When it comes to your subfloor, the three magic words any hardwood flooring contractor wants to hear is “clean, dry, and flat!” Before any hardwood flooring installation project, make sure you talk to your contractor about the subfloor and give it a good inspection before you do anything else.
Common subfloor problems
Your floors are only going to be as good as the subfloor on which they lay. It’s like trying to make soup with a flavorless stock. You can add all the flair and fancy ingredients that you want, but if your base is weak, the result is going to be awful. Think of your subfloors as the stock (Woodstock? Sorry, couldn’t help myself) of the installation process. Okay, so now that we’ve mentioned soup you’re probably all getting hungry, so let’s quickly go over the some of the biggest problems that we’ve encountered when it comes to your subfloors.
The three subfloors your are likely to encounter are plywood, particle board, and concrete
Each type of subfloor may have an impact on your choice of flooring, but they all have one thing in common: if they aren’t installed correctly, they will affect your wood floors. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but at some point your last-a-lifetime hardwood floors are looking like they may go into early retirement, very early retirement.
Inspect your subfloor before you begin installing new wood floors
To get ready for the installation of your new floors, make sure your subfloor goes through a thorough inspection process. Walk around to make sure that that nothing is loose, squeaky, or sticking out in places where they shouldn’t. Every flaw and inconsistency in your subfloor need to be repaired and corrected before you can begin laying your floors.
Check the moisture content for your subfloors
If you are trying to do this yourself, and you don’t have a moisture meter, then you are in above your head. Testing the moisture content of your subfloors is a step that many skip in their rush to get their new floors. But subfloors with a too high or too low moisture content will cause significant damage down the road, often leading to warped and cupped wood floors. It’s not a pretty picture, but it will cost you a pretty penny to repair. This is why your subfloors need to be in perfect condition before laying new floors.
Your hardwood floors should last a lifetime, and part of ensuring that is making sure that you have the right subfloor for the wood floor of your dreams. To ensure proper installation, the right flooring materials, as well as finding the correct moisture content talk to a hardwood flooring installation expert in your area.