Things to do before installing hardwood flooring

When you have shopped around and finally found the type of hardwood flooring you wanted, it is necessary to have it kept in your house for about two weeks, or at least for a few days. The longer the better, but one week is pretty much enough, though. It is done for the purpose of acclimatization of the wood with your house temperature. This way the wood won’t start shrinking later, which would have happened if you’d install it right away.

After you have waited enough, it is time to begin the installation process. Clean the area very well, it should be nice and flat, especially for prefinished flooring. Drive down sticking out nails, remove little pieces of stones, and sweep well. Oh, almost forgot: if you’re using the staples, never install on the particle board! It is NOT suitable for holding staples, and later on the floor will move, since particle board doesn’t hold staples and nails very well. Install on the plywood or existing old wooden flooring. If you have a particle board for the subfloor, you need to either remove it or install a plywood on top of it, depending on the clearance issues.

The frame around the doorway usually gets undercut. Using a special saw (hand saw or electric one), cut all the door frames. Use a piece of hardwood flooring to make sure you cut at the right height.

So, after preparing the surface, choose the wall you gonna start at. If you’re installing on a plywood, lay the boards preferably across the beams. You can easily determine the way the beams go by looking at the longest nail lines on a plywood, or, if in doubt, you can figure it out by looking at the beams in the basement. If you’re installing on the existing flooring (could be wide pine planks or just worn out hardwoods) always go across it. This way new floor will be much more flat and stronger than otherwise.

To be continued…

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