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Best Flooring Options for Older Timber Subfloors: A Guide for Bearers and Joist Subfloors

Old un-even solid timber subfloor on bearers and joist.
Old un-even solid timber subfloor on bearers and joist.

What is a bearers and joist subfloor?

A bearers and joist subfloor is a common type of subfloor construction used in many Australian homes. It consists of timber bearers that run parallel to the floor joists, which are then spaced at regular intervals and serve as the structural support for the flooring. This type of subfloor is typically found in older homes and is known for its durability and stability. we take into account the specific type of subfloor in your home when recommending and installing our high-quality flooring solutions, ensuring a perfect fit and long-lasting results.

How should I prepare my older timber subfloor for new flooring installation?

Subfloor floor preparation on older timber subfloors is essential to ensure the longevity and quality of your new flooring installation. For older timber subfloors, it is crucial to ensure that the surface is level, clean, and free from any damage that could affect the new flooring. This may involve sanding down any high spots, filling in gaps or cracks, and addressing any structural issues if necessary. Before laying down new flooring, it is important to inspect the condition of the existing subfloor. If there are any visible damages, such as rotting or unevenness, it is crucial to address these issues before proceeding. Imperial Flooring Australia recommends starting with a comprehensive cleaning of the subfloor to remove any dirt, debris, and adhesive residues. Next, it may be necessary to repair or replace damaged sections of the subfloor, ensuring that the surface is even and structurally sound. This may involve reinforcing the subfloor through adding additional support or leveling the surface using a floor self-leveling compound. Additionally, Imperial Flooring Australia may also suggest addressing any moisture issues within the subfloor, as excess moisture can lead to warping or mould growth in the new flooring. This could involve installing a moisture barrier or using moisture-resistant materials during the installation process. By properly preparing your older timber subfloor, you can ensure that your new flooring will be installed on a stable and durable surface, providing a beautiful and long-lasting result.

What flooring do you recommend on older timber subfloors?

At Imperial Flooring Australia, we highly recommend engineered timber flooring for older timber subfloors on bearers and joists. Engineered timber flooring is designed to be more stable and resilient to potential movement in the subfloor, making it an ideal choice for these conditions. Additionally, engineered timber flooring offers the timeless beauty of real wood with enhanced durability, ensuring a long-lasting and attractive flooring solution. We advise against hybrid flooring for these types of subfloors, as it may not provide the necessary stability and long-term performance to withstand such movements.

Engineered timber flooring is designed to withstand the potential movement and flexing of older subfloors, making it a durable and long-lasting choice, making it an excellent choice for older subfloors. Engineered timber flooring can be installed in a direct glue down method, providing firm stability on the older subfloor structure.

Additionally floating laminate floors with a premium underlay system is an alternative option that will perform best over existing older subfloors, a more cost effective flooring option. Feel free to reach out to our team for personalized recommendations and expert advice on selecting the perfect flooring for your older timber subfloor.

Option 1. Direct glue down Engineered Timber Flooring

The direct glue down method for installing Engineered Timber Flooring involves applying adhesive directly to the subfloor and then pressing the engineered timber planks firmly into place. This method provides a strong and stable bond between the flooring and the subfloor, creating a smooth and seamless surface. It is important to ensure that the subfloor is clean, dry, and level before starting the installation process. Additionally, using the direct glue down method can help reduce noise and provide enhanced durability for the flooring, making it an excellent choice for high-traffic areas or commercial spaces. At Imperial Flooring Australia, our experienced installers are skilled in using the direct glue down method to ensure a flawless and long-lasting finish for your engineered timber flooring.

Option 2. Floating floor Engineered Timber Flooring

Engineered Timber Flooring installed using the floating floor method from Imperial Flooring Australia offers numerous benefits. Firstly, this method allows for quick and easy installation, reducing both labour costs and the inconvenience of a lengthy installation process. Additionally, the floating floor method also provides excellent sound insulation and minimizes the risk of moisture damage, making it a great choice for various spaces within a home or commercial setting. Furthermore, our Engineered Timber Flooring is crafted using a multi-layered construction, making it highly durable and resistant to warping and cupping, which is particularly important in areas prone to temperature and moisture fluctuations. The top layer of real timber provides the natural beauty and warmth of wood, while the engineered construction offers enhanced stability and versatility, allowing for installation over a variety of subfloors, including concrete. Imperial Flooring Australia is committed to providing high-quality products and installations, ensuring that your Engineered Timber Flooring with the installed floating floor method will not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of your space but also withstand the test of time with minimal maintenance.

Option 3. Floating floor Laminate Flooring

Choosing floating floor laminate flooring from Imperial Flooring Australia offers numerous benefits. Firstly, our laminate flooring is incredibly durable and resistant to scratches, stains, and fading, making it an ideal option for high-traffic areas in your home or office. Selecting a premium underlay system is paramount to the best performance. Additionally, our laminate flooring is easy to install, thanks to its innovative click-lock system, which allows for a hassle-free, glue less installation process. Moreover, our laminate flooring is available in a wide range of styles and designs, offering the look and feel of natural wood or stone without the associated costs. Lastly, our laminate flooring is easy to maintain, requiring minimal effort to keep it looking as good as new. With Imperial Flooring Australia, you can be sure you're getting a high-quality, cost-effective flooring solution that will enhance the aesthetic and functionality of your space.


Our team is dedicated to guiding our customers towards the most suitable flooring options for their specific subfloor conditions, ensuring a successful and enduring flooring installation. Chat to our flooring experts for the right advice!


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