Have you found the hardwood floor that you always wanted? Such floors can be an awe-inspiring addition to a property. It brings a refreshing and calm look for sure. However, just finding your dream floor isn’t enough, installation is an important process. If you don’t do it correctly, anything may go wrong. Whether you do it on your own or hire a professional, it’s crucial to do the hardwood flooring installation as carefully as possible. So in this post, we’ll inform you about the hardwood flooring installation process in detail. Start reading!
A) Installing Hardwood Floors- The Process:
Installing a hardwood floor is a time-consuming and daunting task. It’s better to hire professionals to do it for you. But whether you hire them or do it all by yourself, here is the process that everyone should follow:
1) Selection of Wood
With so many choices of wood, each having its varieties, grain patterns, plank size availability, and surface finish, you have to give a lot of thought to picking the right wood floor. There are differences in durability. Evaluate if you need solid hardwood, engineered hardwood floors, cork hardwood, parquet hardwood, or engineered water-resistant hardwood floors.
The placement of the floor is completely your choice. Engineered hardwood is the best for a floating floor on top of an underlay. The presence of joists will need a minimum of 18 mm thickness for the wood floors.
You also have to consider the traffic on the floor since some wood species have higher endurance levels, and some are delicate. Think about all these aspects and then start with the hardwood flooring fitting.
2) Adjust The Wood Floor
Did you know that wood planks need to adapt to a new environment? It’s known as acclimatization. Natural building materials like hardwood stretch and compress in response to regular variations in humidity and temperature. You can lower the dangers or damages of fitting by allowing your floor to adapt to your property.
Before the construction activities begin, have the floor brought to your location with plenty of time to spare. Place the floor packing in the desired area. Check that the space is completely dry, and avoid putting hardwood floors near damp walls or on a damp surface.
You can try leaving the wooden floors unattended for a minimum of 72 hours and keep them away from heaters and radiators.
3) Pick The Right Underlayment
If you install hardwood floors, think about the underlayment several times. Underlayment is a special material layer that goes between the floor and the subfloor. Some floors come with underlayment attached to it that is made of rubber, cork, foam, or felt.
Pick the appropriate underlayment for wooden floors or dampness inhibitor, such as a 15–30 lbs silicone vapor guard and asphalt-soaked felt. Even if your flooring is waterproof, an inhibitor will protect your subfloors and floors from liquid accidents and water vapor that comes up from the ground.
We can say from our experience that the most preferred underlayment choice is Felt. It gives absorption and has a basic level of moisture resistance. If you choose a heavy black felt, you’ll get an excellent waterproof feature, added sound absorption, and more insulation.
4) Preparing the Subfloor
Check whether the subfloor is clean, level, dry, and flat. It is a vital step. If it’s not up to the mark, you’ll see the damages soon. You can use a spirit to analyze the subfloor level.
Also, the moisture level should ideally be six percent for the concrete subfloor and sixteen percent for wooden flooring, which can be determined using a moisture tester.
If the subfloor is not sufficiently clean and dry, make it happen as fast as possible. Put it for drying in natural light and sweep the dirt and dust. See if there aren’t any chemicals or old adhesives on the subfloor. If you find any, rub it away carefully before repositioning and fixing the floor cover.
5) Follow The Fitting Instruction
When you buy a hardwood floor, you will also get the manufacturer’s guide. It has detailed information about the hardwood flooring installation. For every kind of floorboard, you’ll come across different installation processes, although the basics remain the same for most.
It is vital to read, understand and follow these instructions. It has small details like how to prepare, or floor fitting do’s and don’ts. If you don’t follow it carefully, chances are you may miss out on something and end up installing it poorly. It may result in a squeaky and faulty floor.
If you don’t understand any part of the instructions manual, it would be wise to ask for professional help.
6) Check For Correct Tools
It is a MUST to have the right tools for hardwood floor installation. Special and diverse fitting styles need special tools. If you plan to have a floating floor, you require equipment for underlay. On the other hand, if you choose the tongue and groove floor, you’ll need special glue to put the joints firmly.
