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Subfloors

About Subfloors

One of the essential parts of any establishment or building is its floor system. It’s these floor systems that carry the entire weight of the sidewalls, roof, foot traffic, furniture, appliances, and the list is endless. And this makes it evident that a well-designed and structured floor system determines the durability of the entire building. There’s this indigenous method of flooring that has been used for centuries – and people still employ it today to make the floors sturdy and robust. Yes, we’re talking about laying the subfloors. Seems interesting? Want to try them out? Yes? Explore everything about them in this guide!

Though it isn’t evident from merely looking at a floor from above, every flooring is a compilation of complex layers. And the subfloors are one among the various layers that include structural joists, underlayment, and surface flooring. Remember, you’re sure to find some form of subfloors beneath every type of floor. Whether plywood, vinyl, or carpet, choosing the right underlay for your floors is imperative for the floor’s durability. And yes, finding the best plywood for the subfloor to buy isn’t an easy task at all. That said, let’s take a look at the various types of underlays that you can install at your place for creating a robust base for your building.

The various types of subfloors to install for sturdy flooring.

Before we explore the various types and get to the crux of the matter, let’s first understand what exactly a subfloor is. A subfloor or underlay, as some like to call it, is a sort of cover for your basement. It elevates the floor itself and creates a sturdy shield to prevent water from seeping through. You can certainly think of it as an impenetrable barrier that helps keep the floors dry. In short, they’re the ‘foundation for the floors of any building’. Luckily, for you can find several types of underlays on the market today. Below we’re compiled a few popular one’s for you with their details.

The plywood for building a subfloor

Plywood is one of the most common subfloors out here. In fact, until the 1980s it was the only types of underlay that single-family homes used for sturdy floors. The plywood is an aggregate of fabricates sheets of wood veneer. Manufacturers bond the sheets of wood veneer with special adhesives under pressure and heat to make the finest plywood. And because these layers are cross-laminated and layers, the resulting plywood is incredibly sturdy and not susceptible to any contraction or expansion. Also, you’ll usually find plywood in interlocking sheets that measure 4-foot by 8-foot.

Laying subfloor with Oriented Strand Board

The Oriented Strand Board or OSB, got its name because manufacturers create it by taking strands of 3- to 4-inch wood and layering them in a crossing pattern. They then glue them together by pressing and creating a board. The resulting board is denser and absorbs less water than plywood. Just like the plywood, you need nails and glue to install these floors on to the joists. Generally, speaking, you install a ¾-inch thick bamboo floor on top of the ¾-inch thick OSB subfloor. Additionally, you place the planks at 90-degree angle across the floor joists. This arrangement stabilises and strengths the whole flooring system.

The concrete slab subfloor over concrete

Do you think that all your moisture problems would be solved by pouring concrete subfloors? Well, concrete is susceptible as well. Concrete slabs typically measure 4 to 6 inches in thickness and weigh around 3500-5500 pounds per square inch. Besides, manufacturers construct them using water, that takes months to dry out. Because of this, you’d need to test your slabs before you install them on your finished floors. One of the easy ways to check the moisture retention capacity is to tape a few sheets of plastic down on several areas of your slabs. Then observe for a few days. If moisture develops under your plastic sheets, then your slab isn’t dry. It’s best not to install hard floors onto concrete slabs.

The DIY basement subfloor

Floor underlays aren’t always necessary. You only need them when you want to expand strength downwards and make your basement warm and cosy. By the way, before you start your DIY floors, know that you can install tiles or concrete over concrete slabs. Whereas, it’s best to install hardwood floors on top of the plywood underlays. Also, make sure that you get the right materials of floors before you start your projects. Moreover, you’ll also need the perfect nails, fasteners and other essential tools to do a DIY subfloor. You could always take a few tips from the pro for a much ideal build.

Tips on how to buy Subfloors online

Buying an ideal underlayment can be exciting yet exhausting. Being a little on the expensive side, you certainly want to make sure that you install your flooring the correct way. We bet you’ve heard stories of people installing the subs and hear cracking sounds when walked on. Well, what lies underneath your floors can determine the sounds they make. Here are a few quick tips to help you buy floor underlayment online in Dubai.

