Putting in hardwood flooring is a great way to add charm to your home. While it is possible to choose a hardwood floor design that ranges from the traditional to the eclectic, there are a few basics that you should consider before beginning the job. Here is what you need to take into consideration when installing hardwood floors.
One of your first concerns is to assess the condition of the existing flooring. Your hardwood floor must rest on something. It may be a wooden sub-floor, or you may be working with a concrete slab. In either case, it is important to make sure the support flooring is level, smooth, and capable of supporting your new hardwood floors.
To make sure the sub-floor will function properly, clean the area thoroughly. This will make it easier to identify protruding tacks or flooring nails that must be removed before installing hardwood floors in any room. This will also give you the opportunity to walk the sub-floor and make sure the supporting floor joists do not seem to give under your weight. If there are any weak spots that seem to sink when you walk over them, the supports must be replaced or repaired before installing hardwood floors.
Once you are sure the sub-floor is sound, you can turn your attention to the installation of the padding that will reside under your hardwood floors. While not required for all types of hardwood floors, the padding is essential if you plan on using the tongue-in-groove flooring sections that basically snap into place as you lay the floor. The padding should be chosen in accordance with the manufacturer instructions and will make the task of installing flooring much easier. An additional benefit of the padding is that it will also provide your hardwood floor with a slight give and take as you walk across the finished floor.
There is one aspect of installing wood floors that far too many homeowners overlook. Before the actual installation begins, it is important to allow the boards to acclimate to the temperature and humidity level of your home. Wood will expand and contract slightly as a response to these two factors. Before you begin installing hardwood floors, place the wood in your home in or near the room where the installation will take place and leave it there for a couple of days. You will find that installing flooring after allowing this period of adjustment will help to minimize buckling or gaping as the years go by.
Installing hardwood floors not only enhances the look and feel of your rooms. With hardwood floors enjoying a resurgence in popularity, you are also adding value to your home. As with any type of home improvement, this increases your chances for making a profit should you ever decide to sell the property. In the interim, the act of installing hardwood floors will provide you with a home environment that is warm, cozy, and more inviting than many other flooring options.