You simply can’t go wrong with hardwood floors. They complement a variety of homes and rooms. They’re beautiful (and they remain beautiful as they age). They add value to a home. They can be sanded to remove nicks and scratches. They’re sustainable and easy to clean. Plus, if you’re ready for the challenge, you can even install hardwood flooring yourself! Not only will you save money, but you’ll also have the satisfaction of knowing that you built your floors with your own two hands! If you’re ready to get started, scroll down and discover our tips for installing hardwood floors.
Tips for Installing Hardwood Floors
Choose the type of wood carefully. There are two main types of hardwood: solid and engineered. Solid wood is, as you might have guessed, composed of a single piece of wood. Engineered wood is thinner at the edges and combines layers of material. Because engineered wood is easier to install and comes pre-finished, it is recommended for beginners.
Beware of moisture. Moisture can drastically damage hardwood, causing cracks, buckling, mold, mildew, and more. Because of this, you may want to think twice about installing hardwood in your kitchen or bathroom. Also, check that the area where you will be installing the floor doesn’t have excess moisture, especially if it’s a basement. Test the subfloor surface using a moisture meter or taped-down plastic (tape down a square, let it sit for 24 hours, and then check for condensation).
Prepare the base flooring. If you want your hardwood flooring to last for many, many years to come and remain structurally sound, you need to start with a solid base. This base should be smooth, strong, and level. You may need to install a new plywood subfloor or a moisture-proof concrete slab if the existing floor isn’t in good condition. Clean the base beforehand as well. Sand any bumps and fill any dips.
Let the wood acclimate to your home. This may sound strange, but your wood flooring needs to “make itself at home” before you install it. It needs to adjust to the temperature and humidity, both of which affect hardwood’s ability to expand and contract. Remove the packaging and let the hardwood sit for several days in the room where it will be installed.
Stagger the ends and mix up the wood. To create a more attractive, natural appearance, stagger the ends of the boards as you install them. The joints should be at least six inches apart from row to row. Also, pull your wood boards from different piles as you go (choosing boards that were not packaged together) to mix up the color and grain of the wood. This will make the flooring more even throughout.
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Ready to get started? If you haven’t yet purchased your hardwood floors, be sure to check out the selection offered at Curran Design Center, a small, family-owned and -operated business located in Nixa, Missouri. With product lines like Armstrong, Bella Cera, Ozarkaeology, and Shaw, which carry a variety of colors and textures, you’re sure to find the right hardwood flooring to suit your style, home, and budget. To learn more about our flooring offerings, please give us a call at 417-724-1018 or click here for a free consultation.