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Home improvement & diy

Make Your Hardwood Flooring Installation a Success With These Easy Steps

 (modified Dec 20, 2022)

A hardwood flooring installation can be the perfect project for your living room, bedroom or even a basement. It catches the eye and conveys a timeless look that many homeowners and potential homeowners value. The good news is that it's possible to tackle this project on your own. With a bit of planning for your budget and figuring out the style you're aiming for, you can have this project done in no time!

Perhaps you want to replicate a beautiful wood floor layout pattern you saw online, or maybe you wish to install hardwood floor on concrete and are unsure how to start. There are a few things you need to consider in order to make your hardwood flooring installation a success. Here's what you need to know.

Hardwood Flooring Installation

Choose The Right Kind of Hardwood Floor

In addition to choosing a species of wood, which is more about aesthetics than installation, there are three main kinds of hardwood flooring available. Only two are ideally suited to the do it yourselfer, unless you have a lot of expertise on the subject. Here are the available options:

  • Laminate - This is the cheapest type and the easiest to install, but it does come with limitations. It's not as long lasting as other more expensive kinds and cannot be refinished. However, if you are looking for a more short-term solution for your hardwood flooring installation project, this is ideal.
  • Traditional - This one is built to last but has its issues. You are essentially working with an entire piece of solid hardwood, making it difficult to install. It's also expensive. But the quality and ability to refinish multiple times can make it a good choice if you have the expertise.
  • Engineered - This is likely the best option if you have the budget for it. You get 1/16” to 3/16” pieces of real hardwood glued onto plywood, which you can then piece together yourself like a jigsaw puzzle. It's stronger than laminate and can be refinished once or twice.

wood floor layout patterns

Start Your Hardwood Flooring Installation

Whenever installing hardwood flooring, it's always a good idea to follow the instructions that the manufacturer included with the hardwood you've purchased. Here are some simple to follow guidelines on how to prepare and install the hardwood floor boards.

Prepare the Hardwood

Taking measurements of the materials is always an important first step when planning a home renovation project. Cut the pieces so that they fit the room you're installing the wood floor in. Make sure to examine that there aren't any cracks that can cause trouble down the line. Set aside the straightest boards as those will be used for the first row. Consider any wood floor layout patterns you want your room to have.

Prepare the Subfloor

First, you'll want to get rid of any old subflooring and replace them. If you have carpet, remove the carpet and any padding underneath. You may need to remove the baseboards as well so that the hardwood floors sit below them. Once you've replaced and cleaned the subflooring, you can move on to the next step.

Installing the Hardwood Floors

1. Select the straightest boards for the first row. Nail the first (and last) row through the face of the board, and as for every other row, nail them down to the subfloor through the tongue of the board.

2. Lightly tap the next board into place using a mallet and then nail it to the subfloor.

3. Nail the boards through the tongue to the floor joist to hold it in place and prevent squeaking.

4. Make sure the head of the nails are flush with the wood boards and use a wood putty or wood filler that matches the color of the wood.

Hardwood Floor in a Home

Cleaning Up After Your Installation

Once you've finished installing the wood boards, you'll likely have a lot of dust and debris that needs to be cleaned up. The dust can be sweeped or vacuumed up with a shop vacuum. As for the old subfloor, broken boards, and other debris, you can have them hauled away to your local dump.

Renting a dumpster to be placed conveniently on your driveway for the duration of your project will make it easier to remove the junk once you're ready to clean up. Once the dumpster is filled you can have it picked up and taken away. Bin There Dump That will conveniently clean the area around your dumpster to ensure no debris is left behind.

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Consider Environmental Conditions

Setting up the right environment for your new hardwood floors is also critical to their long-term beauty. For example, if your environment has a lot of dust, it's best to go with a pre-finished option rather than a finish in place. In addition, UV light can also cause your hardwood floor to fade or change shades. We recommend window treatments and rugs to help with this issue.

The temperature of the room is also a factor that can affect the wood boards. Before installing, make sure to leave the boards in the room for a few days to get them acclimated to the temperature. This way they wont become damaged once you start working with them.

Hardwood Floor Installation On Concrete

To install hardwood floor on concrete directly, you'll need to keep in mind that it is a slightly different process than doing it directly on a subfloor. Moisture levels and the age of the concrete make it a bit tricky to install the floor directly on to the concrete. Damp flooring can create mold and damage the wood.

You may need to grind the concrete to rid it of paint or glue to prepare it for the wood. Snap the wood boards into place, ensuring they sit under the baseboards. When you plan to install hardwood floor on concrete, it's not recommended to attach the boards directly onto the concrete. Instead, build a plywood subfloor ontop of the concrete, and then install the hardwood on top of the plywood.

Hardwood Flooring Installation

Make Sure You Check for Squeaky Subfloors

You don't want to lay hardwood directly over a squeaky subfloor floor as it will continue to squeak after the project is complete. The squeaky sounds is likely coming from the separation of the subfloor from the floor joists. If you find a squeaky sub floor, you can solve the problem using a nail.

Hammer the nail in the area you hear the squeak to connect the subfloor back to the joist. Use a nail that is long enough to reach the joist. This should ensure the two boards are connected well and will prevent them from squeaking when you walk over them.

We hope this helps you make some key decisions on your hardwood flooring project. When you're ready to get started, visit our ordering page to rent the dumpster you'll need to toss out the debris you'll have during your project.

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