While you want your hardwood floors to look beautiful and pristine, when it comes to installation, it’s often what you don’t see that is most important. A well-prepared subfloor is a key to long-lasting hardwood floors.
Preparing the subflooring is often an overlooked process, even by some experienced floor installers. Often, even if you have the most beautiful, expensive hardwood floorboards, a poor subfloor preparation will give your room an uneven appearance.
One of the most vital steps is ensuring that the subfloor is levelled off and there are no dips or raises. If you lay your floorboards on an uneven surface, don’t be surprised when the hardwood floor isn’t as flat as it should be. Joints might also fail if under constant up and down pressure as they are not designed to withstand such force.
Lastly, choosing the right smoothing compound depends on the size and type of your floor. If prepared and installed correctly, this thin top layer will ensure that your floor copes easily with any wear and tear it’s put it through. It’s also important to consider ventilation, humidity, installation specifications when levelling.
It may become necessary, over time, to re-screw your subfloors. Older homes may have used or rusty nails. These tend to allow the wooden planks to shift move up and down. Modern installation techniques use new screws to eliminate this problem. Shiplap floors in older buildings are particularly problematic and do not hold nails very well, resulting in squeaks. It is generally best to re-sheet these types of floors with plywood.
Probably the most important aspect of preparing the subfloor is testing the moisture levels as excessively wet or overly dry subfloors will be problematic. The subfloor should have moisture levels consisting below 75% humidity—which can occasionally be difficult in Victoria’s climate. Damp subfloors cause curling and warping while overly dry subfloor cause shrinkage and cracking. A consistent moisture level ensures that your floor looks beautiful for decades to come.
Come visit Heritage Hardwood Floor’s showroom where we have hundreds of products to choose from. We pride ourselves on serving our customers and can help you make an informed decision about the best installation process for your home.