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Industry Trends4 min

Why Premium Sub-Floors Are Making the Biggest Floor Trends Look Better

Sub-floors are often an overlooked part of a home build, especially since the flooring system isn’t visible to homeowners. But builders and contractors should take a closer look at the flooring choice the homeowner has selected in order to build a solid base. While it’s true the industry has been quietly innovating sub-flooring for greater strength and stiffness, it’s important to factor in recent flooring trends when selecting a sub-floor. Floor trends are tipping the scales toward much heavier flooring, requiring sub-flooring to be stiff enough to resist long-term bending and buckling.

Currently, each square foot of sub-flooring must accommodate 10 lb. of dead load and 30–40 lb. of live load while maintaining its structural integrity.

  • Dead load: Weight of home itself including walls, roof and building materials
  • Live load: Includes people, furniture and contents of home

Commodity-grade sub-flooring provides good performance for small- and average-sized homes that use vinyl or laminate flooring. For example, floating vinyl flooring planks weigh approximately 2–2.3 lb./sq. ft. Add people and furniture, and live loads should be well under the 30–40 lb. limit.

However, according to Realtor.com, the biggest trends in flooring are:

  1. Wood-look porcelain tile
  2. Marble-look porcelain tile
  3. Waterproof vinyl plank flooring
  4. Stained concrete
  5. Terrazzo
  6. Large-format tile

And in luxury homes, these top choices are trending:

  1. Natural stone
  2. Ceramic floor tile
  3. Exotic wood flooring
  4. Hand-scraped wood flooring
  5. Reclaimed wood
  6. Luxury vinyl tile

Whether you’re building or remodeling a new home or building luxury houses these flooring trends are adding significant weight to each square foot of the house, making sub-flooring for heavy tile and hardwood critical.

Typical total installation weights for luxury flooring can quickly exceed the 10 lb. dead load accommodation. For example, natural stone tile can weigh up to 23 lb./sq. ft. When calculating for heavy flooring, luxury furniture and people, live loads can quickly exceed support capacity. no question that stronger and stiffer premium sub-flooring can help spread the load across multiple joists—not only creating a solid feel underneath, but also helping to carry the load.

Choosing sub-flooring for tile and sub-flooring for hardwood

LP Legacy® Premium Sub-Flooring made with Gorilla Glue Technology® is a super durable, premium, strand-based composite wood panel designed for demanding sub-floor applications that require exceptional stiffness. It’s one of the toughest sub-flooring panels in the industry, providing the density and stability needed to support heavy stone and ceramic floors, exotic hardwoods, and other heavy flooring options. It’s the ideal sub-flooring for tile—especially heavy natural and ceramic stone—and the ideal sub-flooring for hardwood.

Want more information on the durability of LP Legacy Premium Sub-Flooring? Check this Q&A about its extreme durability testing.

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