When installing hardwood flooring, you must take your time to learn how it is done, particularly if you do not have any previous experience. You can attend classes on how to install wood floors at many home improvement centers. Try to attend classes with practical sessions. You will get an idea about the materials needed, things to be taken care of and most importantly, the process of installation. If you plan everything carefully, wood flooring is relatively easy to install.
Materials Needed For Installation
The first thing you need is the hardwood flooring material itself – the raw planks. Take the measurements of the room and the local home improvement specialist can help you to choose the right quantity of flooring you need. You will also have to select what type of floor you want, whether it be solid or engineered hardwood. Also, select the species you want. If you buy prefinished hardwood, you can avoid the sanding process at the end of the flooring installation. You will also need a ten inch miter saw to cut the wood planks. If you are gluing the wood to the floor, then you will need the right adhesives. Other materials you will need are floor underlayment, flooring nailers, staplers and nail guns. If you plan to sand the floor, you will need to buy or rent drum sanders or belt sanders.
Preparation of the Materials
Solid wood tends to warp when exposed to relative extremes in humidity. To solve this problem before installation, the wood is placed in the room, where it is going to be installed for two weeks, prior to installation. This is done to allow the floors time to acclimate to the temperature and humidity of the surroundings. Always remember that hardwood flooring should be stored in dry conditions and they should not be placed directly over concrete floors due to moisture concerns.
Preparation of the Floor
Before installing wood floors, the subfloor should be free of any dust or dirt. Clean the floor thoroughly using any good cleaning agent. If you are renovating your house, remove the old flooring also. After cleaning, allow the floor to dry properly, before flooring installation. Also, carefully remove the floor molding and set it aside, keeping it carefully labeled.
Based on how the flooring is fixed to the subfloor, the hardwood floor installation is divided into three types – nailing, gluing and floating installations. Except for the gluing installation the subfloor needs to be covered with rosin paper, asphalt felt, or some other type of flooring underlayment. The seams of the sheets of underlayment should overlap each other. Fix it to the subfloor using a staple gun. Start placing the wood planks from the longest side of the room.
In nailing installation, the wood flooring is nailed or stapled to the subfloor using a nail gun, and joined to each other by fitting together tongue and groove joints on the sides of the boards.
In a gluing installation, the wood planks are joined to the subfloor using adhesive. For this, mix the adhesive according to the manufacturer’s instructions and spread it on the subfloor using a trowel. Place the wood planks on the adhesive and gently press to fix it in place.
In floating method, the click-lock method is used for installation. If unfinished flooring is used, the floor will be sanded after installation. The floor molding is also put back in place after installation. Whatever method you choose, installing hardwood floors can be done by the homeowner with enough research and preparation.