There are two different situations. In living room I want to raise the floor (is a step-down living room, and too big a step) by ~2" so I'll put down furring strips and then 5/8" plywood, and then LVP. In Bedrooms I will put down on top of existing flooring a 5/8" plywood - so that LVP will be on same level as rest of house. Floor guy said that he'd nail everything - with ring shank nails.

I'm more a glue and screw guy - especially on such a project. I'd use a Senco Duraspin as there are lots of screws. Am I wrong? Would shooting ring shank nails be adequate?

Also relevant is that nail/screw must pass through 5/8" particleboard and then into 1/2" plywood subfloor.

  • A half-inch thick piece of plywood on top of furring strips sounds inadequate to me. With carpet or LVP on top, it seems like it would be bouncy.
    – spuck
    Commented Oct 28, 2022 at 18:33
  • 5/8" thick is what I had said. The base subfloor below particleboard is 1/2" Commented Oct 28, 2022 at 19:12
  • Yes, 5/8" is what he said. I will admit that I'm rounding down for emphasis that that decking doesn't seem strong enough to me.
    – spuck
    Commented Oct 28, 2022 at 19:15
  • Okay, then I'll go with 3/4". My plan is to have 3" or 4" furring strips every foot. But with 3/4" plywood, perhaps every 16" Commented Oct 28, 2022 at 19:35
  • I guess just try it out; lay a piece of plywood down on top of some furring strips and stand on top. If it feels solid to you, go for it.
    – spuck
    Commented Oct 28, 2022 at 19:39

3 Answers 3


Uneven flexing and thermal expansion of the boards, will eventually drive the nails out.

Best option is using screws.


I would glue and screw and would only ever use nails if they can all be driven into your floor joists. Screws can be driven in the field (between joists) as well as into the joists. Nailing through 5/8 plywood and 5/8 particle board into 1/2 plywood would not provide a very solid hold. Even if you are able to hit the joists, screws are more secure with less chance for squeaking.

I do pity the person who chooses to pull up your multi layered glued and screwed floor sometime (hopefully far) in the future.

  • Just edit the nail part. Even into joists on second sheet you use screws.
    – DMoore
    Commented Oct 28, 2022 at 4:38

Ring-shank nails are absolute b@$t@rd$ to pull out compared to normal smooth nails - particularly once they've "settled in" for a little while.
Buy a few and hammer them through a pair of stacked sheets of plywood, leaving a 1/2" or so to get a grip on with a claw hammer. Now try to pull them out ...
Unless you got the nastiest, cheapest, bottom-of-the-barrel rink-shank nails you should find them pulling chunks out of your plywood - if you even manage to move them.
Your floor guy is not smoking his socks here. Half-way decent rink-shank nails hold almost as well as screws in most applications - and there's no need to aim for the floor joists with them as you should with regular smooth nails.
Treat them like screws and don't worry about thermal or any other sort of movement causing the nails to come out - they won't.

Take a look at this video for a nice explanation or ring-shank nails.

  • My concern is the particleboard. It ain't wood. It ain't structural. All that'll be gripping those nails is the 1/2" plywood below it. Commented Oct 28, 2022 at 13:36
  • Also of concern with nails is that from my experience the nailhead doesnt always counter sink into the plywood Commented Oct 28, 2022 at 13:56
  • How about the furring strips? Also okay to nail? Commented Oct 28, 2022 at 13:58

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