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Secrets to Silencing Floor Squeaks

2 Min Read December 10, 2019

When imagining your dream home, chances are high that you aren't envisioning floors that squeak with every step and nails that pop and snag on your socks.

But there's a secret that some of the best custom homebuilders use to mitigate squeaks, pops and more-high-quality subflooring.

What is subflooring?

Subflooring is the flat base on which your finished floor — your hardwoods, tile and carpet — rests. And, depending on the type of finished flooring you choose, you may even have multiple layers of flooring products that lie beneath the visible surface. For hardwoods, your builder may use a thin sheet of felt paper between the subfloor and finished floor to block moisture transference between the boards. Tile and stone flooring typically requires a cement backer board that mortar can easily adhere to, and carpet is laid on top of a pad.

The quality of subfloor your builder chooses is important both during and after the construction of your home.

How does it affect my finished floors?

If you choose a builder that uses low-quality subfloors, you could be left with squeaky or warped floors. The quality of subfloor your builder chooses is important both during and after the construction of your home.

Throughout the typical six-month building process, it's likely to rain on the jobsite a few times. Low-quality subfloors can soak up the moisture and even swell at the edges or delaminate. This moisture damage during the build can cause delays and additional issues, like squeaks, down the line.

When low-quality OSB is exposed to moisture during the build, it tends to lose its ability to hold nails in place. This can cause problems with hardwood floors that need a nailable base in order to stay in place — and stay quiet. If your builder uses a low-quality subfloor, you run the risk of nail pops, squeaks and uneven floors once the finished floor is laid.

Why should I insist on a builder that uses high-quality subflooring? No matter the type of finished floor system, you need a sturdy base. Good builders understand the importance of high-quality subfloor, especially in modern home constructions that tend to have open floor plans and heavy finishing touches like granite and oversized furniture. Builders who use high-quality subfloor materials are increasing the durability and overall performance of your home for years to come. They are also investing and insisting on quality — traits you want in a builder.

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