Tag: laminate

subfloor instalaltion for hardwood laminate and tile floors
About Floors

Choosing subfloor for hardwood, tile and laminate floors

The subfloor is the base for your flooring. Having the right subfloor is just as important as choosing the right floor finish, even if it’s going to hardly ever see the light of day.
Vinyl, laminate or tile or even expensive hardwood – doesn’t matter which one you choose, without proper support their durability will be compromised and you’ll end up wasting your money.
Who wants that? Noone! Here is how to make sure your subfloor is the right choice for your desired flooring.

What is a subfloor?

Subfloor is the very bottom layer of the floor that sits directly on the joists. Once the floor is installed it, subfloor gets hidden underneath. Because it’s hard to reach position, making changes to a subfloor is quite an expensive and difficult endeavor. Most subfloors stay the way they were built during the construction of the house.
The most common subfloor is 1/2″ or 3/4″ A/C-graded plywood. A/C means that the boards are smooth on the top side and rough on the bottom.
Oriented-strand board (OSB) also known as flakeboard is an alternative subflooring material. As a composite material, it shares great similarities with plywood. A single sheet of OSB is made by sealing large flakes of wood together with phenolic resins.

Underlayment

Subfloor is not to be confused with underlayment. Underlayment is what comes between subfloor and flooring surface to guarantee your floor’s best performance and keep the moisture and noise away. While subfloor is typically standard and consistent throughout the entire home, the type of underlayment used can vary from room to room depending on what type of flooring is being installed.

Cement underlayment

Cement board is the underlayment to use when installing tile flooring. It sits on the plywood or concrete surface and holds the tiles together.
Foam and cork underlayment
Foam and cork padding is the most common underlayment for laminate floors. Laminate is a hard floor and can often feel uncomfortable under your feet. The padding underneath helps cushion your step.
Plywood underlayment
Plywood can also be used as underlayment. It adds strength and helps set the height of the finish floor. In this case, you’ll have two layers of plywood present, one a subfloor layer and one an underlayment layer.

Subfloor for hardwood flooring

If you are installing hardwood flooring plywood is the best subfloor for you. Any plywood ranging from 1/2″ to 3/4″ and rated A/C will serve both solid or engineered hardwood well. If you decide to upgrade your subfloor choose tongue and groove plywood. It’s easier to install and will minimize squeaks caused by walking.

Subfloor for laminate flooring

Laminate can also be installed on a plywood subfloor. However laminate is a fairly thin floor so adding thin plywood as a secondary subfloor is advised, especially if you are installing laminate flooring in an older house. Subfloors in older houses are often no thicker than ½’’ plywood, unlike the ¾’’ thick layers in newer buildings. Because laminate is so thin it can easily show imperfections. To protect your flooring from grooves and dents you should install an underlayment, best foam or cork padding to provide some give and help smooth out any imperfections of the subfloor.

Subfloor for tile flooring

The main danger to tile flooring is cracking. Old and infected joists can be a cause for fractures. Installing stable plywood subfloor will help prevent any movement that can lead to damage. Underlayment too should have no give and be strong to support the tile floor properly. Cement board can be installed directly on top of the plywood layer.

Floor Care

Floor care tips for laminate flooring

Laminate floors have a reputation for being difficult to mop.
However, contrary to what many say, once you have all the right tools and knowledge, cleaning your laminate flooring is a walk in the park.
To save you time and help your sanity here’s a handy guide to the do’s and don’t of laminate maintenance.

 

Don’t sweep your laminate floor

Yes, you got dirt and dust on your pretty laminate floor. No, you shouldn’t use a broom. Turns out, traditional broom is by far not the best tool to clean your laminate floor. That would be a dry dust mop. Regular broom leaves particles behind that later get mixed with the wet mop and get tossed around leave streaks and residue all over the place. In worse case scenario they might even scratch the laminate’s surface. If you prefer using a vacuum cleaner instead, makes sure you have hard floor setting selected. Just like the leftover particles, the brush roll setting on your vacuum cleaner can scratch and damage the laminate flooring over time.

 

Use less cleaner

The most tips on laminate floor maintenance focus around what kind of cleaner you use. Yes, it’s important that the chemicals you tidy with are compatible with your floor type. What’s a lot less discussed is the amount of cleaner you ought to apply to your floor.

Using more cleaner doesn’t equal cleaner floor. Usually, it equals wasted money and ruined floor. Too much cleaner leaves a residue after that dulls the finish of your laminate. Our tip? Sometimes just a little water goes a long way.