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Subflooring Tongue and Groove Profile Impacts Quiet Floor Performance

Strength, stiffness and moisture resistance are common qualities builders expect out of quality subflooring. Often overlooked, however, is the importance a secure fitting tongue and groove profile. Chris Vegas, technology manager for Huber Engineered Woods, the makers of AdvanTech® subflooring, discusses how an “easy fit,” is not necessarily a secure fit.

What’s the main function of the tongue and groove profile on subfloor panels?

The purpose behind a tongue and groove profile is edge support. It may seem like a small detail, but the way the edges of a panel are manufactured, not only affects how the panels lock together during installation, but it also affects the long-term performance of the subflooring system. While some panels claim to provide an easier fit, what’s important is to make sure panels have a snug fitting tongue and groove, to reduce the chance for deflection – or up and down movement that can lead to squeaks.

What makes AdvanTech subflooring edge profile different?

AdvanTech panels provide, what we call, a secure fit. The top and bottom of our profiles are straight and parallel with each other, while a lot of competitive panel profiles are shaped more like a wedge. While this may allow panels to connect together easily, it also may leave them loose, which provides less edge support. AdvanTech panels’ tongue and groove also includes a self-spacer, which ensures proper spacing, while still providing full panel edge support. More movement can lead to more squeaks and more pops, with the end result being more unhappy homeowners.

Are there other characteristics that are unique to AdvanTech panels?

The job of subflooring is to be a strong, even base for finished floors, no matter what the jobsite conditions. At Huber Engineered Woods we use a perfected balance of advanced resin technology throughout the panel with high wood fiber content, to ensure our AdvanTech panels are consistently manufactured to above-code standards for strength, stiffness and fastener-holding.[1] It’s a process we created over 20 years ago that provides a strong, quiet, stiff subfloor.

1 Documented in ESR-1785.

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