When installing hardwood flooring, it’s important to know all the terminology that is applied to this specialized process. Some of the more unusual terms to know are screeds and sleepers. As installers, inspectors and customers start to speak the same language when it comes to wood flooring, there will be fewer communication errors and a better understanding of the process.
Screeds and sleepers are different names for the same thing–2 x 4 inch boards that are kiln-dried and flat. They come in random lengths and attach to a concrete floor. They serve as the nailing base for the top layer of hardwood flooring and provide an extra layer between the finished flooring surface and the concrete.
Screeds and sleepers range in length from 18 inches to 48 inches and should be dried well, usually in a kiln. They are set on the subfloor on the flat face and set at right angles to how the finished floor will be set. The joints for screeds or sleepers must be staggered and there should be some space between the edges. Around the ends of the room, there should be screeds set continuously. Most of the time, a moisture barrier is placed between the sleepers and the finished flooring material.
With screeds and sleepers, flooring installers have the best way to attach the tongue-and-groove strip flooring to the sub floor and protect it from moisture. The result is a long-lasting flooring surface that can withstand all kinds of use and abuse from either above or below. Whether its wear and tear or moisture, the proper use of screeds and sleepers are going to be the best way for installers to deliver fine hardwood flooring to their clients.