A Guide to Preparing Your Subfloor for Different Types of Floor Installation


How to Prepare Your Subfloor for Different Flooring Installation


The installation method of flooring varies depending on the subfloor and the flooring material of your choice. To ensure your floor is durable and looks beautiful, the installation should be done perfectly. The quality and type of the subfloor influence the installation process, making the preparation of the subfloor an important and indispensable task. Homeowners looking for flooring installation in Mississauga will come across many reputed stores which take care of the subfloor preparation. However, if you’re planning a try it yourself, and you have the necessary tools for the task, this post will guide you through the steps.

Your Subfloor for Different Flooring Installation

Preparing for Hardwood and Laminate Flooring:


Both laminate and hardwood flooring installation can be done on plywood, and concrete provided you are preparing the subfloor adequately. The following are a few general tips that you will have to keep in mind:

  • Remove the old flooring and using the prybar and hammer, remove the baseboards as well to create an extension gap which is necessary for hardwood and laminates which tend to expand due to heat and moisture.
  • Check the condition of the existing moisture barrier, and underlayment to determine whether they need to be replaced. If you have a concrete subfloor, a moisture barrier is necessary when you are installing hardwood or laminate flooring.
  • Clean the glue and dirt residue of the old flooring, and thoroughly vacuum the place. This is an important step if you are using the gluing down method of floor installation as the flooring material will directly be laid on the subfloor.
  • Use a moisture meter to measure the moisture level of the subfloor before installation and make sure it is dry enough or else it will damage the flooring materials from underneath.

For Carpet Installation:


The imperfections of your subfloor can easily show through the carpet since it is a soft and flexible flooring material. But on the bright side, carpet installation can be done on a variety of subfloors including linoleum tiles. Here are a few things you should take care of before a carpet installation:

  • If you had carpet flooring before, the old carpet staples must be removed to ensure the floor is as smooth as possible for perfect installation of the new carpet.
  • Use a scraper to level the floor by removing any bumps or unevenness.
  • If you are laying the carpet over linoleum, glue down the edges securely so that they do not curl up.
  • On a concrete subfloor, any dents or cracks must be evened out. A professional floor installer can do this best and hence, it is better to seek a contractor who is reputed for their quality of service.
  • Do not use a domestic vacuum cleaner to remove the debris produced while cleaning the subfloor for carpet installation as the loose staples, plaster chunks, and wood stripes can damage the gadget irreparably. Use the broom and dusting pan instead.
  • Use a suitable underlayment on the subfloor to prevent any damage from underneath. You can use a primer to seal the wooden subfloor if it has any minor moisture damage to prevent it from affecting your new flooring.

For Tile Installation:


Ceramic, and porcelain tiles are some of the most durable flooring materials you will come across. An unstable subfloor increases the risks of the tiles becoming loose and cracking. The following are certain things that you can do to minimize the chance of these problems occurring.

  • If you have a concrete subfloor, even out the surface by repairing minor patches and replacing the sections of the concrete slab if there are large cracks.
  • Using concrete filler to smooth out cracked areas in the concrete subfloor another choice you have if you do not wish to replace the slabs.
  • To install over the plywood subfloor, ensure the boards are thick enough to support the installation since these kinds of tiles are very hard and heavy.
  • The surface of the plywood subfloor should be sanded thoroughly to even out the surface since tile installation should be done on a very flat surface.

The preparation of the subfloor for all kinds of flooring installation includes the basic steps of cleaning and leveling the subfloor. There are slight differences that are discussed above which you must keep in mind to make sure the floor installation is executed perfectly. Hire a professional flooring contractor who has a good reputation for consistent service to ensure quality.


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