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Essential Tips For Installing Hardwood Floors

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Are you in the process of remodeling your home, and planning to install new hardwood floors on your own? If so, it will help to follow these essential tips for success.

Prepare Your Subfloor

It is important that you properly prepare your subfloor before you lay your first piece of hardwood flooring on top of it. The subfloor should be free of dirt and debris, completely dry, and level. If you have dips in the floor, you can use self-leveling cement to even out those low spots. 

You'll need to install a moisture barrier over the subfloor in order to protect the new hardwood that you will be laying down. This will prevent the floors from becoming warped due to moisture coming in from beneath the floor. You can use an underlayment material or a specialized epoxy that will prevent moisture from getting through. It's very easy to install since it rolls on just as if you are painting the floor.

Acclimate The Hardwood Flooring

Your hardwood floors need to acclimate to the space so that they do not shrink or expand once they are placed on the floor. It will help to take the floorboards out of the box and place them in the room where they will be installed. Overlay the boards in a cross pattern so that as much of the surface as possible can be exposed to the humidity in the room. Try to mix up the different boxes of flooring material so that any wood variations are mixed together. 

One thing to keep in mind is that the flooring needs to acclimate to the room's normal living conditions. If you tend to have windows open to let cool air in, then leave the windows open during the acclimation process. If you leave the windows shut and run the air conditioning, then do that instead. The wood should remain in the room for a few days to properly acclimate. 

Provide Expansion Gaps

A common mistake made when installing your own hardwood flooring is placing the floorboard flush against the wall. Your floors actually need some expansion gaps around the perimeter of the room. This gives the wood room to move when it expands or contracts after it is installed.

Avoid Installing Cabinets On A Floating Floor

If you are installing a floating hardwood floor, all of your cabinets and other built-in items should never be placed on top of the hardwood. You'll want to secure these items to the floor and cut the boards so that they fit around the cabinets. This is more work, but it will make the cabinets more secure when they are installed. 

For more information on hardwood flooring installation, contact a company in your area like Blair & Sons Floor Co.