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Your Subfloor

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Request a free, no-obligation quote for wood flooring restorations, repairs and fitting from the Whittlewoods team.

10 Benefits of wood flooring

Not all wooden floors are fitted the same way and your subfloor will have a major impact on your range of options. To enable us to give you the best advice contact area service numbers or fill out the form to send us a message.

Before we move into the finer details, it is worth pointing out that, to the Whittle Woods flooring experts, doors, skirting and architraves are generally not restrictions as these can be undercut to accommodate the new floor.

Your type of subfloor

There are 4 basic types of sub floors upon which we fix hard wood floors.

  1. Concrete
  2. Joists
  3. Old floor boards
  4. Chipboard or plywood structure
1. Concrete

Concrete varies greatly in condition, but most importantly it has to be dry ( less than 4% moisture ) and level. If your sub floor is in this condition we can either glue directly onto the concrete or float an engineered board on top of an underlay.

If however your sub floor is damp or uneven, don’t give up as there are many ways that we can rectify the situation.

Therefore a site visit is advisable to assess your concrete sub base we will take moisture level tests and advise accordingly on the best and most economical way forward.

2. Joists

Hard wood floors are easily fixed onto joists using secret or surface nails, a special nailer is required for this procedure. Planks can be tongue and groove or square edged.

The joists must be dry and free of ‘dry rot’ and any other decay and must be securely in position. In older houses joists were suspended above the soil this can lead to serious damp problems if there is not adequate ventilation, and this must be checked out thoroughly, to ensure that you do not waste money on your wooden floor. In some cases if there is enough height allowance a chipboard sub base can be fitted to provide a moisture and thermal barrier to the earth below. See section on chipboard sub bases

A site visit is necessary to assess the condition of the joists, moisture and ventilation.

3. Old floor boards

Old floorboards are in most cases made of pine (Scandinavian, Columbian or South American pitch). If these boards are secure and free from damp they make an ideal surface to secret or surface nail a new hardwood floor. An acoustic and thermal underlay can be placed between the two layers of wood, which will reduce noise levels including creaking and helps to reduce the transmission of cold air from below.

A site visit is advisable to assess the condition of the old boards and maybe to advise you whether it is possible to restore your old floorboards with a ‘sand and wax’.

4. Chipboard or ply wood structure

Chipboard and ply wood sub bases are the ideal surface to fit a hardwood floor. You will be able to choose from all timbers available and these can be nailed, glued or floated, as long as they are secure, dry and even.

They are the most versatile option and are preferred by most fitters.

5. Underfloor heating

Please contact us for advice in this specialist field.