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What is a Subfloor and Do You Need It?

Flooring Installation

Installing flooring can come with a lot of complexity many people aren’t ready for. It seems simple from the outside – simply ripping out your old flooring and put new flooring in. For something like carpet it really is that simple but for other flooring types there are things that need to be put in place before installation can be done correctly. Usually this has to do with having the right subfloor.

What is A Subfloor?

A subfloor, technically speaking, is the sheeting (usually plywood) beneath your finished flooring that is attached to the joists on floors above your basement. However, there is another element called an ‘underlayment’ which is often casually referred to as a subfloor. An underlayment is a middle layer between the subfloor and the finished flooring that may need to be put in depending on the type of flooring you’re putting above it.

Do You Need It?

Everybody needs normal subflooring at the very least since finished flooring is not designed to be attached to joists and wouldn’t be strong enough to hold the people walking on it by itself. However, specific subflooring or underlayment may be required for certain flooring such as stone – which requires a stronger base. Most other flooring can go on standard subfloors but always check with a professional before installing.

Basements already have concrete installed so subflooring is not strictly necessary when using something like tile or carpet. Other ‘floating floor’ types like laminate and engineered hardwood can be placed over the concrete and still create a beautiful and even floor.   Traditional hardwood flooring will require an additional subfloor on top of the concrete in order to be installed correctly.

Installing the right flooring based on your subflooring, or lack thereof, is important to make sure you have a strong and attractive flooring now and in the future. If you need any assistance with subflooring or finished flooring contact us today at Tony’s Flooring Centre. We’ll be happy to help.

Tags :
concrete,finished floor,joists,subfloor,underlayment
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