Squeaky, spongy, or uneven floors often have one thing in common: a subfloor problem. These flooring mistakes are not always attributed to the subfloor, but in many cases, that’s where they originate. Subflooring is vital in holding the floor up and providing a solid foundation to anything (or anyone) that will be one that floor. A bad subfloor will not only ruin the look and compromise the integrity of a floor but is also a nuisance to fix considering you have to remove the top layer of flooring just to diagnose your subfloor problem. There are several common mistakes people make when installing a subfloor, but all can be avoided with the right materials and a little flooring know-how.
Our friends at Advantech are no strangers to subflooring, and they make some of the best stuff out there. Here’s a quick interview to wet your appetite before we dive into the meat of this blog, trust us you want to watch this!
Mistake #1 – Improperly spacing out panels
The first major problem is having the wrong spacing in between subfloor panels. Having too much space in between panels can produce gaps and curvatures in the flooring. Not having enough space will cause squeaking as the panels naturally expand. The recommended space to have in between panels is 1/8 inch on all sides. AdvanTech’s subfloor panels have a tongue and groove design to create perfect spacing on their own. Simply place one panel into the other and reap the benefits of perfectly spaced subfloor panels.
Mistake #2 – Not using any adhesive
Not using glue or adhesive is a mistake many installers make. Some installers believe they only need fasteners to install subflooring. While adhesives are not necessarily required for installing a stable subfloor, they tremendously help in reducing any bounce in a floor and protecting against squeaking and improving the floor’s strength. By using an adhesive along with fasteners, you can ensure your subfloor is as solid as possible. The AdvanTech Subfloor Adhesive is our recommended adhesive. It spreads evenly to allow for 8 times more coverage than its competitors and performs 2-5 times better than industry standards.
Mistake #3 – Letting the adhesive dry
Many who do use adhesive still cut corners in how they combine fasteners with the adhesive solution. They glue the entirety of the subfloor at once and then do all of their fastening after. Panels should be fastened to each other or to joists while the adhesive is still wet to ensure it keeps its full strength. As any adhesive dries, it can develop a skin and lose its strength and bonding power. To build a squeak-free and flat subfloor, you should apply adhesive and fasten only one to two panels at a time so the adhesive doesn’t dry.
Mistake #4 – Not accounting for moisture
Moisture can ruin a subfloor and cause rotting. Too much moisture can cause bumps and grooves in a floor as it causes the wood to expand. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you should always keep subfloor panels under cover before using them and let them dry before installing them. Also, when choosing panels, take moisture into consideration. Not all panels are made the same, with some being more resistant to moisture than others. AdvanTech subfloor panels have best-in-class water resistance that protects against deformations such as cupping and swelling.
For any subflooring project, we recommend choosing AdvanTech panels and subfloor adhesive. Advantech panels have been ranked #1 in quality for more than a decade, and provide the proper hold to create a perfectly quiet and flat floor. AdvanTech guarantees a 10-year squeak-free period when you use their panels and adhesive together!
Stop by any Koopman Lumber location or check out our website to see our complete AdvanTech subflooring selection! If you’d still like more information, give us a call! We would be happy to help. Looking for more tips of the trade? Interested in receiving our Pro Benefits? Click here to become a Koopman Pro today.