The integrity of finished flooring depends on a variety of factors. One of the essential steps is choosing the right sub-flooring material. If you prefer wood, you need a foundation that will provide continuous support for each joist. In locations like basements and warehouses, the contractor may choose a simple concrete slab. Flooring can consist of several layers, and the sub-floor refers to the primary structural support for the finished flooring. In this article, we will discuss the different types of sub-floor materials and their pros and cons.
In recent years, liquid screed has gained popularity in indoor flooring applications. Unlike ordinary ready-mix cement, screed contains finer aggregate particles making the resulting mixture smooth and easier to apply. Although the mixture appears more liquid at first, it dries fast and is also easy to manage even for DIY installations. However, for larger projects, it is best to hire floor screeding contractors that can get the job done expertly and efficiently.
One of the many reasons why liquid screed is popular is that it is the most compatible material used when adding underfloor heating. Since you can apply screed in thin layers, underfloor heating capacity is optimised.
Concrete is durable, hard, and smooth. It is an ideal subfloor for stone and tiles because you do not need to add another underlayer. One of the disadvantages of concrete is moisture. As such, if you use flooring such as laminate or wood, you will need a barrier over the concrete before installing the finishing material. Nevertheless, concrete is ideal for commercial purposes as it is a structurally sound material. It is often used as flooring for basements and warehouses when moisture is not considered an issue.
This type of sub-flooring material has been around for many decades and is still popular today. Although standard plywood is the most common, most contractors prefer a thicker, tongue and groove, kind of plywood specifically manufactured for flooring. The tongue and groove installation prevents the material from shifting around the edges; hence, ensuring a more stable sub-layer for your floor. If you plan to use carpet as the finishing material, it may be best to use thinner plywood. On the other hand, you need to use thicker sub-flooring if installing tiles or hardwood flooring which will be nailed to the subfloor.
Wood planks are a traditional material used up until the middle of the 20th century. Since the invention of plywood and other high-performing materials, wood has become uncommon in underfloor installation. However, those who prefer a more rustic approach to their interior can use hardwood as the base for flooring. Many old homes that get remodelled still have wood sub-flooring.
Wood is an excellent choice if you plan on installing carpet or vinyl on your floors. It remains flat and is even attractive on its own. However, hardwood today is quite expensive, which is why most people prefer cheaper alternatives such as oriented strand board or ordinary plywood.