The time to install your beautiful hardwood floors has come, and if you’ve never done this type of improvement, it’s natural for you to have some nervous energy about the process. You want your floors to look perfect, and you also want to ensure that you don’t do them any harm by installing them improperly. To help you sleep better and give you the confidence that you need to get the job done correctly, here are a few tips from the professionals to get you on your way.
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Prep your flooring subsurface
Before you lay your first plank of wood, make sure that your subfloors are good to go. The type of subfloor that you have may determine if you can lay a hardwood floor. A traditional plywood subfloor should be fine for installation as long as it is free from any debris. Concrete is a bit trickier, and you may be better off installing laminate floors. The same goes for floors that have electric radiant heat.
Choose the right wood for certain areas in your home
There are certain areas of your home that will benefit from a harder variety of wood. These are normally high-traffic areas like the kitchen or living room. Good varieties of wood for these areas are oak or ash. You can also use a harder type in your home’s kitchen. Bedrooms can have a softer type of wood since they have less foot traffic. A pinewood floor is a fine choice for most bedrooms. And laminate wood floors will work nicely in bedrooms and living rooms as well at a fraction of the cost. Many manufacturer’s also have helpful calculators that will assist you in choosing the amount of flooring you will need for your space.
Read the instructions twice before you start
Even if you’ve read a ton of articles about hardwood floor installation, you need to make sure that you read the manufacturer’s instructions before you even think about starting the job. Flooring manufacturers will let you know whether you need to cure your floor in a room before installation, and the instructions will also let you know if there are any limitations to use. You may even need to expose your hardwood to the room’s most prominent light source in order to determine which direction to run your boards. Many manufacturer’s also have installation videos you can watch.
Finishing your floors
Once the flooring is installed and sanded, you will need to finish your hardwood. While oil finishes may be more durable, you also expose yourself to chemicals that may be harmful to you and your family. Glossier finishes hold up better to foot traffic, so be sure to use extra glossy finishes in the dining room and the family room. You should also remember that polyurethane finishes cannot be touched up invisibly in the event that you have a scuff. If you are installing laminate wood floors you can skip this step as they come pre-finished and ready to go.
Following the tips and ideas above should help take some of the pain out of your hardwood installation. While it requires a fair amount of work to complete the task, the beauty of your new floor will definitely be worth the effort.