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A Look at Moisture Barriers for Hardwood Flooring

When you are installing long island hardwood flooring, you definitely want to take the time to make sure that everything is done right. The last thing you want to do is invest so much time, money and energy into a beautiful hardwood floor, only to find out that it buckling and destroyed a few months down the road.

Moisture is long island hardwood floors biggest enemy, so you want to take all of the necessary precautions to prevent your flooring from being exposed to it. How can you do that? – By adding a moisture barrier.

What is a Moisture Barrier?

Moisture can easily penetrate hardwood flooring, and we’re not just talking about a spilled glass of water or wet shoes that are tracked through the house. Moisture can push up through the subfloor, and when this happens, it can do extensive damage to hardwood. A moisture barrier helps to prevent hardwood flooring from being exposed to moisture that comes from underneath, thereby protecting your floors and prolonging their life.

Why Install a Moisture Barrier?

When hardwood is exposed to moisture, extensive damage occurs. Moisture causes hardwood to buckle and warp, which in turn, destroys your flooring. If even the smallest amount of moisture gets trapped underneath your hardwood floors, there is a very real chance that they will become so damaged that you will end up having to replace them. In order to keep your hardwood floors looking great, and extend their life, you definitely want to make sure that a moisture barrier is laid before the flooring is installed.

Types of Moisture Barriers

There are several different types of moisture barriers for hardwood flooring. Each barrier is designed for use with different types of hardwood materials. Here’s a look at some of the different options that are available.

  • Floating Floor Moisture Barriers. This type of moisture barrier is meant to protect floating wood floors, such as laminates, and they are intended to be used when installing wood flooring over cement, tile or vinyl. They’re usually made from plastic, which helps to keep any moisture that builds on the subfloor away from the floating wood floor.
  • Nailed Wood Floor Moisture Barriers. If the wood flooring you are installing will be nailed down, you want to choose a barrier that will provide protection for the subfloor, in addition to the wood flooring. First, plastic sheeting is placed over the top of the dirt underneath the subfloor. Next, a moisture barrier made of felt paper can help to reduce the risk of moisture reaching the upper layer of the flooring.
  • Moisture Barriers for Glued Hardwood Floors. Glued hardwood flooring is often installed over concrete subfloors. Concrete is known for collecting a lot of moisture, particularly in areas that are humid or that receive a lot of precipitation. If you are planning on having your hardwood flooring glued down onto a cement subfloor, you first want to lay down a thick moisture barrier. Epoxy and resin are commonly used as barriers, as they help to seal out moisture and prevent it from soaking through the concrete.

Some hardwood flooring comes with a built-in barrier already in place. There are also barriers that offer more than protection from moisture; some reduce noise and some provide extra insulation for the flooring. If you are planning on getting long island floor refinishing, look to see if you have a moisture barrier first.

If you are planning on installing hardwood flooring, you want to make sure that you choose a reputable installer to do the job. Not only will an experienced professional know exactly what type of moisture barrier to install, but he or she will also know to properly install the floor to ensure that it is laid correctly.

As the leading hardwood flooring installer in the area, we can help you achieve the most beautiful flooring possible, and ensure that it looks great and lasts long, too. For all of your hardwood flooring needs, give flooring long island a call today!