How to Prepare Your Floor For New Flooring

When you choose new flooring, you do have to consider the condition of the subfloor, which is the main floor of the home on which the new flooring must be laid. Not only do you have to check it to make sure it is smooth, clean and dry, but you also must check for places of rot or dampness. If you find such problem areas and do not take steps to correct them, they can lead to major renovation costs down the road.

This article will give you tips and suggestions as to how you can easily repair any problems that you find in the subfloor. A few of these suggestions are:

  • How to remedy an uneven subfloor
  • How to remove old floor tiles
  • How to deal with old floorboards

Remedying an uneven subfloor

There are several ways of fixing the problems with an uneven subfloor so that you have a smooth finish with new flooring.

  1. Lay new plywood over the subfloor. You can also use hardwood or chipboard that is suited for flooring. If you choose hardwood, you can choose either side of the wood. The smooth side facing you allows you to use an adhesive with the new flooring and if you use the rough side facing you, this makes it possible to provide a better grip for underlay if you are laying carpet. Stagger the joints of the panels you install making sure they don’t occur in the same locations as the existing joints of the subfloor.
  2. You can make the subfloor even by applying a leveling compound over the whole floor or the areas that need to be brought up to the proper level of evenness. This compound is available in hardware and home improvement stores. You purchase it as a powder that you then mix and pour over the floor to fill in any imperfections.
  3. In extreme cases, you may have to remove the subfloor all together and install an entirely new floor.

Removing old floor tiles

Look for a tile that is loose or cracked. You can basically start anywhere in the floor. Use a tile scraper to remove all the tiles one at a time. A hot air gun, a hair dryer or even a steam iron will help loosen the adhesive to make the tiles easier to remove. Then you only have to scrape the adhesive off the subfloor.

If you have ceramic tiles, you will need to use a hammer and chisel to remove them. It is important that you wear protective clothing and eyewear for this job because small pieces of the tiles can fly everywhere. The shards of these tiles are very sharp and can cause serious accidents.

Dealing with old floorboards

In old houses the floorboards tend to become uneven over time. They may have been cut at one time to install pipes or cables and even if you cover them with resilient flooring, the indentations will show through the new flooring. Check out the gaps in the flooring and fill them with small pieces of wood glued on both sides. This will help you make the floor even.

If you find any boards damaged by water, they will need to be replaced, but you should also check to find the source of the water so that the same problem does not continue to occur. Loose boards that are in good condition can be renailed or screwed down to keep them in place and prevent a squeak in the floor when you walk on this spot. You can also remove the floorboards and turn them over to reveal a smooth underside.