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How Hard Is It To Replace Subfloor – Tips For Beginners

Subfloors have a tendency to get water damaged and in some cases, they can become quite hazardous. When this happens, you will need to replace them.

How Hard Is It To Replace Subfloor

If you have never replaced a subfloor before, this task can seem quite daunting, but as long as you follow the right instructions, you should be able to do it yourself.

Sometimes, replacing the subfloor can be quite a large project, but there are lots of cases where it isn’t too time-consuming. If you need to replace a subfloor, read on to find out how to do it.

Replacing a subfloor is not too difficult overall, but it depends on where you are removing it and how damaged it is.

There will be some cases where you need to hire a professional to do it, but it is quite simple to do it yourself.

How Hard Is It To Replace Subfloor?

Replacing a subfloor is a lot easier than you might think it is, but that doesn’t mean you should just go into the project blindly.

If you have never replaced a subfloor before, then it is important to seek advice from professionals, but it isn’t too difficult to replace the subfloor yourself.

Usually, subfloors need replacing after they have been water damaged, so below, we have provided some steps to help you replace a subfloor for yourself.

As long as you follow the instructions, this process should not be too difficult. If at any point you feel like you may need professional help, contact someone who can help you immediately.

Replacing A Water Damaged Subfloor

This is the most common reason why people need to replace their subfloor. When it gets soaked or water damaged, the subfloor can break down and ruin the structural integrity of the entire floor.

This can be dangerous if left unchecked, but you can replace a water-damaged subfloor yourself.

Follow the steps below to learn how to replace a water-damaged subfloor without the need for a professional.

Step 1: Stop The Water

Before you do anything else, you need to make sure that you turn the water off.

The water will always come from a source somewhere within the house, so before you try to replace it, make sure you find the source and shut it off.

Step 2: Expose The Subfloor

Once the water is off, you can then go about exposing the subflooring. To do this, simply remove the baseboards that are around the affected area and pull back any carpeting.

If you are using vinyl flooring, just cut out any sections that are over the area and replace them later.

Step 3: Map Areas That Need To Repairing

When you have the subfloor exposed, you then need to mark out the areas that need repairing. To do this, simply use some chalk or a pencil on the areas that need the most attention.

This will make the whole process a lot easier and time efficient, and you will be able to make more accurate cuts in later steps.

It is important to note that during this step, you will want to mark out areas that are beyond just the affected areas and you need to make sure that they are close to adjacent floor joists.

Step 4: Cut The Subfloor Carefully

As soon as you have finished marking the areas that need replacing, put on some work gloves and eye protection. Once you have done this, take a circular saw and carefully cut out any damaged areas using the chalk marks. You will want to work at a 1-inch depth.

It is important to take this step slowly and be as careful as possible.

Step 5: Remove Any Damaged Materials

Next, use a pry bar to pull up the water-damaged subfloor. Continue to work slowly. Also during this step, remove any loose nails and use heavy-duty trash bags to dispose of all the waste.

How Hard Is It To Replace Subfloor

Step 6: Speed Up The Drying Process

In order for the repairs to be successful, you will then need to allow the area to dry over a few days.

If you go on to the next step without allowing the drying process to happen, you run the risk of mold growing on the damp materials.

If you do want to speed up the process a bit, you can use a dehumidifier and large box fans.

Step 7: Reinforce The Floor Joists

Once the area is completely dry, you will then need to reinforce the floor joists. This step will help you strengthen the joists affected by the water damage.

Step 8: Install The New Subflooring

When you have completed all the previous steps, you will then be able to install your new subflooring. You will need to measure the new subflooring material and cut it to fit.

To fasten it down securely, use something like deck screws or 8d galvanized nails.

When To Call A Professional

If you just need to replace a small section of the subflooring, it isn’t a difficult task.

But when you need to replace the whole subflooring, especially if it is under an exterior wall or a load-bearing wall, you may want to call a professional to do the job instead.

The bigger the job, the harder and more technical it will be, and if you have no previous experience replacing a subfloor, it can definitely get incredibly difficult by this point.


Replacing a subfloor is quite an easy task to do yourself, but only if you have a minor area to replace.

If your whole subfloor has damage, it’s better to call a professional because it gets increasingly difficult and technical when there is a larger area to cover.

The most common reason for replacing subfloors is because of water damage, so if you follow the instructions we have provided, you will be able to replace them yourself with next to no issues.

But if you feel overwhelmed or out of your depth, do not hesitate in seeking professional help.

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