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Starting with the Subfloor

Getting ready to lay a new floor down? Well, you're going to have to start by getting your subfloor ready to go!

For those of you who haven't heard of subfloors before, they are basically the foundation that your new floor will sit on top of. They allow you to make sure that your new floor is sturdy, level, and long-lasting. Like in all things, you need to have a good foundation if you want a great end result.

Step 1: Clean your subfloor

Once you’ve removed the old flooring and baseboards, you’ll want to make sure that the underlying subfloor is clean. If you don't you could end up harming your new top floor down the road.

Vacuuming is the most important step to cleaning any kind of subfloor. If you are installing floating boards, flooring that locks together, or nail-down wood this is also the only absolutely necessary step. However, if you plan on gluing your top floor down you will first need to use an electric sander to even out the base before running your vacuum over it. Either way, when the time comes to vacuum you must be sure to be as thorough as possible.

Step 2: Level it out

To prevent your top floor from squeaking or sagging down the road, you have to level out your subfloor. Use a leveler on multiple parts of your subfloor to see if they are equally level. When you come across an area that is higher than the others, use a floor sander to even it out. For low areas, use a leveling compound to fill the extra space. Note that the type of compound you use may vary depending on the type of flooring you’re planning to install, so ask for help before you purchase anything.

Step 3: Check for moisture

The amount of moisture in your subfloor can cause a lot of problems in your floor if it's not monitored. Too much moisture can cause your subfloor to eventually warp, while too little will lead to cracks or creaking.

To avoid these issues, head over to your local hardware store and grab a moisture meter kit. Find out what moisture level is right for the subfloor you’re working with. From there, simply follow the instructions for your shiny new gadget to learn where your subfloor is at. If the meter indicates moisture levels that are too high or too low, consult a professional to figure out the course of action you should take to rectify the problem.

Step 4: Lock it down

You will need to assess the structural integrity of the subfloor before moving on to the final steps of the flooring installation process. Walk around the subfloor and check for any squeaking or loose boards. If any of the subfloor sheets prove to be a problem, just screw them securely into the floor joists below.

Step 5: Finish it up!

Here’s the moment you’ve been waiting for! It’s time to start installing your brand new flooring! Start by laying down a good moisture barrier on your subfloor. Once that’s down, you’re ready to make your room look like new! Plus, you can now rest assured that it will stay looking new and squeak-free because of the steps you diligently took to prep your subfloor.

We’d love to hear how it turns out. And as always, if you have any questions feel free to give our team a call.

Happy flooring!

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