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Why Does my Subfloor Need Preparation?

April 1, 2021

As is the case with any project, proper planning and preparation is required to make sure that everything runs smoothly and goes to plan. In the case of laying tiles, the preparation of your subfloor is important as not only will this have a direct effect on how well your flooring installs, but it can also void the manufacturer’s guarantee.

Here at Selby Contract Flooring, we are highly experienced when it comes to the installation of flooring and, thus, understand the steps that must be undertaken before a single piece of flooring can be laid down. In this post, not only will we highlight the steps that must be taken to prepare your subfloor, but why it is important that you do so and what the risks are if you don’t.

What Steps Do You Have to Take to Prepare a Concrete Subfloor?

Before the actual installation can take place, a certain amount of work is needed to ensure a finished product that not only looks the part but is also safe to use. When it comes to how to prepare a subfloor, there are a few steps that need to be taken.

  • Test the moisture level of the floor (essential if laying tiles onto concrete) with a moisture meter – the reading should be no higher than three pounds per 1,000 square feet.
  • Deep clean your subfloor and ensure it is completely dried.
  • Check that your subfloor is level, noting any high and/or low spots discovered.
  • Level any low spots with a patching compound using a knife and sand down for a smooth finish – clean the filled-in area and leave to dry.
  • Reduce any high spots using a belt sander to bring them level with the rest of your subfloor and sweep debris away.

When all the above steps have been completed, make sure that your subfloor is spotless before moving on to the installation process. Failure to follow these steps puts the quality of your installation at risk, regardless of the quality of the flooring you are laying down.

What You Need to Consider

Several risks come with not following the above steps, all of which can leave you either out of pocket or with a poorly laid floor – and probably both. Some of the things that you need to consider before believing you can press ahead without preparing your subfloor include:

  • Manufacturers will void their guarantee if the floor has not been prepared as per their recommendations.
  • Undulations or ridges in the subfloor will make the floorcovering wear quicker.
  • Adhesives will not bond correctly to poorly prepared or unprepared subflooring; this also will void the adhesive manufacturers guarantee.
  • If you are laying tile or plank products, the edges will not be flush causing a trip hazard.
  • Taking shortcuts in proper substrate preparation can be an invitation to installation problems and failures.

Selby Contract Flooring’s Installation Service

If you would rather leave the preparation of your subflooring and the installation of your new flooring to the professionals, you need only give the Selby Contract Flooring team a call. Our team come with years of experience in the installation of flooring in a wide variety of industries and for different uses.

What attracts many of our customers is the fact that our installation service allows for as little disruption as possible, with our team able to come into your commercial space after hours and/or at the weekend to carry out the installation of your new flooring. You can leave us to prepare your flooring (including the lifting of any old flooring you wish to be replaced) and the installation of your new floor.

Whereas with other fitters you might expect to have to clear the space, our lifting equipment allows for you to leave all your furniture where it is. With our lifting equipment, our team will simply elevate your furniture to allow us to install your new floor underneath and, when finished, lower your furniture into position. This means that your staff can leave work at the end of the day as normal, coming back in the next morning with nothing changed apart from the flooring they are walking on.

Preparation will prolong the lifespan of your flooring installation with the addition of the manufacturer’s guarantee. This length of this varies from product to product but could be up to 10 years - alongside this, we would then offer our own three-year installation guarantee.

There is an industry saying of ‘fail to prepare - prepare to fail’ which sums the idea of skipping this process up.

Get in Contact Today

For more information on how to prepare your subfloor before installation, or to speak to a member of the Selby Contract Flooring team about arranging for a free site visit prior to the start of your project, please get in contact with us today. You can do so by sending us a message via the contact page or by calling us on 020 7739 5051.

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