I am in Indonesia, and have constructed a small mezzanine approximately 2.7m x 4.4m, 2.5m off the ground (roof is steeply vaulted, so there is still headroom). Construction is hardwood (bengkirai) joists and I have bought 18mm plywood which would just go on top.

Anyway, this construction is fairly standard in Indonesia but then construction standards in Indonesia are not standardised, so let's not say they are correct, just that's how things are done.

Similar example:

enter image description here

I think in that one they are using nails, but drywall screws are widely available, but I think maybe worse than nails?

There is no 'subfloor' screw, but I found these online (also in 1/4" x 1 1/2"), which they are calling a deck screw:

enter image description here

I don't think adhesive is used here, but I called Sika Indonesia and they were slightly confused by my question, but said they have adhesive for parquet flooring, which is called SikaBond T-53, a "1-component, wood flooring adhesive with high viscosity", which is polyurethane, but suggested maybe MaxTack Ultra, which is 'silane terminated polymer' would be appropriate.

The usual thing here is to put cheap thin plywood and replace it when it fails, since the labour costs are very low, so it makes sense economically to do that, rather than a multilayered floor system designed to last for many years. Since my builders don't know about floor systems anyway, I want to use my slightly thicker plywood as a floor, so I'm not sure if should either:

  • glue and nail the boards, or
  • screw the boards with no glue (which fasteners?)
  • I'm confused on whether this is indoor or outdoor?
    – Phaelax z
    Commented Jul 1, 2021 at 13:50
  • Indoor.........
    – thelawnet
    Commented Jul 1, 2021 at 14:44
  • I kept reading "above ground" as an outdoor thing... I hadn't had lunch yet. The plywood subfloor should last a very long time, no concern there. I would never tile over plywood, your tiles will likely crack over time without the cement board. Don't use those lag screws, you'll have bolt heads sticking up all over the place. 3-in construction screws are fine. Glue/adhesive will help reduce squeaks in the floor.
    – Phaelax z
    Commented Jul 1, 2021 at 16:20

2 Answers 2


We call the polyurethane adhesive “sub-floor “ adhesive in large tubes, which a thin wide bead will prevent all squeaks , very strong, then flat head screws,

  • then thick cement board with many polyurethane dots then tile with troweled poly or thick tiles with many glue dots and thin gaps with coloured silicone caulking applied to each tile ,
  • or if you prefer std gaps with cement caulking.
  • Drag a chain over the tiles to inspect for air gaps as they go on. You can tell by sound If it’s solid.
  • A tall bead works better. As it compresses and spreads it makes a stronger connection with the surfaces. (Your phrasing implies that it should be deliberately tooled out.)
    – isherwood
    Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 20:55
  • I see a 2nd then instead an. “Or” my err. Ok . I guess it depends on viscosity and adhesion strength . I used ultra- strong polyurethane dots for 16” marble tiles that worked well but tile adhesive is much softer and less strong so a tall bead is better. Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 23:41

"chipboard" screws work well with plywood.

They are a bit like drywall screws but they have cone shaped heads with ribs instead of bugle shaped heads.

enter image description here

If nailing For adhesive, use a panel adhesive like "liquid nails" to prevent squeaks.

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