Why You Should Use a Moisture Barrier for Hardwood Flooring

When planning to install hardwood flooring, you must make sure that you’re doing everything right. This is because you’ll be investing a lot of your time and money into it. Besides the quality of the hardwood that you purchase, the installation procedure is a crucial factor you need to focus on if you want to achieve long-term high performance and an excellent look for your floor.

Moisture damage is a major concern in most residential and commercial spaces. If moisture seeps up into the hardwood from your subfloor, it can lead to cupping and rotting of the material prematurely. Therefore, it’s very important to check the moisture level of your subfloor and prepare it properly before installing hardwood.

In today’s post, we’ll explore why a moisture barrier for hardwood is important and the types of barriers available.

Why You Should Use a Moisture Barrier

For hardwood installation, the ideal moisture level of the subfloor should not be more than 2%. If you have a concrete subfloor, the flooring material will require a powerful moisture barrier because concrete consists of a high moisture level. It can quickly affect hardwood and damage it permanently.

A wooden or plywood subfloor also requires a moisture barrier as it can trap moisture over time leading to the growth of mould between the subfloor and the hardwood surface. If a protection isn’t used, moisture can cause the subfloor to rot gradually.

Types of Moisture Barriers for Hardwood Flooring

Moisture barriers are available in different types of materials such as epoxy mixtures, polyfilm, PVC, rubberized elastomeric membranes and roofing felt. However, moisture barriers are categorized according to the installation method of the floor.

  • Glue Down Installations: When you’re planning to glue down the hardwood flooring material on your concrete subfloors, you’ll need a very powerful barrier. This is because you need a superior protection to prevent your subfloor from sweating especially on the occasion of a spillage, water accumulation due to rain or excessive humidity. Popular moisture barriers for glue down hardwood flooring are resin and epoxy sealants.
  • Nail Down Installations: For hardwood flooring that comes with a nail down installation process, two types of barriers are required for maximum protection. Polyfilm or plastic sheathing will protect the subfloor from moisture damage and roofing felt placed over it will help eliminate the risks of moisture damage to the hardwood surface.

How to Choose the Right Barrier for Your Hardwood Floor

The two most important factors you should consider when choosing a moisture barrier for your space are –

  • The moisture level of the subfloor.
  • The installation method of your floor.

A lot of homeowners often make the mistake of purchasing just any type of moisture barrier to install over the subfloor. This is a wrong move as all types of barriers aren’t suitable for a specific flooring installation method. If you make the same mistake, you’ll only end up wasting all the hard work and money.

Therefore, after you determine the moisture level of the subfloor with the help of a flooring professional, decide what type of installation method you want. Consult an expert if you’re unable to decide which installation type is best for your room depending on the condition of your subfloor.

Amazon Hardwood Centre is one of the best flooring stores in Toronto offering a great selection of top Canadian brands in hardwood, laminate, vinyl, and engineered products. We also provide consultation and hassle-free installation services.

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