All About Subfloors

How well do you know your subfloor? If you’re like most people, you probably know you have one. After all, your floors aren’t just sitting on the ground, right? The fact is, we take our subfloors for granted.

Fortunately, subfloors aren’t overly complicated, but there are a few key things to know about your subfloor that can make a big difference in the longevity and comfort of your flooring.

The best way to think about flooring is in layers. The top layer is your floor, while the bottom layer is the subfloor. Subfloors come in two varieties: concrete and wood; and depending on which type you have, the layer in between the subfloor and floor ­can vary.

If you have a concrete subfloor, your primary concerns are moisture, comfort and insulation, all of which are conveniently addressed with Eco Cork Foam Underlayment.

Concrete Subfloors

Concrete subfloors are common in basements, bathrooms and high-rise buildings. Concrete is much stronger and harder than wood. It also has a higher moisture content. It’s normal for concrete to perspire or produce moisture vapor in response to changes in the environment. This is why flooring manufacturers require the use of a vapor barrier on concrete subfloors. Most flooring is vulnerable to moisture, including waterproof varieties which are protected at the surface but not at the core.

Comfort is another common concern with concrete subfloors as they can be cold and hard. For this reason, many homeowners choose to add an underlayment between the subfloor and flooring. The underlayment adds a layer of cushion and insulation underfoot. It also absorbs the everyday movement and friction that would otherwise weaken tongue-and-groove connections.

The bottom line, or rather the “in between line,” for concrete subfloors is this: whatever the concern, Eco Cork Foam is the answer. At a minimum, it provides the required vapor barrier, but attached to that vapor barrier is a waterproof pad that offers 10-in-1 protective features, including antimicrobial protection, superior sound absorption and an exceptional thermal barrier.

Wood Subfloors

Let’s say you have a wood subfloor. Your primary concerns are probably noise control and surface imperfections. Wood subfloors, usually made of plywood or oriented-strand board (OSB), are often rough and irregular. At 1/8” (3.2 mm) thick, Eco Cork Foam Underlayment helps even out subfloor imperfections, providing a smooth surface on which to lay flooring. This thickness also supports tongue-and-groove connections, adds cushion and helps insulate flooring.

Wood subfloors also have water issues. While flooring manufacturers may not require a vapor barrier for use with a wood subfloor, many strongly advise the use of one. If you live in an area where moisture is prevalent, wood subfloors can absorb that moisture and transmit it to your flooring, causing it to warp or buckle. With Eco Cork Foam, the vapor barrier decision is easy, and the installation is complete since it’s already attached!

Wood subfloors are noisy, too. If you live in a multi-story home, you probably already know this. Wood simply isn’t dense or thick enough to reduce sound transmission, which is why a quality underlayment like Eco Cork Foam comes in handy. It offers industry-leading impact and sound transmission ratings in addition to 1/8” (3.2 mm) thick cushion.

If you have wood subfloors, you need Eco Cork Foam to control noise and provide a smooth surface. But whether they are on your radar or not, other issues exist with wood subfloors, such as moisture, floor wear and tear, and even mold and mildew. All of these can be minimized with Eco Cork Foam Waterproof 10-in-1 Underlayment.


About Us

Eco Cork Foam Underlayment is manufactured in North Carolina by Palziv, North America. Palziv brings together world-class science and engineering to deliver innovative products, materials and services for the construction, building, automotive, recreational, medical and packaging industries. Every day, we strive to grow our community, working with others to seek sustainable, innovative, market-driven solutions that promote better, safer, and healthier lifestyles and protect the environment for generations to come.