Many people understand the basics of hardwood flooring. They know that it lasts for a long time, can be restrained, and even raises the resale value of their homes. However, what’s misunderstood is the installation process. Before you purchase hardwood flooring you need to know these 12 things.
Understand the Moisture Content of the Flooring
Hardwood floors are made of an all-natural substance: wood. Yes, that’s obvious. Less obvious is the fact that this wood contains moisture. The moisture content of the new flooring and of the subflooring must be within 2 to 4 percentage points of each other.
The Flooring Must Acclimate To Your Home
Since your new hardwood floors are made from natural materials, they need time to acclimate to the conditions of your home before they can be installed.
The Climate Must Be Controlled During Installation
Those wooden floor planks must be installed in a condition that’s relatively free of humidity and set at a temperature between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Floating Floors Require Expansion Gaps
If you plan on leaving your wood floors floating on top of your subfloor (that is, not gluing or nailing them down), you need to leave some expansion gaps at the edges near the walls. They’ll need room to expand and contract as the seasons change. More so than boards that are adhered to the subfloor.
Include Expansion Joints
Even if you plan on nailing down those planks, expansion joints must be included in between rooms. This gives the boards some space to expand and contract with the weather.
Be Prepared For Moisture Control
Since hardwood floors are very susceptible to moisture, you should include a moisture barrier between them and the subfloors. This is a necessary layer of protection.
Never Glue It to the Subfloor
While you can glue down your new hardwood flooring, you shouldn’t adhere it permanently to the subfloor. This makes it very difficult to remove without causing additional destruction.
Nail Your Flooring Down Correctly
Your flooring must be nailed down properly. You need to take into account the thickness of the subflooring when choosing your nails.
There Are Natural Variations to the Wood
The wooden floor planks won’t all be the same pattern or color. They’ll be close, but not perfect. This is due to the all-natural nature of the product.
You’ll Need To Order More Flooring Than You Need
While there’s always a chance that you’ll incorrectly cut a board, you’re just as likely to end up with a few pieces that are cracked or splintered right in the box. This is just a natural side effect of buying wood floors.
Scratches Add To the Patina
Your wood floors will get scratched. This is just a fact of life. However, the scratches add to the patina and wear patterns, making them a good thing, not a bad one.
Your Floors Need To Be Cleaned Properly
It’s always a good idea to read up on how to clean your wood flooring before you start the process. Don’t use too much water or improper cleaning solutions.
Cover Photo by Unsplash