Sub-flooring is perhaps the most overlooked of the four elements of a finished floor system, but it has seen significant advancements in recent years. Along with the other elements of a finished floor system, sub-flooring needs to be strong enough to resist long-term bending and buckling to ensure a solid, squeak-free finished floor.
Read on for some sub-flooring installations tips and tricks, as well as a look into recent sub-flooring innovation.
Finished flooring is only as good as the sub-flooring supporting it. If the sub-flooring is not properly cleaned or is not flat or dry enough, flooring performance can suffer. Before installing the flooring, it is important to check for sub-flooring moisture problems, raised nails and swollen or raised edges that will need sanding. The plane of the subfloor needs to be flat and using a premium sub-flooring that reduces the chances of post-installation sanding can save time.
Failure to do this subfloor preparation work is a recipe for callbacks and or costly and time-consuming repairs.
Properly install sub-flooring for best results
Design professionals can specify the best sub-flooring product and still get poor results. Builders should follow these precautions and procedures for proper installation:
As a contracting company with more than 50 years of experience in residential framing, Schauman Construction recommends builders looking into a product because of its durability and ease of use. With LP® TopNotch 350®, they do not need to worry about the product falling apart in the winter months. “We experience some horrible winters in Michigan,” says Dave Schauman, president of Schauman Construction in Saginaw. “Products often sit on our jobsites in colder months, freezing and thawing and freezing again. When they finally get fully thawed and dried, they can flake or fall apart…”
But with LP TopNotch 350, Schauman says he doesn’t have to worry about the product falling apart in the winter months. “You can tell when you walk on LP TopNotch. It’s solid. In winter months, there’s no doubt in my mind what I’m using.”
Latest advances in premium-grade sub-flooring
Some of today’s premium-grade OSB sub-flooring products pack more strands into each panel and utilize adhesives that bond wood fibers at the molecular level for exceptional performance. This gives them the density, stability and moisture resistance needed to support hardwood floors, tile flooring and floors in large homes that get exposed to moisture for many months during construction.
Some premium sub-flooring manufacturers are now partnering with leading companies in the glue and adhesive industry. The wood strands of the sub-flooring get coated with polymeric methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (pMDI) adhesives to provide maximum moisture resistance. For example, LP Legacy® sub-flooring uses Gorilla Glue Technology® for one of the industry's strongest, stiffest sub-floors. It's technology that homebuyers easily understand and value.
Mid-grade and premium OSB is likely to continue its dominance in the sub-flooring market because builders keep getting good results with it. Although sub-flooring and complementary products are not visible to the homeowners, residents and customers who count on them for strength and quiet performance each day, builders and designers still have the satisfaction of knowing OSB flooring products are engineered to bring out the best in each other.
Many might assume engineered wood products wouldn’t be a good choice for wildfire-prone regions, but they can be part of a WUI-compliant solution. With LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding, one of the most durable siding solutions available, you can provide homeowners with a strong exterior look for their home. And by combining it with LP® FlameBlock® Fire-Rated Sheathing, your clients can be assured their home has a durable exterior siding and walls that are compliant with requirements for ignition-resistant construction in WUI areas.Continue Reading
Because moisture concerns are common across the United States, water-resistive roof underlayment is critical for any build. To help combat water intrusion, a roof underlayment provides a secondary barrier from moisture between the roof covering and the structure of the build.
Our purpose, Building a Better World™, had guided us in the years prior to 2020, but it was uniquely tested with this year’s challenges. As the comfort of home became increasingly important we sought to put our communities and customers first in new ways, serving them with the need for resiliency and safety in mind.
In fire-prone geographies, such as wildland-urban interface (WUI) areas, fire protection for roofs may be a critical part of a comprehensive approach to slowing the spread of fire and fire damage in homes. A fire classification roof system is required in WUI areas to protect your build and clients’ peace of mind—and with the right products, the installation process can be simple. Let’s take a look at fire-resistant roof sheathing and how it can help you approach building better in fire-prone areas.