These days, hardwood floors have become one of the most desirable features of a home. Not only do they enhance any room they are installed in, but they are also easier to clean and to keep clean than carpeting. And for people who suffer from allergies, hardwood doesn’t harbor as many allergens and can make life that much easier.
Another advantage of installing hardwood floors is the fact that they can be refinished. This not only means they can keep looking like new for many years, even decades, but you are also able to change the color should fashions change and your own tastes lean towards a different shade.
Buying The Flooring
Measure the room to get the square footage. When ordering, add an extra 10% for you to be able to do the required cutting and fitting. You never want to run short and having to buy more flooring from another batch that may end up being a slightly different color.
Getting Ready To Install
Before installing the hardwood floor, there are a few steps you need to take:
- Allow the floorboards to acclimate to the room where they will be installed – Allow at least five days for this to happen, keeping room temperatures between 65-75 degrees.
- Spread the boards around the room, but not directly on the concrete.
- Prepare the subfloor – ¾-inch CDX plywood or tongue-and-groove solid wood subfloor is acceptable. At this point, you want to eliminate any squeaks or creaks.
- Vacuum the area and block doorways – You want to keep both dirt and foreign objects from your work area. Even small debris can ruin the installation.
- Install a vapor barrier – Asphalt-saturated #15 tar paper is recommended for this task. Or, if moisture is not an issue, place red rosin paper between the flooring and sub-floor to reduce or eliminate floor squeaks caused by friction between the wood layers.
- Get yourself some knee pads to make the job more comfortable.
Doing the Installation
Once your floor has been prepped, you are ready to install it. The first step should be to lay out the installation. Measure and mark 1/2 inch out from each wall, plus the width of the first board, and use a chalk box to snap starter lines. Select the room’s longest wall to lay the first row, nailing the boards into the floor joists in order to achieve stability. Keep in mind that all floors tend to expand and contract. Leave a small gap around the perimeter of the room to allow for this movement.
Here are some pointers for when you are doing the installation:
- Select long boards for the first row and align them along our chalk line with the tongues facing the center of the room
- Nail down the first row
- Mix boards from different bundles to avoid noticeable color changes
- Arrange wood-grain patterns, lengths, and variations in color to achieve a balanced look
Finish The Job
- Use wood putty that matches the wood color to fill holes where boards have been nailed
- Touch up minor installation marks
- Install base molding around the room, covering all expansion gaps
If you are thinking about hardwood flooring for your home, visit our website where you will find the largest selection of wood products to achieve the best look for your project.