If you have chosen hardwood flooring for your home, you have made an intelligent choice! It is a natural and durable variety of flooring products used the world over. It is slightly expensive than its other counterparts. However, the finish and beauty is incomparable. They are resistant to easy damage and run a long time.
The installation process of hardwood floors require a preparation step that helps in laying the foundation right for installation. The preparation of a subfloor is mandatory and needs to be done in a meticulous way to avoid early damage or uneven installation of the hardwood floor later on.
One needs to understand a common requirement that average humidity ranging between 35-55% is maintained for subfloor before and after installation to ensure more longevity of the floor. This can be directly attributed to the fact that hardwood is a natural product and can get damaged in extreme humidity ranges.
After the removal of the old flooring, one can find concrete or plywood as a subfloor underneath. Before installing the wood floor, it is important to prepare the right subfloor. This is essential to ensure that the installation is done in a proper way and the wooden flooring lasts for a long time.
The preparation process requires the subfloor to be clean, properly leveled, and dry and built correct. Any unevenness and structural fault can hamper the life of the hardwood flooring to be installed.
Steps for Preparation of the Subfloor before Hardwood Installation:
Clean the Subfloor
The subfloor needs to be clean and ready for installation. There could be debris, dust, paint, adhesives or other material that can be sticking to the surface of the subfloor. Use proper cleaning methods to ensure that the area is free from any material or waste. Especially while using glue to install hardwood flooring, it is essential that the subfloor is clean from any adhesive or paint coat; however, if you are nailing down hardwood on the subfloor, then vacuum it to remove dust and dirt.
Level it evenly
The subfloor needs to be as level as possible. Any form of unevenness can result in the hardwoods not fitting to each other properly. The more the untidiness in fitting the more easily the hardwood can crack or see sagging at different places. There could well be high or low spots in the subfloor. One can use different methods of leveling them.
Check moisture level
Too much dryness or moisture can both damage the hardwood in the long run. The moisture level of the subfloor needs to be accessed with the use of top quality moisture checks before the hardwood installation is complete.
One may opt out of hardwood flooring altogether if the moisture level is not within the desired range as it can damaged the chances of a long lasting flooring to a great extent.
Check for no structural flaws
The subfloor should be structurally sound as they need to provide the right material between the floor joists beneath them as well as the flooring above. The subfloor need to be fixed properly and the plywood need to be in the proper place. It is also important to check the thickness of the subfloor and add more material to it to ensure that it has good thickness.
Install the hardwood floor
Lastly, install the hardwood flooring once you know that the subfloor is clean, dry and ready. Since, a natural product is being used for flooring, it is important to use a moisture barrier if required and recommended by the flooring product manufacturer. This further helps in ensuring a long life span of the flooring.