So, by now we’ve talked about how to judge your space for a hardwood flooring installation, and how to choose a hardwood flooring species. You’ve decided that your space can support a solid wood floor for the long term. And you’ve chosen your species based on a balance between look, durability, and workability. But, now that you’ve taken care of all of that, you have to prepare for the blessed event; installation.
How do you do that, exactly?
- Measure your space. One thing you’re going to need to take care of is figuring out how much hardwood flooring you’re going to need. So, it’s tape measure time. Once you’ve assessed your square footage requirement, add about 10% in extra materials to it when you place your order. This will account for damages that your order may sustain when in transit. And it also will cover for any cutting errors when the installation commences.
- Think about transition pieces. Before your place your order, remember that your space is a part of a whole. Transition pieces, or wood floor moldings, are an important element to giving a sense of continuity to your property. Think about which ones are needed for your particular installation site, and then add them to your hardwood floor shopping list.
- See to your subfloor. Check your subfloor to make sure that it is clean, dry, and level. Remove any stray nails or debris from its surface. Make sure that there aren’t any moisture issues, and invest in a moisture barrier even if there aren’t. Replace rotted or discolored sections. The stability of your subfloor is a vital component to any successful solid hardwood flooring installation.
- Consider Hiring a Professional Flooring Installer. Installing solid hardwood flooring is a more involved process than installing laminate. Depending on your own experience, it may be best to consider hiring a professional to minimize errors, maximize time efficiency, and quite often save on long term issues having to do with your flooring. It may seem like an extra expense, but the experience of a professional may save you heartache (and cash!) later on.
- Let your hardwood flooring ‘acclimate’. Once you’ve done the above, and you’ve ordered your materials, and your materials have been delivered, it’s time for an important step in preparing for a hardwood floorign installation; acclimation. This step acknowledges a point we’ve made here many times, that hardwood flooring is a natural material that reacts to its environment. Acclimation is simply a step to take in letting your hardwood flooring get used to a space (temperature and humidity levels specifically) before it’s attached to the subfloor. Acclimation lets your flooring expand and contract while still in the boxes, and lets the boards settle before you install them. This step increases your flooring’s stability, which decreases any expansion or contraction issues when your installation is done.
As you can see, a lot of the success you’ll see with a hardwood flooring installation happens before any boards have been laid. And even then, another layer of success happens when you take a look at your order to see the range of colors that you’ve got at your disposal, which will allow you to permanently attach your boards to the wood subfloor in a manner that reflects the full potential of that color range.
The bottom line is that hardwood floors are an asset to your property, and are a way to increase the value of it too. Taking the proper steps to preparing for its installation increases the value of its long term benefits of strength, beauty, and legendary longevity, too.