The ideal choice of flooring is what sets the tone of the interior for appealing aesthetics and an attractive appearance. You’ve decided to install SPC flooring in your home interior but are not thinking about subfloor preparations.
The only understandable reason that leads to no preparations for the flooring basement is the lack of knowledge about its importance.
A subfloor can have a significant impact on the installation of SPC (Stone Plastic Composite) flooring. In this post by spcflooring.ae, you will get the know-how of the underfloor importance and preparatory steps for SPC vinyl flooring installation.
Achieving A Strong Foundation: The Role Of Subfloor In SPC Flooring Installation
A strong foundation is the most important requirement for any type of flooring installation. Because that’s what makes the floor functional in the true sense by keeping it safe from damage due to various causes i.e. moisture, instability, etc.
Before any further explanation, it’s necessary to define the subfloor itself. Just to be sure of that don’t misunderstand it for an underlayment placed under the actual flooring for added cushioning and weight support.
What Is A Subfloor?
It is the structural layer or foundation of the flooring. It keeps the actual floor surfaces from different types of damage scenarios and provides durability, stability, and adhesive properties. You can consider it as the base component followed by an underlayment and the flooring itself.
The Importance Of The Subfloor Explained!
No need to mention that proper underfloor preparations are the key to the success of all flooring projects. Because the appearance, performance, and longevity of the finished product afterwards are dependent on it. Here are some reasons explaining its importance.
- Stability: It provides a stable and level surface for the flooring. If the underfloor is not leveled, it can cause the flooring to warp, buckle, or crack over time.
- Durability: A strong and sturdy underfloor can help prevent the flooring from becoming damaged or worn out over time. It can also help the flooring withstand heavy foot traffic or other wear and tear.
- No Moisture Damage: If the flooring basement is not properly sealed or protected, moisture can seep into the flooring, causing it to warp or buckle. A properly sealed subfloor protects the flooring from moisture damage.
- Noise reduction: The added layer of insulation or padding helps reduce noise from foot traffic or other sources.
- Adhesion: It provides a surface for the flooring adhesive to bond to. If the underfloor is not clean or properly prepared, the adhesive may not bond properly, causing the flooring to shift or come loose over time.
Why Subfloor Preparation Is Essential Before SPC Flooring Installation?
The first and foremost thing to be clarified is underfloor preparation. This means you have to clean the flooring basement and make sure it’s flat and at a level. There should be no humps, bumps, dips, or cracks.
No matter the type of your subfloor, the following parameters are to be precisely checked before flooring installations. Otherwise, it may result in damaged flooring with reduced durability and strength. Below, we’ve described some ways in which an underfloor can affect the installation of SPC flooring.
1. Uneven Subfloor
Unlevel surfaces are common causes of SPC vinyl flooring damage because of the gaps between consecutive planks (if a particle board underfloor) or unevenness (for concrete options). The underfloor if not flat and at a level will cause unequal weight distribution over flooring planks.
Adding further, if there are bumps in the basement flooring, the SPC flooring planks will be slightly lifted at points. And, there will be more weight pressure on the flooring plank leading to cracked flooring surfaces. Especially, in the case when heavy furniture or equipment is placed over the flooring.
The same is the case when there are dips in the underfloor creating a structural imbalance in the installed SPC plank flooring. It is recommended that an irregularity of around 4mm should be treated to avoid uneven flooring outcomes.
You can measure the basement flooring level using a leveling instrument. You should look for unevenness of greater than 4mm in the surface of the underfloor. For wood basement flooring, you can perform sanding to even the surface. Similarly, concrete underfloors can be leveled with a filling compound.
2. Unwanted Moisture
If the subfloor has not been sealed properly and there’s a risk of moisture seepage. Or, it can be that there was moisture at the time of the basement flooring installation. Irrespective of the reason, the point is there should be no risk of moisture seepage.
Because then your SPC flooring won’t last long because of moisture damage from underneath the surface. Prolonged exposure to these conditions will lead to the warping or buckling of your SPC wood flooring planks.
3. Improper Cleanliness
If the stone plastic composite vinyl click flooring is installed over poorly cleaned underfloors, there will be weak bonding and installation. It’s because the dust, dirt, and debris prevent the adhesive from strongly bonding to the underfloor thus, resulting in poorly attached SPC planks to the basement flooring.
4. Damaged Subfloor
There may be cracks in the underfloor surface leading to damaged SPC flooring planks due to moisture. You should look for cracks or gaps in the basement flooring and get them filled with a filling compound thus, ensuring smooth, even surfaces.
Which Type Of Subfloors Are Suitable For SPC Flooring?
There are different types but SPC wood flooring can be installed over concrete, plywood, and particleboard. First, concrete is a common type of underfloor that’s popular for being durable, stable, and strong. However, there is a need to perform moisture testing before installing SPC flooring over concrete surfaces.
Second, plywood underfloors are a great option because they can be easily sanded for a flat surface. However, you need to make sure that plywood planks are 3/4 inches thick and properly secured to the joints.
Lastly, we have particle board underfloors that are relatively more affordable but should be checked for a thickness of 5/8 inches. Also, there should be no gaps and properly sealed surfaces are the requirement.
Regardless of the type of subfloor, it should always be clean, flat, smooth, and at a level before installing SPC flooring planks for improved stability and durability. Also, the underfloor must be properly sealed and with no cracks or gaps to prevent mositure damage to your valuable investment leading to warping, buckling, or cracking of the flooring planks over time.