The Basics of Hardwood Floor Installation

Hardwood floors are more than just reliable, they also add a touch of class and warmth to any home or business, and are well worth their price. They work well anywhere in the home, and in areas where they may see water and spills, regular maintenance can help them looking new for years to come.

Hardwood floor installation is relatively simple, as this type of flooring can be installed above or below grade, on concrete slabs, over plywood sub floors, or over existing wood floors. Of course, each different base material requires a somewhat different type of hardwood floor installation.

Depending on the product you choose, hardwood floor installation may consist of either nailing down, gluing down, or installed with the floating installation technique. Considering your installation options is incredibly important, especially as you make your product selection. You can also opt for a hardwood floor dealer or expert to help you decide which will work the absolute best for your specific needs.

The Basics

When dealing with hardwood floor installation, most installers tend to begin with the focal point of the room when determining where to begin the actual hardwood floor installation.

It is a good idea to snap a chalk line to use as a reference before laying the first board, and aligning at least the first row of boards with the chalk line will assure that all the subsequent rows will be straight. Often times boards are delivered in different lengths, which is why before securing the remaining boards to the sub floor, you must test fit the boards in sections.

You can also choose from either finished or unfinished flooring. Finished or pre-finished flooring comes already sanded and sealed, and resists moisture and won’t shrink or swell. Although pre-finished flooring is installed like the unfinished form, it does take some extra care in order to avoid scratching the surface of the wood pieces.

Pre-finished flooring is more expensive than unfinished flooring, and is only available in a limited number of colors. Unfinished flooring on the other hand, consists of ‘raw’ boards that have not yet been sanded, sealed, or stained. This form of wood is susceptible to swelling if it gets too much moisture, which is why you should avoid unloading or building with it in rain or snow or other damp conditions.

You should also remember to store unfinished boards in a dry and well-ventilated area and allow them to acclimate at least two days before the actual installation.


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