Hardwood Floor Installation

Hardwood floors add both warmth and character to a home, while enhancing its value as well as its appearance. Installing a wood floor is a job that requires some time and care, but is well worth it when you see the finished effect.


1. Colors And Styles Of Hardwood Flooring

When you're planning on installing a wood floor, there are a few decisions you will need to make before the actual hardwood floor installation can get underway. The first thing is to select the type of hardwood flooring you want. Wood floor installation offers a range of options, depending on the overall look you want to achieve, and how much time you will have for its care and maintenance.

There are no right or wrong decisions about color and style when installing wood floors. You can let your personal inclination be your guide, but if you are not familiar with the choices available when installing wood floors, it is a good idea to have a talk to people who already have them, and to people who work in the wood floor installation business. This will help you understand the options and to decide on the choice you feel is right for you and your home. For example, when installing wood floors, you have the choice of light or dark boards, as well as different styles of flooring such as strip, linear, plank, and parquet. Before installing a wood floor, therefore, you will find it helpful to look at these types of colors and styles in homes where wood floor installation has already been carried out. This will ensure that you are aware of the possibilities and will help you decide on the type of hardwood floor installation you want for your home.

2. Choices Of Wood For Floor Installation

There are three main choices when you are deciding on the type of wood to use for your hardwood floor installation. The type known as hardwood, which is solid throughout, can be bought either finished or unfinished. The unfinished variety is usually a little cheaper than the finished type. If you buy unfinished wood for installing a wood floor, you should be aware that as soon as the wood floor installation is completed, it will need to be sanded lightly, stained if you want it stained, and sealed. Usually, you need to wait at least 48 hours after the sealing before you can walk on the hardwood floor installation. On the other hand, if you use prefinished wood for your hardwood floor installation, you can walk on it immediately without any other protective work being required.

An alternative to using the solid type of hardwood for installing wood floor is engineered wood flooring. This is made up of high density fiberboard or ply board and hardboard, with a layer of hardwood veneer glued to the surface. Because it is installed with a tongue and groove locking system, there is no application of glue required when you are installing wood floors of engineered hardwood. It is usually less expensive than the solid hardwood, but may not be suitable for installation in some areas that have extremes of hot or cold climates.

3. Selecting The Cut For A Hardwood Floor Installation

Once you are sure of the types of board you want for your hardwood floor installation, you will also need to make a decision about the type of cut you want. This will have a major effect on the result and will also influence the price, so it is an important issue to consider when installing a wood floor. The three choices of cut for people installing wood floors are plainsawn, quartersawn, and riftsawn. By knowing even just a little about each of these cuts, you will find it easier to make informed decisions when choosing the one you want for your wood floor installation.

Plainsawn wood is the most common type used for hardwood floor installation, and also the least expensive. Its use in wood floor installation helps highlight the grain, growth swirls, and loops of the wood. Quartersawn has the straightest grain and will wear more evenly over the years. If the area where you are installing wood floors is subject to extreme humidity or temperatures, it is worth considering, as it is more resistant than plainsawn wood to expansion and shrinkage. Riftsawn is similar to quartersawn, but it is cut at a different angle. It has narrow boards with vertical grain patterns, and it is also strongly resistant to shrinkage and expansion. Both quartersawn and riftsawn wood are more expensive than plainsawn when used for installing wood floors.

4. Installing A Wood Floor

Should you do your hardwood floor installation yourself, or should you call in the experts? That's the question you need to answer once you have decided on the type of wood floor installation you want for your home. If you're a competent and experienced home handyperson, you may opt for the do-it-yourself method of installing a wood floor. This has the advantage of saving costs on your wood floor installation.

Before going ahead, however, make sure you know what is involved in the work of installing wood floors and are confident you can handle it. If you want the hardwood floor installation completed by a certain time, remember the work will probably take longer than hiring someone who is used to installing wood floors. However, if you have basic carpentry skills, and if time is not a factor, you will probably find you can follow the wood floor installation instructions from the manufacturer. Make sure you read these instructions carefully before you start installing a wood floor, and check with your supplier if there is anything you do not understand. Even though it may take longer than a professional job, as long as you take care and follow the directions, you will save money on the hardwood floor installation and have the satisfaction of having done a good job when your wood floor installation is completed.

5. Methods Of Installing Wood Floors

When you know the type of floor you want, you can then decide on the method you prefer for your hardwood floor installation. There are various ways you can choose for installing a wood floor. It makes sense to investigate them before you start, so your wood floor installation will be as easy as possible and will achieve the effect you want.

