Knowing what to expect before, during, and after hardwood installation takes place will help you have a floor that is both nice looking and long-lasting.
Whether you're thinking of installing a hardwood floor yourself or hiring a contractor, you will need to do some basic research first. For example, there are three types of installation methods used for hardwoods: floated, glued and nailed or stapled.
With the floated type there are layers of plywood or other types of wood beneath the main wood flooring. Many experts believe the easiest method of installing a hardwood floor is called a floating floor, as they are not secured but rather they sit on top of the subfloor and can be installed over any surface. No special tools are required for this type of installation.
The glued method involves the use of adhesives. With this method you use a high-quality flooring adhesive to attach each hardwood flooring plank to the subfloor. This method can be used for concrete or wood subfloors.
The third type of installation method, the nailed or stapled method, is used when installing engineered or solid woods. Specialized nail or staple guns are required for this method which can be used for concrete floors and can also be used above a sleeper system for radiant heating.
Another part of the research involves consulting your manufacturer's instructions before deciding on which installation method you want to use.
Some of the basics of hardwood installation include installing the hardwood parallel to incoming light; never storing your hardwood in direct sunlight or in the garage and keeping your hardwood flooring away from outside walls, doors and windows.
You should gain knowledge of not just how to install but also the variety of types of hardwood flooring available, proper care of the flooring and which type is best-suited for your home.
In addition you should research the market by identifying the material, rates and other aspects about hardwood floors.
Trade Group Study
According to a study conducted by the not-for-profit trade group the National Association of Home Builders, called "How Long Things Last," hardwood floors are rated to last 100-plus years. No other flooring option available lasts as long.
Should you decide to hire a professional installer, be sure that references are provided and then check them out thoroughly. Look through the installer's portfolio to be sure whether he or she is knowledgeable in installing the type of floor that you have chosen and read the contract thoroughly. Check the time frame for installation and the final cost.
Experts recommend hiring a professional if the subfloor in your home is substandard or non-existent.