Hardwood flooring is some of the most versatile and beautiful options out there for both businesses and private homes. However, even the highest quality of wood is not going to hold up well or look its best if the underlayment or the subfloor is subpar. Flooring contractors must use certain types of material for both the underlayment and the subfloor when it comes to hardwood flooring.
Subfloors for Wood Floors
There are a few different types of subfloors that are proper for a hardwood floor. The subflooring is attached directly to the joists and creates a smooth surface for flooring. The best subflooring for hardwood floors includes plywood/OSB, tongue and groove wood, and concrete. Subflooring is a permanent part of a building and should never be removed unless by a licensed contractor to repair damage or when doing remodeling.
Underlayment for Wood Floors
Underlayment is always used under hardwood flooring to make sure the surface is completely smooth and level. It can also help level out some uneven subflooring so that the top flooring material is installed completely level. Underlayment for hardwood floors is generally made of rubber, padded foam or cork. The underlayment is attached to the subfloor by staples, nails or even screws. Underlayment can be removed and replaced as needed.
While flooring contractors may have preferences for a specific type of material for subfloors and underlayment that depends on climate or the type of project they are doing, there are definitely materials that are better than others. As long as flooring contractors stick to the preferred materials when installing hardwood floors, their work will stay true for many years to come.