Site conditions such as the quality of the subfloor and the way it is prepared are crucial in determining how well your new floor settles in the intended space and how long it lasts.
Improper subfloor preparation can lead to bouncy, saggy, creaking, wobbly, damaged and other types of unstable floors.
Expert subfloor and site preparation results in safe and stable floors that are up and ready for the daily stress of usage. A high quality subfloor ensures you have a level floor that's moisture resistant and excellently quiet.
No matter the type of subfloor you are using, it is important to ensure the site and the subfloor meets the criteria for the perfect floor installation.
A Perfect Subfloor
The perfect subfloor is one that is clean, dry and flat. An agreeable "flat" condition is where the subfloor experiences variations not exceeding 3mm, above or below, in a 3-meter range.
Use Appropriate Materials for Subfloor Levelling
If you find your subfloor uneven, use suitable materials to level it. If the subfloor is made of plywood or concrete, use screed levelling compounds to level the substrate. Cementitious and latex compounds may also be used depending on the depth and range of level required.
Monitor the Site Environment Regularly
It is important to monitor the environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity and moisture before, during and after installation. This goes a long in maintaining the readings appropriate for floor installation.
If you are using an aged subfloor made of wood, for example, you should ensure that it has a moisture content less than or equal to 10%.
Similarly, a temperature range of 18-200C and a relative humidity measure of 50-65% is necessary when installing hardwood flooring.
With regular monitoring, you become alert to any undesirable changes in the environment, enabling you to take corrective action immediately.
Make Allowance for Natural Changes
This is particularly important for solid wood flooring, which can expand or shrink following changes in temperature and humidity. Address this potential issue by leaving space, referred to as "expansion gaps," between the floor and walls.
While the size of expansion gaps depends on how large or small your room is, a typical measurement falls in the range of 10mm to 15mm.
You can hide the gaps using profiles or skirting boards.
Prepare your Underfloor Heating System
If you are using an underfloor system, be sure to install it and check that it works perfectly before installing the floor. Maintain the heating system at a maximum temperature of 270C. Be sure to switch off the system two days before the floor installation.
Once the floor is installed, the heating system can resume operation, but temperature increments must be as small as 20C per day. This steady increment is important to ensure the floor adapts to the heating system gradually.
A h2 floor is a crucial base protecting your space and its occupants. Take the time and effort to have your site and subfloor prepared before floor installation. A hasty job can result in a highly unsafe floor. Make your floors h2, stable and durable, for long, with quality subfloors and suitable site preparation.