There are four ways you can go about installing a wood floor. You can nail it down, using nails to attach the new floor to the subfloor. This is an effective method of installing a wood floor when thin flooring is being used. Another method of installing wood floors involves the use of staples instead of nails. This is a simpler method of installing a wood floor rather than using nails. Alternatively, if your hardwood floor installation involves engineered wood floors or parquet, they can be glued down with a strong adhesive that attaches the wood to the subfloor.

Floating is the easiest method to use for installing wood floors. With this method, you don't need to attach the new wood floor to the subfloor. A pad is usually put between the new floor and the subfloor during the wood floor installation to lessen noise and to provide protection against moisture. The boards that are being used for the hardwood floor installation either snap together, or are attached to each other with adhesive.

6. Floating Wood Floor Installation

As the easiest method of installing a wood floor, floating is also the most popular. At the same time, it still requires careful preparation before you get underway with your hardwood floor installation. It is most important that you read all the instructions from the manufacturer before you begin installing wood floors in order to make sure your floor is both attractive and durable.

A floating hardwood floor is not attached to the subfloor, so you can work with almost any type of subfloor when installing a wood floor. Preparation of whatever type of subfloor you plan to use for installing a wood floor is, however, extremely important. Make sure it is clean before installing a wood floor and check that it is level. If it is not level, you will need to spread some self-leveling compound, and wait for it to dry before going ahead with your hardwood floor installation. You should also decide the direction you plan to lay the flooring before you start installing wood floors. With floating floors, there is usually no set direction in which they should be laid. You can make your decision for your wood floor installation based on the way you want it to look in relation to light and other factors such as doorways.

7. Staying Safe When Installing Wood Floors

Anyone planning a do-it-yourself wood floor installation should be aware of the safety precautions necessary when carrying out the work. This is because installing wood floors involves the use of power tools and various substances that can be dangerous, if used incorrectly. For this reason, make sure you understand how to use any tools and substances you need for your wood floor installation.

When using power tools for installing a wood floor, you should wear safety glasses to protect your eyes. Give yourself plenty of room to work with the tools you use for your hardwood floor installation, and make sure that the cords don't tangle or impede the operation of the tools. During the work of installing wood floors, remember to unplug any power tools unless you are using them.

If you use any substances with fumes while installing wood floors, you should wear a face mask, as well as rubber gloves, if you are using solvents. The area where the wood floor installation is being carried out should be well ventilated. Remember that wood dust can ignite, so seal electrical outlets and any air conditioning or heating ducts in the rooms where you are installing wood floors.

8. Hiring Someone To Do Your Hardwood Floor Installation

If you decide to hire someone to do your hardwood floor installation, it's a good idea to do some homework first to ensure you have the right person for the job. Installing a wood floor is not as simple as it looks, so it's best to find someone who has experience and a good reputation. You may know someone who has had a wood floor installation done recently. In that case, ask if they were happy with the person who did the work and whether they would recommend them. You can also ask your supplier for the names of people who are in the business of installing wood floors.

Once you have a few names of businesses that do hardwood floor installation, you'll need to obtain some cost estimates. If you have time, you should get about three estimates before making a final decision about hiring someone for your wood floor installation. Estimates for installing a wood floor can vary, so don't be surprised if there is quite a difference in those you receive. Find out if they include moving any existing furniture in the areas where they will be installing wood floors, as otherwise you will have to allow time to do this yourself before the wood floor installation work gets underway.

9. Installing A Wood Floor In The Bathroom

There is really no room of the home where a hardwood floor installation would not be a practical as well as a beautiful option for your home. Some people believe that installing a wood floor in a bathroom is not a wise move, because they believe the tendency of wood to expand and contract as a result of moisture could make it impractical to consider installing a wood floor in a bathroom. Some owners also hesitate about installing wood floors in bathrooms, because they are afraid the amount of water that falls on the floor could cause it to rot over the years.

However, as long as the hardwood floor installation is done properly, you'll find that installing a wood floor in a bathroom is as feasible as installing wood floors in other areas of the home. If you are using traditional wood flooring for a bathroom, you have to make sure you give it a strong protective finish after the wood floor installation is completed. You should also maintain such floors well to make sure they give you good value for the money you have spent on installing wood floors. If you use prefinished wood for installing wood floors, you will not have to finish them, as this has already been done.
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