Requirements for Wood Subfloors

Wood is one of the most common types of subfloors. It’s also one of the best you can use to install your laminate flooring over. But before you lay down a single plank, you’ll want to be sure that your wood subfloors are up to the task of supporting your new laminate. Here’s what you need to check before you begin your laminate flooring installation.

Check Your Moisture Levels

Once any wood-based product has been acclimatized to a home, it usually has a stable moisture content. With that said, you should take a moisture reading before installing your flooring to make sure it is acceptable.

14% is the highest moisture reading acceptable for wood subfloors.

  • As a rule, most parts of the United States will have a rating of about 8% moisture.
  • Drier climates can drop as low as 4%.
  • Wet climates (such as the Southeast part of the United States) will increase to as bout 11% – 13%.

If your home is closed without ventilation, you could see your interior humidity level rise substantially. When this happens, your flooring will expand. Ventilating your home or running the HVAC system is highly recommended.

Check Your Building Codes

You’ll also want to make sure that your subfloor is up to building code requirements. Here are some of the most common requirements to test for:

  • If your flooring creaks when you walk on it, it must be repaired before you install your laminate flooring.
  • If your flooring sags in any section, it might be due to the joists below. Check these for any excess moisture, twists, or weak points.

Check For High Areas

High areas, such as joints with peaks in the subfloor or any other ridges should be leveled. You can do this using a sander or by using a cement and latex leveling compound. Always let the compound dry completely before beginning any kind of installation.

With a wood subfloor, you can install your laminate flooring directly over parquet, planks, or other type of wood flooring.

Have more questions about your wood subfloors? Not sure if yours meets the requirements? Contact one of our flooring experts for extra help before you begin the installation.

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