Install and Final Framing

I began the installation in the highest corner. Pulling the layout from the opposite wall, I locked the first new joist in position with a scrap screwed to the nearest old joist.

With the high point set, I measured the height from the joist to the laser, then shimmed up the other end of the joist until the measurement matched. At the midpoint of the joist, I measured the gap between the joist and the top plate of the supporting wall below and cut a block to fit. The first joist set the height for the rest of the floor, so it was just a matter of working my way across the floor, bringing each joist up to that level.

The exterior wall was framed at 16 inches on-center except under the windows, so I was able to use the studs to set the rough layout for most of the joists. The studs also gave me a place to attach the joist ends. For each joist, I checked the layout at both ends, and if they didn't land next to a stud, I added shims or blocking to the nearest one.

As with the first joist, I measured and cut a block to fill the gap between the bottom of each joist and the wall below. After slipping the block under the joist and screwing it to the plate ...

... I pulled the layout for the joist and toe-screwed the joist to the block to lock it in place.

To stiffen the floor, I glued and screwed solid blocking between the joists in three separate spans across the floor, and I blocked every space between the new joists and the old joists.

At the ends of the joists, I added horizontal 2x4 blocks between the wall studs to close off the bottoms of the stud bays and to provide nailing for the wallboard.

I needed to provide attachment for the subfloor along the walls running parallel to the joists, but it would have been wasteful to run a full LVL joist where I just needed a "nailer" below the studs. Instead, I screwed vertical blocks to the beam that forms the plate every 16 inches to catch the edge of the OSB subfloor.

Finally, I insulated the ends of each joist bay against the outside wall with fiberglass batts. To complete the floor system, I glued and screwed 3/4-inch OSB subfloor to the joists, staggering the end seams as I went along (18). In the end, the extra time I spent paid off. The floor was completely flat, level, and solid as a rock—a perfect foundation for the new kitchen cabinets.

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