Home Improvement

Hardwood Floor – The Importance of Proper Subfloor During Installation

Hardwood Floor

No matter how well you select hardwood floor material good selection alone cannot give the desired results in beauty, style, and durability. Although the wood is good enough, for the right performance a lot depends on its proper installation. Take care to ensure that the significant investment in wooden flooring does not go waste by engaging professional home décor professionals to carry out the hardfloor flooring installation. Making compromises might leave you bleeding, as the return on your investment diminishes. It can turn out to be a big disappointment that you must avoid.

Proper preparation is necessary

The trick in doing a satisfactory installation lies in the proper preparation of the floor. The floor must be clean and have a smooth and level surface so that the raised floor rests evenly on the ground. The wooden floor must maintain the same level of the ground for which it is essential that the ground is flat and uniform. Minor undulations can pose problems later as it creates gap beneath the wood surface.

Floor construction must be sound

Another aspect to look into is that the building of the floor must be rational and reliable so that there are no chances of some floor area subsiding and creating an imbalance to the wooden surface. Depending on whether you are laying the wooden floor for the first time on a newly constructed floor or upgrading the existing floor, there may be some prior floor covering that acts as a base. It can even be a new plywood subfloor, an existing wood floor or a moisture proof concrete slab. In case you use the old flooring as a base, ensure that you correct any irregularities in that floor before installing the new wooden floor.

Prepare the subfloor

The safest way to make sure that the wood floor installation goes well is to place it on a well-prepared subfloor made from plywood fixed to wooden frames to create the panels for sub flooring. The subfloor must be dry and clean, structurally sound and have flat and even surface without any fasteners. If there are dips, fill it with leveling compound, and sand papering takes care of removing minor bumps.

Make it moisture proof

Beneath the raised floor, leave a crawl space of about one and a half feet (18 inches), so that moisture from the ground and the resulting humidity does not affect the wooden floor. To remove moisture, make venting arrangements by providing a venting area of 1.5 square feet for every 100 square feet flooring. Covering the entire subfloor with 6-mil polyethylene sheet with proper overlap and taping provides extra protection against moisture. The covering must extend along the foundation walls up to a height of 6 inches.

For laying the floor on a concrete slab, make sure that it is more than 60 days old and is tested and certified as moisture free.

Moisture is the biggest enemy to hardwood flooring. Before installation, allow the fresh stock of flooring materials to adjust the normal humidity level of the environment.

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Danuta Smoluk is a teacher with over three decades of experience teaching both children and adults. She specializes in teaching the Polish language to English-speakers. She has a master's degree in primary and early childhood education from WSP Słupsk (currently Pomeranian University in Słupsk) and had her degree validated by University of Toronto. Aside from education, she also has an interest in real estate and home improvement. She has planned and supervised many house renovations. She loves interior design, cooking, and gardening.

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