Although most people do not realize it, a floor cannot exist without a subfloor. The subfloor carries all of the strength and the weight of the flooring system and allows for you to be able to safely walk across any area of the room. Subfloor is also important to how your flooring is able to be kept level. As the floor system supports the interior walls, roof, furniture, flooring, and many other elements, it must be sturdy. A weak foundation can cause severe problems for a home. There are four different types of subfloor which are commonly found in homes; these include concrete slab, oriented strand board subfloor, plank subfloor, and plywood.
The top choice for subfloor is plywood. For over 30 years, people have been using these thin sheets of wood as subfloors in all types of homes. The plywood supplies a tongue and groove base that you can use for any subfloor material. Plywood is made from thin sheets of veneer that are then cross-laminated and glued together to form sheets that measure 4 by 8 feet. Because plywood can interlock, it provides a secure base for any finished flooring product. A thick bead of subfloor caulking with plywood can prevent any squeaking.
Plank subfloor is built with a 3/4 by 4/8-inch thick wide yellow pine board. Installation will nail the boards to the floor joists. Older homes consistently used this type of subflooring, which is why it can sometimes loosen over time, the boards expanding and contracting. You must secure the planks down again if this happens, using 2-1/2-inch screws prior to installing any new floors. The loose boards can effectively cause a hazard or make your new flooring unstable.
Oriented strand board sub floor is created when hundreds of wood chips are gathered and then glued together to provide a firm cushion base. An installation would consist of nailing the OSB sheets to the floor joists. Then a 3/4 inch thick solid wood floor on top of the OSB subfloor would be installed. This is standard practice among most professional installers.
Basements and warehouses generally don’t need to have a floor on top of the subfloor. Concrete sub floors consist of 4 to 6 inch thick 3,500 to 5,550 lb strength concrete pour. Water that is used while mixed in with newly poured slabs can also take up to three months or more to dry out. Moisture testing helps to ensure whether or not the concrete slab will be able to dry.
In most cases, it is fairly expensive to have your subfloor replaced or repaired because of the amount of work and time that goes into the process.
Having a sturdy subfloor is essential for any house. If you suspect that there may be a problem with your subfloor, you should try to have it repaired immediately. If you would like to learn more about subfloor options, then you may want to check out some of the available resources and topics that are presented here on the site for more information.