Air Compressors, Tape Measures, Chalk Lines, Spacers, Wood pillars, Saws, Hammers, Sander, Flooring Nails, etc. are a few of these instruments. Additionally, you need items for both safety and security reasons. This includes knee pads, protective eyeglasses, protective footwear for the workplace, dust masks, ear plugs, and various other items.
Having the right types of equipment will not only make it faster to install the hardwood floors but also makes it qualitatively better. Whether you do it yourself or a professional does it for you, upgraded and correct tools will go a long way.
7) Correct Plank Direction
You have to think about the direction in which you place the hardwood planks. If you wish to highlight your property’s natural beauty, place the planks lengthwise according to the light that enters from windows or doors.
You’ll also have to consider the size and length of the planks. Setting the boards lengthwise will render your space appear longer if it is smaller. The best choice if you attach the floor to the flooring is in a perpendicular position. The frames are strengthened and kept steady as a result.
The most typical method to install hardwood floors, though, is to place all of the boards parallel to the longest wall. It’s because it yields the most visually pleasing outcomes. This is the favored way to install hardwood floors, barring a few anomalies like sagging joists.
8) Leave Some Gap For Expansion
Be sure to keep an expansion gap of at least 10 mm during the hardwood flooring installation process. Each of the room’s perimeters, which includes entrances, fireplaces, and pipes, should have this space between them.
During temperature changes, the gap lets the hardwood floors expand and contract. Such floors are natural products that tend to take in moisture that’s present in the air. Due to this, the flooring stretches. When the temperature goes down, the wood planks start to contract and go smaller in size.
If you don’t keep a gap, the floor would not get the flexibility to do this leading to damage within a few years.
9) Install The Floor
Fitting the floor is based on numerous factors- subfloor nature, floor type, instructions to follow, preferences, and taste. Based on them, you choose the flooring option like gluing down, underlay, nail-down, or screwing.
Considering these, choose the different flooring options, such as secret nailing, gluing down, underlay, or secret screwing. Taking into account the sort of flooring you have bought, not every installation technique is suitable. Because of this, it’s crucial to study the instruction manual.
With the glue-down method, the flooring material is fixed to the substrate, or the moisture shields are installed directly on the base using adhesive. On the contrary, the floating placement entails simply resting on the flooring rather than gluing or nailing. Both at the tongue-to-groove and end joints, the engineered timber is clipped or bonded to itself.
The most acceptable method to install a hardwood floor is the nail-down fitting method. It involves nailing or stapling the floor onto the timber subfloor. It should be done with the help of a flooring nailer.
10) The Finishing
Finally, in the end, after you are done with the installation, you’ll need to give it some wondrous finishing touch. There are several kinds of floor finishes to choose from. But finishing also includes applying some floor accessories like ramps, skirting, pipe covers, door bars, and ramps. Look into creating borders and designing the vent to extract the real floor beauty.
A lot of flooring specialists are unaware that one form of floor embellishment is an expansion of spaces along the room’s border. You should complete these things meticulously if you want to offer a better floor appearance. The way you change your space by adding hardwood flooring can leave a lasting impression on people.
11) Clean it
We have covered the process of installing a hardwood floor extensively. But you should also remember to clean the floor after giving it the finishing touches. The cleaning process is simple. All you have to do is sweep and vacuum the floor. Take sensible and smart preventative measures to keep the hardwood floor at its finest. We also suggest you use a clean microfiber cloth and a suitable cleaning agent to eliminate dirt that sticks in the groove.
B) An Installation Beyond Belief:
Hardwood floors give an exuberant look to a residential or commercial property. With proper installation, lighting, space, and window designs, it is sure to create a memorable experience. A typical hardwood flooring installation requires full dedication and energy.
You will need to research a lot more on it before starting the process. As we have mentioned before, a professional is more suitable for this work, but to each their own.
Keep these installation processes in mind to get a fabulous result like never before. Enjoy the perks of a comfortable and luxurious hardwood floor for years to come.