WEKNOWFLOORING have many years of experience working with all types of subfloors and floor build-ups.
Below is a list of type of common subfloors and surface preparation methods that our experienced contractors can carry out. If you are already have a product specified or proposed floor build up design, please contact us directly for a consultation.
Concrete screed floors can vary in condition and levels. If your subfloor isn’t flat and smooth, you can use self-levelling compounds to rectify the issue. It is also crucially important to check the moisture content of concrete subfloors.
After checking moisture levels within the subfloor, it can be determined whether the screed requires additional drying or introducing a sealant or Damp Proof Membrane prior to fitting or installing floor finishes.
Some timber flooring boards that have structural properties, can be directly fixed to existing floor joists using either secret nails or screws. These are applied using a purpose made nail gun which is set at a predetermined angle. This ensures the groove of the next board can be fitted up without the screw or nail showing.
For other flooring finishes, it would need a structural flooring board such as plywood or cement board (read below).
OLD FLOOR BOARDS
Generally old floor boards will be pine or cheap softwood. For new flooring finishes, new hardwood flooring can either be secret nailed/screwed, floated or glued directly onto these boards if the conditions are correct. Likewise for a suitable underlay insulation with soft floor finishes.
If your existing floor is uneven or damaged you may need to replace it with ply or chipboard prior to fitting a new wood floor.
CHIPBOARD OR PLYWOOD FLOORS
Chipboard and plywood are suitable subfloors for most flooring finishes, providing they are of sufficient thickness to support the floor and are of good quality.
There are situations where higher specification of chipboard or ply may be needed e.g. fitting block parquet flooring, a minimum thickness of 18mm is required and it must be marine grade ply. For wet rooms, marine grade ply would be suitable for floor tiling.
Cement board is a type of underlay that is now standard for most tile installations, but particularly for floor tiling. The primary benefit of cement board is that it doesn't break down or expand or warp if it gets wet. This is a distinct advantage over plywood and drywall. Cement board also provides an additional layer over a plywood or particleboard subfloor, adding stiffness to the tile installation to help prevent cracks.
Cement board often is called "waterproof" or "water-resistant," but neither description is accurate. Water and vapor can pass right through it, just like with other cement-based materials. For this reason, cement board should be installed over a moisture barrier, such as heavy plastic sheeting when used in wet areas like showers and bathtub alcoves.
SELF LEVELLING SCREEDS
Self Levelling Floor Screed is an essential component used to form a level surface upon which you can apply tiles, natural stone and wood floorings. It is often used as a finishing product on top of a hard concrete base and can also be used to encase underfloor heating pipes.
Screed is made up of from a mixture of sharp sand, cement and water. The solution is either mixed by hand in a bucket using a mixing paddle or if the screed is being used for bigger projects, it can be mixed using a screed pump before being dispersed through a hose pipe attached to the pump.