Installing hardwood flooring in your home has a lot of advantages. Not only is it durable and easy to clean, but it has a classy, almost rustic look that carpeted surfaces seem to lack. A lot of people might say that installing hardwood floor is an easy task as well. In some ways, they’re right. The process of installing a hardwood floor or any kind of tiled flooring usually involves laying boards or tiles on top of a subfloor. A subfloor is usually plywood or concrete, and it makes for a good solid foundation for your new hardwood or tiled floor. It does need to be prepared however, a task that some homeowners don’t realize is very important.
Why Preparing Your Subfloor is Important
As durable and versatile as a concrete subfloor can be, it can cause a lot of problems if it is damaged or is otherwise unprepared for hardwood flooring. Cracks, spilled paint and even dust and debris can all mar your new flooring and give it an uneven appearance. Any kind of damage will also become worse over time, and it will be a lot harder to fix it if you’ve already layered what is supposed to be a beautiful hardwood floor on top of it. A hardwood floor can increase the value of your home, but unsightly cracks or bulges will only have the opposite effect.
Tips for Preparing Your Subfloor
Preparing your subfloor should be a major part of any remodeling project that has to do with new flooring. Fortunately, it shouldn’t be as difficult as you might think. Most of your prep time will be spent cleaning the concrete and keeping it free of any dirt and debris. This can be done with a simple broom and dustpan, but you may want to use a vacuum capable of cleaning dust from a hard surface to make sure you catch everything. Any cracks you see will have to be filled in and leveled out. In fact, you should check to make sure that your subfloor is completely level before you proceed with putting down any kind of flooring. Any surfaces that aren’t level may call for more extensive remodeling than a new floor. You should have no more than 3/16 of an inch in height variation before you proceed.
Finally, if you aren’t completely sure your subfloor is worthy of a new layer of hardwood, contact a professional contractor to take a look at it. A flooring contractor will have the necessary tools and expertise to determine if a new hardwood floor is right for your home.