, thanks. The OSB will be sandwiched between plywood subfloor and Oak hardwood. The OSB is only 1/4". Do you still think that could be an issue?
    – B. Smith
    Mar 4 '20 at 12:32
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    @Phaelaxz - I get it. I don't believe in creating a weak point especially in the beginning of the nail. You are giving it wiggle room. No way I install the wrong subfloor for an expensive flooring. OSB is for floating floors and carpet.
    – DMoore
    Mar 4 '20 at 16:05
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    OSB holds nails just fine (see also virtually any roof build in the last 30 years and most subfloors), but it's not the primary substrate anyway, being just 1/4" thick.
    – isherwood
    Mar 4 '20 at 18:54
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    I would agree if the flooring is engineered the expansion and contraction due to temp and moisture variations will not be much different but true T&G is not saturated with resin and has much more movement, OSB or underpayment is fine for many flooring systems but I would be careful with real oak it is different.
    – Ed Beal
    Mar 4 '20 at 19:55
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    @FreshCodemonger - I wouldn't. Like I said before OSB is great. The absolute preferred for floating hardwood/vinyl or carpet. I don't nail things into OSB. I have had this rule for 20 years.
    – DMoore
    Mar 4 '20 at 19:55

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