Have you ever considered installing your own hardwood floors? It might seem like an easy thing to do, but in fact there are several things during the process that must be done correctly in order to get that professional look that you crave.
First things first, measure the room you’re going to do and add 10 to 15 percent extra square footage in order allow for wood irregularities or miscuts. Next, choose the wood you want. There are a lot of places where you can buy hardwood floors, including big box and internet retailers, but going to local stores that are dedicated to wood flooring will give you the customer service that’s required for making a purchase of this kind. The salesperson at the store will ask you to choose whether you want to go with woods that require glue or vapor barrier paper. For the purposes of this article we’ll go with the nicer glue option. One last thing, with either one, you’ll need to acclimatize your wood before you start laying it. Do this by simply opening all of the wood boxes and leaving it in the room where it will be installed for at least 24 hours.
Check the sub-floor for dips, holes or other uneven areas. You’ll need to fill these in with a concrete mix and ensure a totally even surface prior to installing your floors. Once everything is dry and clean you can begin installing your floors.
It’s always a good idea to begin your floors by starting at the longest unobstructed wall. You’ll need to remove the shoe moldings and chalk a 1/4″ line from the baseboard in order to allow for expansion and contraction in certain weather conditions. Now, to keep all the boards straight you’ll need to place chalk lines every three or four lines. Once this is done, place some glue within the chalk line and the wall and ‘scrape’ the glue by using a trowel (with teeth). Only the glue that is left behind by the trowel’s teeth openings is enough to glue the wood onto the concrete foundation. Place the longest board first and go from there. To fit the woods together, firmly push and use a rubber hammer to gently fit the tongue and groove between the hardwood planks.
Once you reach the ends of the room, you’ll need to place the boards you cut to fit. Remember to leave a 1/4″ gap at the end of the wall. Throughout the placement of the wood planks, you’ll need to place tape across three or four rows of the hardwood planks you’ve already put down. This will limit any movement of the planks as they settle into place.
Once you finish putting everything together, you’ll need to fill any holes in the wood with putty. Also, check the floors for any ‘hollow spots’, as these will need to get filled by drilling a very small hole in the hollowed space and injecting glue into it.
After you are finished, place books or any other heavy objects throughout the floor in order to ensure that the planks will stick to the glued floor. Lastly, replace the shoe moldings you previously removed and touch them up with any paint if necessary
Congratulations, you have now completed the installation of your new hardwood floors. Enjoy!