If you own wood flooring, you no doubt know that you want to keep water off the top of it. While there’s no need to treat it with kid gloves, you don’t want to encourage any warping or staining! Indeed, certain types of flooring and spilled liquid don’t mix—but no type of flooring does well with liquid beneath it, which is where moisture barriers come into play.

Learn more about this integral part of some flooring installation jobs from U.B. Hardwoods, your source for all sorts of floor care tips and tricks.

Moisture Barrier Basics

Its name is straightforward, and its purpose equally so; a moisture barrier stops your floor from getting wet. However, it is not laid atop a flooring as one might expect; instead, it goes beneath it, on top of the subfloor.

Why? Well, moisture can easily rise up from subfloors, attacking your flooring from behind. In the case of hardwood flooring, this could cause warping and rot—but vinyl flooring owners, you’re not off the hook! If a subfloor is too moist, installing a vinyl floor can prove nearly impossible, as adhesive will refuse to stick.

A brief tangent; not all moisture barriers will work for all types of vinyl flooring, as some may actually interfere with installation, so be sure you hire a floor installation pro who knows what they're doing.

When Do I Need a Moisture Barrier?

While not all installation jobs require the use of a moisture barrier, they serve as an integral part of your flooring’s “armor” in many cases, some of them being

If You Live in a Crazy Climate

More often than not, you’ll use a moisture barrier if your home is located in Minnesota. Since our winters are unusually moist and snowy, our springs rainy, and our summers humid, the moisture content of homes here is an ever-present concern, and your flooring can use all the protection it can get.

If You’re Installing Over Concrete

“Solid concrete” is a common phrase, but it’s actually slightly inaccurate! While concrete is sturdy, of course, it’s porous in reality—filled with small holes. These small holes make this subfloor type extremely vulnerable to moisture accumulation and, thus, direly in need of a moisture barrier should any type of flooring be added atop.

U.B. Hardwoods Has Answers to All Your Flooring Questions

Our friendly pros are always ready to put any of your concerns to rest. If you find yourself in need of anything flooring, you know who to call; reach our Plymouth office today at 763-807-4500.