People often overlook subfloor prep, but it’s a crucial step in commercial flooring installation. Spartan Surfaces’ expert Chuck Schillaci shares invaluable insights in a recent installment of our Flooring University series. This article aims to break down the key takeaways from the video, helping you understand why subfloor preparation is essential for the longevity and aesthetics of your flooring.

What is Subfloor Prep?

The shift in types of flooring installed has made subfloor prep increasingly important over the years. A decade ago, the focus was on broadloom carpet and carpet tiles. However, the industry has transitioned to resilient flooring options like VCT, LVT, and thin 2mm sheet rubber. These flooring types may look beautiful but tend to telegraph subfloor imperfections.

The Role of Self-Leveling Compounds


One of the most effective ways to prepare a subfloor is through self-leveling compounds. These are mixed with water to create a pancake batter-like consistency and then spread over the subfloor. The compound dries flat, challenging, and smooth, providing an ideal surface for any floor covering. If the subfloor isn’t prepared correctly, imperfections will show through the new floor covering, diminishing its appearance and potentially requiring costly reinstallation.

Time and Cost Savings


Chuck emphasizes that proper subfloor prep can save time and cost. Self-leveling compounds can cover about 50 square feet per bag, allowing for quick application over large areas. This speed and efficiency can save time and money, as poorly prepared subfloors may require the new floor covering to be ripped up and reinstalled.

The Best Analogy for Subfloor Preparation


To put it simply, Chuck likens an unprepared subfloor to the surface of the Moon—full of craters and irregularities. Applying self-leveling compound smooths out these imperfections, resulting in a surface as smooth as freshly zambonied ice.



Subfloor preparation is a preliminary step and a cornerstone for successfully installing commercial flooring. As Chuck says, “You’re only as good as what you put your new flooring down on top of.” Proper preparation ensures that the flooring will look its best and last for years, ultimately saving time and money in the long run.

For more information on commercial flooring solutions, including how to choose between VCT, LVT, and other resilient options, check out our previous article where Spartan VP of Sales, Joe Blodgett, delves into the benefits of Quartz Tile.

Additional Resources

For a practical demonstration on fixing and preparing a commercial subfloor, watch our video featuring a cement-based self-leveling compound from Schonox. This product is an excellent solution for smoothing out rough concrete subfloors quickly and efficiently.

Thank you for taking the time to educate yourself on this vital topic. For more project references and solutions, click here.