Subfloor is typically cement, plywood, or some other wood, possibly particle board or OSB (oriented strand board). Underlayment is the thin material that rests between the subflooring and the hardwood. If you’re using engineered hardwood flooring, the underlayment allows the flooring to float.

What goes between subfloor and hardwood?

Underlayment is the layer of material that sits between the subfloor and the new hardwood flooring. Subflooring is a layer of plywood or engineered wood that sits at the very bottom layer of the flooring.

What is the recommended underlayment for hardwood flooring?

What Underlayment is Best for Wood? When installing hardwood or engineered wood flooring, the best underlay options are cork and foam. However, foam does have more give than cork so, while it is the more popular option, we recommend cork. Cork has less give, making it less likely to flex underneath your planks.

Do I need underlayment for hardwood floor?

While underlayment isn’t always necessary for your hardwood floors, there are always benefits to it. One of the most significant reasons to install underlayment is the added stability and durability. Underlayment provides support for your floor and helps smooth subfloor imperfections.

Do you need subfloor and underlayment?

Basically, subfloors are a structural part of your home that provide strength and rigidity to your home’s flooring. Underlays, on the other hand, protect your floor covering from moisture, help soundproof your floor, and offer cushioning and comfort underfoot. You can think of your floor like a sandwich cookie.

Is plywood necessary under hardwood?

The subfloor will need to be dry, level, and structurally sound. Most experts recommend installing hardwood flooring on a plywood subfloor, ranging from 1/2 to 3/4- inch in thickness and rated A/C. In addition, you can use particle board, OSB, and concrete for subflooring with hardwood as well.

How do you prepare a subfloor for hardwood floors?

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What do you put between subfloor and underlayment?

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Do you need felt paper under hardwood?

Felt paper is installed under hardwood flooring to provide an extra layer of moisture protection and also to dampen sound. You will need to install it under your wood floors if a padding is not already attached to the hardwood planks. Many models of hardwood planks have dampening foam already attached.

How do you choose underlayment?

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Are subfloors necessary?

While a subfloor is not necessary to add structural strength when you’ll be laying finish flooring on top of a concrete slab (as in a basement remodel), subflooring over concrete offers two other advantages: Dampness control. Install a vapor barrier of plastic sheeting before laying the subfloor.

Is underlayment necessary?

Underlayment is not optional. If your laminate planks don’t have it already attached, we recommend that you buy rolls of underlayment on which to install your laminate floor.

Do I need 2 layers of subfloor?

That’s the usual approach. Almost no one puts down double-thick subfloor in residential applications (for cost and handling reasons), and both layers need to be fastened to joists. Only thin underlayment can be fastened just to the subfloor.

Can you put hardwood over plywood subfloor?

Engineered or Solid Wood Flooring that is less than 1/2″ thick can be installed over a plywood subfloor.

How thick does the subfloor need to be for hardwood flooring?

For hardwood finish flooring, which average about 3/8-inch to 3/4-inch in thickness, 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch-thick plywood is the preferred subfloor, though there are a variety of grades designed for specific applications. Using tongue-and-groove plywood can reduce squeaks, as the sheets will seat together better.

Can you put hardwood flooring over subfloor?

Most brands of hardwood flooring can be installed over concrete when plywood or OSB subflooring panels have been installed over the concrete slab but it’s wise to consult the manufacturer for any specific installation requirements.

What goes over subfloor?

Underlayment: Some types of flooring can be installed directly on top of the subfloor, such as vinyl flooring. Other types need a middle layer, called underlayment, such as laminate,carpet and tile.

What wood should I use for subfloor?


Plywood is considered the most popular material used for subflooring, it has been used since the 1950s and remains one of the top choices for contractors. Standard plywood works perfectly fine as a subflooring material, but the best option is ¾” tongue-and-groove plywood subflooring.

Is tongue and groove necessary for subfloor?

For subflooring, you use tongue and groove plywood. The tongue and groove are only along the 8 foot edges. On the four foot edges, your seams will fall on joist tops, so no need for tongue and groove. But to start off, we will need to remove the tongue so the plywood is tight with the exterior ICF walls.

What thickness subfloor is recommended?

The spacing of the joists governs the recommended thickness of the plywood subfloor. Some experts suggest that 15/32-inch plywood should be standard if the underlying floor joists are spaced 16 inches apart or less, but you should use slightly thicker 3/4-inch plywood for joists spaced further apart.

Do you nail or screw subfloor?

Ideally, nail down your subfloor using corrosion-resistant nails that will securely hold it in place and last a long time. Screws are a great alternative that you can easily remove, but they are not as sturdy. Screws are superior in terms of reducing floor squeaks, but the installation is slower.