How To Install a Hardwood Floor

When thinking of what kind of flooring to install in your homes, most homeowners would prefer wood flooring because of the warmth it gives. Wood flooring creates a cozy atmosphere because of its color or just simply because it takes us to where it came from--the trees.

Engineered flooring in real wood comes a lot more expensive. So other builders suggest a cheaper alternative, which is laminated flooring or bamboo flooring. Laminated flooring will definitely cost half the price of a real hardwood floor. It is made up of melamine infused paper and high density fiberboard (HDF), which is basically a high-density, moisture-resistant fiber panel. Likewise, bamboo flooring will definitely turn out to be cheaper than real wood; however, the biggest disadvantages of bamboo flooring are that it is more brittle than hardwood and it easily fades. Although both materials give the same effect, nothing beats the real thing.

Hardwood flooring comes in different types. The first type is the plank, which comes in tongue and groove construction for easy installation. Planks usually measure about 3 inches wide. The most common is the strip. It's basically the same as the plank but roughly smaller about 2¼ inches wide. While the third type is the parquet, it normally comes in patterns of geometric forms.

Basic carpentry knowledge is required to install hardwood flooring. That is why it is recommended that you contract a professional to do the installation.

Upon purchase of your hardwood floor, do not install it right away. Let the wood acclimate itself to your home's humidity level by opening the boxes. Avoid storing it in your basements or garages to avoid it from absorbing too much moisture.

  1. Prepare the floor. Your wood flooring should be laid onto a clean, smooth, leveled and structurally sound flooring base.
  2. The baseboards should be removed gently. Trim the bottom of the door casing in order to allow the new flooring to fit underneath. Clean the floor of dust and debris.
  3. Cover the sub floor with builder's felt and lay in the same direction as the new flooring. Oftentimes, flooring is laid parallel to the longest outside wall. Using a hammer tacker, ram the felt's edges together to staple down the edges with an interval of every 4 feet. You might need to trim the felt as needed.
  4. You can start laying the floor in a corner. Choose to start where there is the longest exterior wall. A ½ inch thick spacer should be placed adjacent the wall to create expansion gaps. Knock the groove-edged long strip of flooring against the spacers. Snug together the ends of long strips with a mallet and fit the strip a ½ inch from the wall at the end of the course.
  5. Now that you have placed the first course, you can start toe nailing the floor. Glide the second course of flooring over the tongues of the first course. Snug the strips with a mallet.
  6. Use a tapping block to tap each course snugly into place.
  7. Nail down the floor.
  8. For the final touches, cover exposed edges with mitered trim pieces. Make sure to take out all spacers and install the baseboard back again. Clean the floor, and then fill all face nail holes with putty.

Now you can enjoy the beauty of your hardwood floors. It is definitely worth your investment because it lasts a lifetime. You just need floor refinishing to bring back its shine and beauty.


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