What is a subfloor in home renovation?

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Plywood is a type of manufactured wood made by bonding layers of veneer with the grain perpendicular to each other. A tongue-and-groove variety is available and is perfect for constructing subfloors. Deck Bros describes plywood as strong with characteristics that result in less squeaky floors and greater energy efficiency. However, humidity can cause the layers to separate over time, and this tends to be a more expensive option.

OSB is another popular subfloor material and is often confused with plywood. APA explains that to make OSB panels, cross-oriented layers of rectangular wood strips are bonded together with waterproof, thermosetting adhesives. The result is a light, strong and warp-resistant panel. Homeowners and builders are attracted to this material because it is both durable and economical.

Concrete is often used as a subfloor in basements and sometimes on the lower levels of homes. It provides a smooth, hard surface ideal for use under tile and stone floors. But, according to The Balance Small Business, because of its tendency to transfer cold and be sensitive to moisture, a vapor barrier is necessary before installing wood or carpet floors.

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