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Solid subfloors make for happy feet

Proper installation essential to building's structural integrity

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As you walk across your living room carpet or stand on the vinyl flooring in your kitchen, you're probably completely unaware of the structural floor that lies beneath the finished flooring. Called the subfloor, this structural component of your home lies across the tops of the floor joists and offers lateral stability to the floor framing as well as a solid, flat floor surface. Proper selection, installation, and fastening of subfloors is essential to the structural integrity of the building and also to the comfort of the occupants. Improperly installed, subflooring can be bouncy and is apt to squeak, two very unpleasant attributes in a floor that should feel rock solid underfoot. In years past, in the days before wall-to-wall carpeting, structural subfloors were typically installed by laying individual 1x planks diagonally across the tops of the joists. The planks were nailed in place without adhesive, and their diagonal installation helped brace the floor structure as well. A laye...