For years, we at Floor Covering Installer received requests from our readers for more information on underlayments and subfloor preparation. Problems related to this issue, such as moisture, deflection and underlayment selection are at the root of many flooring failures.
For years, we at Floor
Covering Installer received requests from our readers for more
information on underlayments and subfloor preparation. Problems related to this
issue, such as moisture, deflection and underlayment selection are at the root
of many flooring failures.
To address these issues, we
developed a special issue, the Underlayment and Subfloor Preparation Reference
Guide, which was launched four years ago. The issue was a resounding success,
and we have continued to publish it every year since. This year’s edition is
filled with the latest information on all aspects of underlayment and subfloor
preparation, from moisture problems and testing to floor covering removal and
everything in between. In addition to all of our knowledgeable and respected
columnists, we have also enlisted industry experts from several companies that
specialize in underlayment and subfloor preparation solutions and technologies.
Despite all the attention
dedicated to this area of the flooring trade, many installers still fail to
recognize the importance of proper underlayment and subfloor preparation in
preventing installation failures - the results can be costly. Perhaps they
believe that excessive moisture in the concrete subfloor or deflection problems
in a wood subfloor aren’t their problems; they’re only there to install the
flooring. However, this is absolutely wrong; it is their problem, whether they
like it or not. If they choose to install flooring over unsuitable or
improperly prepared subfloors, then they are opening themselves to major
liability in the event of a flooring failure. One judgment in a case of this
type could easily cost tens of thousands of dollars. In light of this immense
risk, it hardly seems worth the gamble.
So, what’s an installer to do?
The first step is education. Find
out what types of classes are available in your area and start attending them.
Many manufacturers of underlayment and subfloor preparation materials, such as
moisture control membranes and waterproofing systems, offer classes on how to
use their products - free of charge. Some may charge a small fee; it is well
worth it when you consider how much it could potentially save you in the event
of a failure.
It is also important to make sure
you have the correct tools, such as a good moisture meter and moisture test
kits. Test kits are only effective when used correctly, so be sure to read the instructions
carefully and ask the manufacturer for guidance if you are unsure how to use
hope that this Underlayment and Subfloor Preparation Reference Guide will give
you the knowledge you need to prevent installation failures. If there is a
subject we haven’t covered here, chances are it was covered in a previous
issue, so be sure to check our web site, www.fcimag.com for archives of past
Editorial: Beneath All Good Installations Lies a Solid Foundation
September 11, 2007