Design Ideas

Preparing for a new wood floor installation

January 23, 2017

Choosing the type of wood floor you want in your home can be difficult. But with so many high-quality and aesthetically pleasing options to choose from, it can also be kind of fun. The hard part comes later when you're trying to prepare your home for the wood floor installation.

You can choose the most gorgeous, premium grade of flooring, but at the end of the day it won't mean much if the boards aren't installed correctly. It's important for homeowners to realize that the preparation period significantly influences both the aesthetic and function of the final product.

Wood floor installation tips: Planning and preparation phase

Whether you plan to make this a DIY project or have it done by a professional contractor and oversee the process yourself, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure your installation goes smoothly. Consider the following:

"The appearance and function of wood floors hinges on the installation process."

Give yourself plenty of time
If you want the new floor ready by a specific date, you should pad in some time for unexpected occurrences, such as product or material delivery delays. Keep in mind, however, that there are also certain periods of waiting that are built into the installation process. For example, once you receive the wood panels, they need to be placed in the room in which they are to be installed for anywhere between a few days to a week. This is to let the materials acclimate to the environment conditions, specifically the room temperature and moisture level.

Also, once you receive your wood floor and materials, make sure everything is examined for defects. Taking precautionary measures can reduce the chances of voiding your warranty, if you needed it for any reason, since most warranties don't cover floors that were improperly installed or floors that were installed with existing defects.

Getting the room ready
If you are doing other remodeling work to the area, such as painting, make sure you leave the flooring installation for last. If installing a new floor is the only change being made to the room, remove all items and take necessary measurements. For example, it's possible that your new wood floor is thicker than the one you had before, so make sure the door will still have enough clearance.

Plan ahead for your floor's layout: As a general rule of thumb, hardwood panels should run parallel to either the windows or widest wall in the room and be installed perpendicular to the floor joists for maximum stability.

Ideally, the room temperature will be kept between 65 degrees to 75 degrees and about 45 percent humidity for at least a week before, throughout and following the wood floor installation.

Taking precautionary measures helps ensure utmost satisfaction with wood floor installations.Taking precautionary measures helps ensure utmost satisfaction with wood floor installations.

Prepping the subfloor
The subfloor is one of - if not the - most important aspect of wood floor installation preparation. Making sure you are using the right subflooring system for the particular type of wood flooring you're installing is critical, as is making sure it is the appropriate state for the panels to be installed. 

To maintain the integrity of the floor, be careful in preparing the subfloor. It needs to be completely clean and void of any paint, drywall, sealers or other type of material that could impede the adhesive effectiveness. Also, its moisture content should be tested with a pin meter (typically the ideal content would be 12 percent or less, and the new wood panels would be within 4 percent of that subfloor moisture content).

Whether you're planning for an engineered hardwood floor installation or solid hardwood floor installation, there are very specific and necessary steps involved. Working with a flooring company that offers reliable service, support and guidance can help ensure the installation is as successful as possible. Anderson Hardwood offers a selection of guides based on specific types of flooring, as well as the wood flooring adhesives needed for all your installation needs. 

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