Most people don’t think too much about subfloors until they run into problems. But what you walk on in your home makes a big difference.
When we moved into our home, the walls were purple and green with puppy dog borders, while the carpet was white. But not a white-white, more of a dingy white. It was the kind of white in desperate need of a good steam clean — that or the dumpster, which is exactly what we did. As soon as we had the chance, we tore that carpet up from wall to wall.
Fortunately, we were of the lucky minority to find beautiful hardwood floors underneath. The problem is, a lot of people aren’t as lucky.
One of the most important parts of a building’s structure is its floor system. Just think about it: You’re trusting that the floor will hold you and everything around you up. It’s pretty important and most people don’t think about it because they’ve never fallen through one.
An improperly laid subfloor is not only dangerous to walk on, but it’ll lack the cushioning and squeak we’ve all grown accustomed to. Have you ever walked on a squeaky floor? Better yet, have you ever tiptoed on a squeaky floor while trying to escape a sleeping child’s room? Let me tell you, no amount of ninja skills will get you out quietly.
Having the right underlayment and subflooring is essential. The underlayment is placed on top of the subfloor to create the foundation for the actual flooring product to be placed on. It’s meant to absorb the roughness or minimize any imperfections of subfloors so you can install flooring on top of a smooth, hard surface. It’s also there to give the flooring material some extra support.
As far as the subfloor itself goes, this layer of flooring is used for structural and foundational support for the home. It too prevents squeaks in the flooring, as well as absorbs moisture. So, it’s very important to choose the appropriate subfloor material for your floor.
Not all flooring materials require the same type of underlayment. It all depends on what you’ll be installing on top of it. Floating hardwood floors, for example, may need a different underlayment than tile. You may also need to adjust your underlayment based on other conditions, like places where water is a problem may require a plastic-based underlayment.
As with almost any home improvement project, it’s always best to consult a professional. They can help you choose the right material for the specific flooring and condition of you home.
If you’d like to learn more about subfloors, underlayment, or flooring, please feel free to contact us. Fair & Square Remodeling would be more than happy to answer your questions.