Top Tips for Preparing Your Floor for Soft Flooring

Top Tips for Preparing Your Floor for Soft Flooring

There are a few essential steps you should follow before installing soft flooring. These include preparing the sub-floor and installing an underlayment or Orient-strand board. If you’re using wood, you should get a moisture test kit, and do not skip this step. Ensure the moisture content is no higher than 4% on your subfloor. Also, if the subfloor is wood, you should install a moisture barrier underlayment. This underlayment is usually available in rolls you can cut after installing the flooring.


Before installing soft flooring, it is vital to prepare the subfloor from  properly. If your subfloor is wood or concrete, you must ensure it is level. If the subfloor is not level, you should use underlayment to add extra protection and cushioning. Also, follow the installation instructions provided by the manufacturer to avoid any mistakes.

You can also use duct tape to test the moisture level of your floor. If you cannot test the moisture content of your subfloor, you can also use scrap vinyl as an underlayment. When applying an underlayment, make sure it is flat and does not have any voids or raised grain patterns. These issues may affect the adhesion of the vinyl finish. You can also use patching compound or sandpaper to fill in cracks and gaps. For larger areas, you may need to use an electric sander.

After the base trim is ready, you can start installing the floor. After that, you must place a scrap wood spacer between the flooring and the wall in the groove. Make sure the gap between the boards is even around the room. You can also secure the boards with a rubber mallet or hammer. It is essential to make sure that all the joints are secure.

Orient-strand board

OSB is an engineered wood panel that offers many benefits over plywood. It is an engineered product and is also lightweight and easy to handle. Its versatility is another reason to consider OSB for soft flooring.

Once OSB has been laid down, you can apply a polyurethane topcoat. Use a long-handled roller with short fibers to apply the coating. The topcoat should be applied in two to three coats, and heavy-traffic areas, such as kitchens and bathrooms, should have three coats. It is a good idea to allow the topcoat to dry between coats.

Orient-strand board (OSB) strength and durability are similar to that of plywood but at a lower cost. The process of installing OSB is identical to that of installing plywood. Concrete slabs are another popular subflooring material, giving your floor a hard, flat surface. Once you have laid the OSB, you can install finishing flooring over it. Before installing soft flooring over plywood, remove any staples or raised nail heads. Orient-strand board is another wood subfloor material, and it is also moisture-resistant. When laying OSB, you must ensure that the subfloor is free of raised nail heads or staples.

Vapor barrier

You should install a vapor barrier to prevent moisture from reaching your new floor. It is necessary for most laminate flooring installations when it is placed over a concrete slab. A moisture retarder vapor barrier prevents the moisture from penetrating the laminate floor. To ensure the vapor barrier works, you must test the concrete substrate according to the manufacturer’s instructions. However, it is essential to note that different manufacturers have different test procedures.

Generally, most manufacturers do not recommend using a vapor barrier over a wooden subfloor. However, there are exceptions. Certain manufacturers, such as Harmonics, recommend using a moisture barrier under the floor before installing their laminate flooring. A moisture barrier will help prevent the warping and cupping of the wood.

Vapor barriers are available in various types. Some are available in rolls, while others are glued directly onto the subfloor. Some of these barrier materials come with self-tapping options. A vapor barrier can also be used as an underlayment to protect the flooring from moisture. If you choose to install a vapor barrier underneath the soft flooring, make sure to select a flooring product that has low VOC levels.

Cleaning your sub-floor

Before installing soft flooring, you should clean your subfloor thoroughly. It’s a crucial part of the replacement process as if it isn’t clean, problems can arise. You can use a variety of cleaners, including enzymatic cleaners. These enzymes work by converting organic waste to water and carbon dioxide. They also work to remove blood, grease, and food stains.

Start by cleaning the concrete subfloor. Mix half a cup of vinegar and one cup of hot water. Let it soak in for about 10 minutes before cleaning it. Then, use a nylon deck brush to scrub the floor. After this, rinse the floor thoroughly with hot water. You can also use a wet vac to remove excess water from the subfloor.

Next, check for any small high or low spots on the subfloor. If you notice any, you can move a long straight pipe to the different areas to check for imperfections. Afterward, you can mark these high or low spots with a pencil or marker. It would help if you also fixed any loose boards or plywood sheets. If you find any nails, replace them with screws.