Preparation of the sub-floor before flooring installation
What does it mean?
The sub-floor is the structural layer of wood decking between the floor joists and the finished floor. Most modern sub-floors are OSB or tongue-in-groove plywood sheets running perpendicular to the joists. The standard thickness is 3/4” but you can also find 5/8” (not recommended). I you are in position to choose what sub-floor to install plywood is the way to go. Plywood is made from at least 5 wooden layers glued and pressed together with the direction of grain alternating. This type of structure is making plywood the perfect wooden sub-floor, bonded strongly to the joists and keeping with the strongest grip the hardwood flooring nails. For the best results install your sub-floor glued and screwed down. Older homes may have sub-floor made of 1×4 or 1×6 boards installed diagonally. Sub-floor decking is nailed directly to the joists with 8d common nails or ring-shank nails that grip wood fibers to resist pulling out.
The sub-floor is an important structural element in your house because it ties together all parts of the flooring system. It keeps joists vertical and straight for maximum strength and is the foundation of the floor you walk on. For these reasons, the health of your sub-floor is a critical matter.
During a flooring replacement project, take time to inspect and repair the subfloor. Removing old flooring and underlayment gives you a chance to refasten loose boards and fill in low spots of the subfloor. A solid, securely fastened subfloor minimized floor movement and ensures that your new floor will last a long time.
Support is the central role of a sub-floor. When replacing sections, be sure to install sturdy backing lumber to support the edges and hold the fastener. It just needs to be strong.
After removing old flooring and underlayment, inspect the subfloor for loose seams, squeaks, holes and low spots. Walk back and forth over floor, listening to squeaks and feeling for soft spots indicated that the sub-floor has separated from the beams. Refasten sub-floor materials to joists with deck screws. Hammer down or pull any loose nails.
Fill dips and defects with floor leveler. Using a latex or acrylic additive, mix the leveler according to manufacturer’s directions.
Spread the leveler on the sub-floor with a finishing trowel. Fill the deepest spots first and use the trowel to feather out the leveler at the edges.
Now you are ready to go, you can install your new flooring on a proper leveled subfloor and free from squeaks!
If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at (647)334-3354 or email info@PetraRenovation.ca