  • Figure out your needs – Even before you start your search online, it’s imperative to sort out your needs first. Do you need to repair your old floors? Or perhaps you want to buy a new one altogether. Similarly, do you wish to buy concrete subfloors or you want to buy just a subfloor glue? Understanding what you need reduces half of your burden of choosing the perfect one online.
  • Research is essential – There’s nothing as important as adequate knowledge about the product. You do not want to look clueless when you find several options for underlayment online. Which is why it’s imperative to do a bit of research before you start your search for the perfect subfloor online. Being armed with the right product information makes your buying process a lot simpler.
  • Explore the types – Once you know what you need, and have done a bit of research, next check out their types and details. See which one suits your place the best. Since there are several options when it comes to the subfloor types, you may want to dig in a little about their features and characteristics to purchase the best ones out there.
  • Keep an eye on the materials – From cheap subflooring materials to moderate and expensive ones, you’ll find all sorts of underlay materials out there. Now, this means it’s essential to materials you’d choose when it comes to subfloors. Make sure you go for the ones that offer high insulation and sound absorption. Some common materials include wood, plywood, and concrete.
  • Pick a model with best moisture protection – One of the main benefits of having the underlay is moisture protection. They keep your floors from getting wet and prevents them from warping. Some underlayment also has built-in vapour barriers. Thus, make sure you pick a model that has a high resistance to moisture or any wet climatic condition.
  • Check out the sound absorption quality – You certainly do not want your floors to squeak, screech, and cry when walked on. Therefore, you need to pick your underlays that stimulate small air gaps without limiting compression capabilities. Thus, go for such models that provide high sound absorption and offer you a smooth surface.
  • Look out for your indoor air quality – Its better check out the kind of environment you’ll be installing your floors, before you buy them. Remember, a highly moist climatic condition requires different subflooring when compared to the ones in a dry environment. Also, make sure that the product you purchase comes in eco-friendly materials.
  • Discover the insulation value – The products you purchase must possess excellent insulation properties. They should make sure that you do not experience any moisture or wetness issues in different climatic conditions. Having the perfectly insulated floors make sure that you have a robust base to walk on without having to worry about any damage.
  • Consider the ease of installation – One of the main factors, when you buy the subfloors, is the ease of installation. Can you easily roll out the underlayment? Or does it require a few manual nudges? Be sure to pick a product that’s easy to install. After all, you do not want to be spending too much time installing the floors, as you have to more to look after when constructing a building.

No matter what type of subfloor you choose, it must fit your requirements. Besides, be sure to pick a product that provides quality, longevity, and performance. Consider the above tips and tricks to buy your best underlayment for laminate flooring on concrete and also the best subfloor for the basement. And finally, do not go for good-looking products, instead, carefully analyse and assess the floors well before you make your final call.

Question & Answer

Do I need a subfloor?

Floor underlays are great to make your flooring system strong. A layer of subfloor above the joists make sure that you have a stronger foundation for both underlayment and surface levels of flooring. In short, the floor underlays offer you a stable, level surface that helps you install a brand new flooring on them easily. But make sure that the one you buy is the best. Whether plywood, vinyl, or carpet, choosing the right underlay for your floors is imperative for the floor’s durability.

What is the best plywood to use for subfloor?

Plywood has been the traditional subfloor material since the 1950s. And it still does remain the preferred material in the modern era for many builders. However, a better material like the 3/4-inch tongue-and-groove plywood gives you an excellent base. Similarly, the CDX plywood to makes up for the finest floor underlay. If you are in search of the best brands, you can find them right here. There are hundreds of sellers and trusted brands that offer them here at competitive prices.

Should I screw or nail subfloors?

Installing underlays is crucial. It would be best if you resorted to the right materials and tools to perform a perfect installation process. You can install your underlays using the code-approved screws instead of nails. Screws are the best options if you want to avoid movements. However, if you plan to use nails for installation, then stick to ring-shank nails. They’re smooth and help you eliminate the squeaks. So, you can use any but you need to choose the right type. The installation also depend upon the material.

Can I put new subfloor over old subfloor?

It isn’t easy to figure out what goes on beneath your floors and know how durable the base layers are. Usually, you’re floor underlays last for a very long time. Under normal conditions, your subfloors can last as long as your house itself. However, like any other product, these too are prone to damage after a period. Should this be the case, you need to peel back the layers of flooring and get to work. And yes, you can install a new underlay above the old subfloor. For that, you need to assess the damage, peel the existing layer and then install the new one with the right nails or fasteners.

What are the best brands for underlayment?

With more and more people being aware of their floors and the ways of creating the best one for their buildings, manufacturers have pushed themselves in creating some of the finest subfloor options today. If you wish to buy the best floor underlays, then check out the well-known brands. Some of the famous names in the list include brand names like Schluter, Mapei, Ardex, Sika, Bostik, Advantech, Duralay, Warmboard, Roberts, and Regupol. The good thing is that you can find them here.

Where to buy subfloors online?

Several online stores and brands offer you numerous kinds of floor underlays online. Quite often, searching and browsing through so many sites can become a daunting task, particularly when you have to pick one of a kind model. Well, if you wish to experience a hassle-free shopping, then visit Shops.ae. Our product search engine brings you only the best of the best floor underlays. What’s more, you can choose them from your favourite online stores too.

So are you ready to give your floor a new makeover? We bet you’re now! Check out the collection of premium subfloor materials right here on Shops.ae and pick your favourite one. And yes, do not miss to check out various other products on our shopping search engine from over 500 online brands and stores.