The subfloor is the floor below the main floor surface. It rides on top of the floor jousts and is the first solid barrier to the floor or area below it. After the particle subfloor is laid down, the choices for flooring only change because of the room and its use.
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Carpet is a good choice for most rooms because of its comfort level and quickness of installation. After a carpet and padding have been selected it normally takes only one day for an installer to lay it. It works very well in bedrooms, living rooms and family rooms. Its durability depends on maintenance and quality of the carpet.
Linoleum is another choice for a flooring over particle board. Installation takes less than a day, and most homeowners can do the job themselves. Linoleum has the advantage of being very durable and is good for high traffic areas such as door entrances. Since it is waterproof, it can also be used in a kitchen, laundry room or bathroom. Linoleum also has many different colors and patterns. It is low maintenance and requires only light detergent and water to clean.
Laminated flooring is flooring that actually has a wood veneer glued to the surface of a wood mixed product. It offers the look of a wood floor with far less work for the homeowner. After letting the product acclimate to the room for 48 hours the homeowner can begin laying down the floor. There is a special moisture barrier that needs to be put down, but this takes minimal time and effort since it is neither glued nor stapled. It is another job the homeowner can complete in a day making it an easy project. Laminate flooring is good in kitchens and hallways because it is very durable and holds up well in high traffic areas. It also comes in a number of different styles and wood grains. It is a low maintenance product, but it does require a special cleaner produced by the company who made the flooring.
Vinyl tile is a durable surface that is easy for a homeowner to put down over a subfloor. It has a peel-off backing that has a glue on the back. Once the backing is peeled off, simply place it where you want it. It is a quick process, and can be done in less than a day. It holds up well to traffic and works well in kitchens. It is relatively inexpensive and comes in many styles. Maintenance is low because it only requires mild detergent and water to clean.