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3 Things to Know Before Installing Your Floors

3 Things to Know Before Installing Your Floors

Whether your new flooring selection is being professionally installed or you are completing a DIY project, there are essential factors to know before beginning the installation process. While there are many steps and elements to consider in planning for new floors, installation technically starts with evaluating the conditions of your subfloor for proper budgeting, scheduling, and eliminating errors. Here are three valuable questions to answer before you start your flooring installation, that can help your project proceed smoothly and ensure your dream floor comes true:

  1. Is Your Subflooring Dry?

    When we think of water damage to flooring, we usually think of a natural or plumbing disaster sometime after installation. Unfortunately, water damage to the flooring can be set up by the subfloor before installation even begins. Depending on the type of flooring material used, moisture in the subfloor can sooner or later cause very unwelcome damage such as warping, misshaping, shrinking, separating, and staining to your floor. Before installing new floors, check for existing moisture in the subflooring or evidence that past events such as heavy rains may have caused dampness there before. If you have hired America’s Floor Source to install your new flooring, our team members will conduct non-destructive moisture tests to address this consideration. Different subfloor materials (wood vs concrete) require different moisture tests and our team members will perform all the appropriate tests prior to installation!

This home is new construction. After performing our series of tests throughout the home, we were able to ask the builder to reduce the level of humidity in the home for optimum flooring installation. This will help the home and flooring perform well for years to come.

  1. Is Your Subflooring Flat?

    Flooring installed in adjacent pieces, such as tile, hardwood, or carpet tiles, will have perfectly aligned seams and edges when looking from directly above. However, that pristine alignment will look different from a side angle if the subflooring underneath is uneven. A subfloor that is not perfectly flat can cause a side of a flooring plank or tile to be higher or lower than the one next to it. This height misalignment creates a lip that can result in a slight shadow at that spot or, worse, get damaged from foot traffic. Other undesirable results of an uneven subfloor can be squeaking or the loosening of flooring pieces over time. If your subfloor requires prep work before installation, this is another budget factor to consider when accurately planning for new floors.

An uneven subfloor will lead to squeaks and lose or cracked pieces over time.

  1. Is Your Subflooring Structurally Sound?

    When assessing the structural stability of your subfloor, there are two aspects to consider. First, is the subfloor solidly connected as designed? This may especially be relevant to both older structures and new construction subfloors with prolonged exposure to the elements. Make sure that there are no damaged or loose subfloor sections that you need to repair or reinforce before installing new floors. The other aspect to consider is whether the subfloor is structurally sound for the type of floor you want to install. Different flooring types can present significant differences in how much the finished flooring will weigh, and a higher weight may also change how the finished flooring will be attached to or sit on the subflooring. Taking the time to evaluate your subfloor stability will contribute to premium performance from your new floors for years to come.
Older homes also have the tendency to settle over time. It's important to check the spacing between the subfloor and the baseboard/molding throughout the space before beginning your project too.

*Bonus Question: Is the Installation Area Ready?

While clearing the installation area is an obvious preparation step, removing items from the closets in the room and pictures from the walls is also recommended.  Installing floors can sometimes generate dust, debris, or vibrations, and this step will prevent untimely crashes to the floor during the process!


If you have additional subfloor or installation questions, simply get in touch with our America's Floor Source experts and they will be happy to help you answer the right questions to plan effectively!

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