Now that you have chosen hardwood flooring for your home, you need to begin planning for the installation process. Being prepared will ensure less stress for you to get the beautiful hardwood floor you desire.
How Long Will It Take?
All hardwood flooring projects can vary in length. The greatest factor is whether you plan to install prefinished or unfinished hardwood flooring. In most cases, prefinished hardwood flooring takes less time to install than unfinished hardwood. However, every situation is different, but most homeowners want the least interruption time, especially if living in the home during the installation. Hiring a professional to install your floors will be quicker than doing it on your own. After all, professionals do it every day. In many cases, the real benefit will not be the amount of time saved, but the money you save on your hardwood floor installation.
Expect a Mess
When installing a hardwood floor, one major consideration is the mess. From dust created by cutting the boards to the glue used to strengthen the hold of installed boards and the scraps from the cut boards, such a mess can make a tough job even tougher if you do not know how to manage it correctly. The installation of new hardwood floors can create quite a mess inside and sometimes outside your home as well. Usually, the installer will collect the waste materials and dispose of it for a fee. Discuss this with your installer prior to the installation to know what to expect according to the terms of the agreement.
Acclimating the Wood
All unfinished hardwood products must be acclimated to their new environment for at least two weeks for concrete slabs to four weeks on pier and beam before the sand and finish to allow the natural material to expand or condense. Prefinished engineered flooring can in most cases be installed immediately upon delivery of the product. You should never overlook acclimation to the environment for solid wood floors to the installation site. Although it is not as important for engineered hardwoods because of the stability in the manner in which they are constructed, solid products will contract and expand significantly due to variations in relative humidity levels.
Staining Hardwood Floors
Installing hardwood floors can be a laborious and expensive project. You may want to save money by deciding to purchase unfinished wood and finish the floor on your own. If you choose to do it all by yourself, you can get still get a professional look; all it takes is a little planning.
To do to finish the floor yourself, you need keep a few things in mind:
- Allow the wood time to rest on site before finishing.
- Use plastic to seal off doorways to maintain consistent temperature and humidity levels.
- Hardwood floors have to be sealed on all sides, so pre-seal areas that you will not be able to reach once the floor is installed. There is no need to seal the back of strip flooring, but for wide plank flooring it is recommended.
- You need to sand hardwood floors a minimum of three times with increasingly finer grades of sandpaper. Be sure to sweep and vacuum the floor thoroughly following each sanding.
- Use a rag or brush to generously apply the stain, and then allow time for the stain to sink in before removing any excess.
- Once the stain is dry, brush on the finish coat and allow it to dry according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Use 150 to 180 grit sandpaper, an abrasive pad or steel wool to sand the floor, and then wipe clean the surface.
- Sand, clean and coat the hardwood floor again until you achieve the look that you desire.
All through history, hardwood flooring has set the standard for beauty and style in the most sophisticated homes. No other flooring provides the timeless quality of wood with undeniable warmth and comfort.
Posted April 08, 2012