Home improvement can add that special something to your home environment, help you make use of your space and of course often add value. If your budget will allow, you may wish to pay for experts to come in and do the job for you. On the other hand you may be somebody for whom home improvement is an enjoyable and rewarding project to undertake yourself.
Of course some tasks are more difficult than others. For instance hardwood floor installation is not as straightforward as you think. Installing quality, durable flooring requires some preparation and if you choose to install it yourself it is wise to get as much support as possible. Many internet sites offer advice in detail.
Below are some brief, useful tips for hardwood floor installation:
Hardwood is a natural product and may have defects. When ordering wood check for defects, either natural or from the manufacturing process before buying. To be on the safe side order an extra 5 10% to allow for any overlooked problems.
Remember some urethane cured hardwood glues come with bond only warranties but there are glues that do not have moisture protection warranties. Check whether you need glue with moisture protection.
Ensure the site is structurally sound and completed before beginning work.
As hardwood is a porous material and will contract and expand, all attempts must be made to control the humidity of the room. Painted walls should be dry. Exterior drainage should be pointed away from the house. Wood should be delivered as early as possible before installation to allow it to acclimatize to the air. Although the product is engineered to withstand moisture, it is advisable to check moisture levels prior to working and consult manufacturers recommendations re: acceptable levels of moisture.
Ensure that you prepare for your own safety and the protection of the wood during installation. Protecting your eyes with goggles is a must! Use a back brace for lifting. Soft rubber pads or cushion knee pads prevent abrasions to the floor surface.
Wetting the painted area first before scraping it off will help to keep dust to a minimum. Wet paint causes less dust than flaky paint.
Open all boxes of wood before starting to lay the wood to check for defects but also insures you get a picture of the color and texture variation before you start.
Establishing your baseline and the direction of the floor is a crucial step. Be meticulous in using measuring and marking lines. Remember the longest outside wall gives the best visual effect.
Floor boards are initially laid using a “staggered staircase method i.e. 3 boards fitted closely together with boards 2 and 3 being 6 inches shorter than the first board and placed above the first board. To ensure the boards do not lose their tight grip use 3-M blue tape 2 inches thick to secure them and ensure that excess glue is cleaned off the boards and your shoes before you go on to add more boards. Being meticulous with details can make the process quicker and easier.
Professional installers recommend rolling the floor with a 75lb roller. The advantage of this often overlooked process is that you can quickly remedy any air pockets or hollow spots before the glue has dried and apply additional needed pressure to deal with them.
If you have taken the time and money to invest in hardwood flooring it is wise to make sure you take care and maintain this material. Common-sense tells you to keep the floors clean particularly from water, food and grease. Use only leading brand cleaner made for pre-finished hardwood floors and do not use polish or oil-based wax. Reduce damage to the flooring by using floor protectors underneath all furniture and avoid walking on floors with footwear that will damage it like stiletto heels. The above points are by no means comprehensive but are aimed at highlighting the small details to bear in mind when installing your hardwood flooring. When looking for extra support particularly on the internet, look for a reputable company who not only offer guidelines for installation but who offer a hardwood floor installation video online to help you do as professional a job as is possible.