Knowledge of flooring is not a topic that is universally understood under most circumstances. But for those Utah homeowners that are interested in adequately maintaining flooring that looks good as new, knowing basic knowledge of the structural components of their home can be helpful.

Learning about the different layers of flooring in Utah, for example, can help residents in Orem and Salt Lake City better understand the components of one of some of the most important structures within their homes.

The Basics


Flooring is typically comprised of more than one layer, and mostly commonly three. An exception to this may be older homes that have been extensively remodeled several times over, and may therefore be marked by the re-installation of a number of layers.

The purpose of having more than one layer is to ensure that the flooring within homes and other buildings is structurally supported by a strong foundation. Layering can also serve the function of making it more accessible to replacement over time if, for instance, the top layer becomes damaged.

Below are brief summaries of the typical layers of flooring seen within homes.


The Top Layer

The top layer of home flooring is referred to as the visible floor. This is the surface you walk on, and is also the layer of flooring that can be changed out or replaced if circumstance should necessitate it.

It may also be referred to by flooring professionals as floor covering, or finish floor. This layer is available as ceramic tile, hardwood flooring, luxury vinyl, laminate, carpeting, and others. The choice of which type you may wish to choose for your own home can be made according to individual preference, and is often chosen according to aesthetic or functional preferences.Old World Stone Imports is currently able to install all these types of flooring and more for residents of Utah.

This layer primarily concerns aesthetics. The layers below this are what truly provide the structural support and stabilization for quality residential flooring.

The Second Layer


The second layer is often referred to as the underlayment. This layer is often considered one that is optional, as it is installed more according to concerns of flooring quality than as contribution to a strong structure.

The underlayment layer is most often used to ensure the layering for the top layer is consistent and smooth. The type of underlayment layer that you have installed depends on the type of floor covering you have chosen to use. For instance, tile flooring often is accompanied by an underlayment layer known as a cement backer board.

The Third Layer


Unlike the underlayment, the third layer of flooring is non-negotiable. This layer, known as the subfloor, is the foundation upon which all other layers are placed.

This necessary subfloor layer, which provides structure and strength for the upper layers of your flooring, is commonly made of oriented strand board (OSB) or plywood. The approximate thickness of this layer can range from about 19/32" to 1 ⅛".

The importance of this layer as it relates to the structure of your flooring is only second to the joists that rest directly below.


Joist Support


While this primary contributor to the support of your flooring is not by itself typically considered its own layer, it is nonetheless essential to ensuring your flooring is supported properly.

Referred to as the “bottom” by some industry professionals, joists are typically made of dimensional lumber or laminated wood.

Flooring Installation


Old Stone World Imports can provide professional floor installation services to those residents living in Salt Lake City, Orem, and other surrounding areas. With over twenty years of experience in the industry, our technicians possess the expertise to expertly install all necessary layers of flooring for your home, depending on your individual needs and preferences.

While learning more about flooring on your own time is certainly useful for gaining basic knowledge of your home’s structural components, you do not have to face the task of installation alone. Contact us today if you are interested in having quality flooring installed by industry professionals who care.