Long-lasting, beautiful floors require proper preparation
This starts with the subfloor. We take the time to make sure the subfloor is in good condition before installing new flooring because it will affect the performance and lifespan of the new flooring. Unfortunately, many homeowners may not be aware of the importance of a quality subfloor or the extensive preparation that goes into assessing and confirming its integrity. Preparing a subfloor involves several key factors, including cleaning the surface, repairing any cracks or damage, leveling the surface, and priming the concrete.
Subfloor is the base your new flooring will be installed on top of
A properly prepared subfloor is essential for the overall performance and longevity of your new flooring. This involves demolishing previous installations, repairing any damage, using primer, applying self-leveling concrete, and sealing the finished product. This will make it easier to install new flooring and ensure longevity. Read on to learn the process in six steps.
First, we'll carefully remove previous flooring & access the damage to the subfloor
Removing old or damaged flooring is essential to any flooring project. We’ll take the time to properly prepare the area and use protective equipment to avoid any accidents & damage to the underlying subfloor.
Second, we'll apply concrete primer to manufacturers' standard.
Concrete primer is a liquid coating applied to a concrete surface before installing flooring material. It helps improve adhesion and reduce the risk of air pockets, while also protecting the concrete from staining. It’s important to prepare the surface by removing dirt, dust, and debris before applying primer. This is be done by sweeping or vacuuming and scrubbing with a mild detergent or floor cleaner, paying special attention to stains or heavily soiled areas. The surface is then dry-mopped and allowed to dry completely. Thoroughly cleaning the concrete subfloor ensures that the primer will adhere properly, providing a clean subfloor for the next step: floating your concrete up to tolerance.
Third, we'll fix your sub-floor's tolerance
Sub-floor usually isn’t flat enough immediately, it’ll need some help. Your sub-floor is wavy, with little peaks and troughs throughout. We’ll determine where these are with our taper gauge, a specialized leveling tool, which will be explained in further detail below. For the peaks in your sub-floor, we’ll use our concrete grinder, grinding it down to perfect tolerance.
For the troughs, we’ll use self leveling concrete to fill them in. This type of concrete is designed to flow and level itself, creating a smooth surface, and repairing cracks and craters. We’ll mix the self-leveling concrete according to the manufacturer’s instructions and apply it, making sure to fill in any gaps or low spots, “floating” the troughs up to perfect tolerance.
The fourth step is by far the most important part, ensuring that your subfloor is level to manufacturers' standards.
We must make sure that the subfloor is compliant with manufacturers’ standards. To accomplish this, we’ll use a taper gauge, also known as a slope gauge or inclinometer, this is a tool used to measure the slope or inclination of a surface. This tool is important because it allows us to accurately measure how flat your subfloor is and determine whether it meets the required specifications.
The subfloor must be flat within a certain tolerance in order for the new flooring to be properly installed and function correctly. Most types of flooring require a subfloor to be flat within 3/16 of an inch for every 8-10 feet. This video is an example of a flat subfloor.
There are several reasons why this is so important:
1. Ensures proper installation of the flooring: A flat sub-floor is necessary for the proper installation of most types of flooring, such as carpet, tile, or hardwood. If the sub-floor is not flat, it can cause the flooring to become uneven or cause problems with the installation process.
2. Prevents damage to the flooring: An uneven sub-floor can cause the finished flooring to become damaged over time, as it may not be able to support the weight of the material evenly. This can lead to multiple issues, including warping, buckling, or cracking.
3. Ultimately, skipping proper sub-floor preparation can cause your floor’s performance to suffer and lead to frustrating, costly issues down the road, such as voided warranties, replacing flooring, and legal headaches.
The fifth step is using concrete sealer on the clean, level, subfloor
Concrete sealer is applied to concrete surfaces before installing flooring materials. It helps to seal the surface and create a smooth, even base for the top flooring material. It also helps to reduce the risk of moisture infiltration, which can cause issues with the durability and longevity of the floor.
And lastly, after the sealer has been applied and has had sufficient time to dry, the flooring material can be installed according to the manufacturer's instructions and best industry practices.
We have a large selection of quality materials. The button below will provide a few examples of our options and brief material descriptions