Checklist: Before Installing Wood Flooring

When it’s time to upgrade the home, consider wood flooring. The cost of wood floor installation can be high, but most of these expenses can be avoided when homeowners install floors. Here are a few tips to achieve a beautiful wood floor through professional installation.

Preparing the Floor

Many people think they can start laying the floor once the old flooring is removed, but there’s a little more to it than that. In addition to removing the old flooring, the baseboards should also be removed. If there are door frames in the room, the Preparation of the floor for wood installation is essentialframes must be shortened by the height of your floor. Either remove the sides of the frame and cut them down with a saw, or use a Dremel rotary tool with a special attachment to cut the doorjamb in place.

The next step is to go over the floor carefully. Look for staples, nails that are not countersunk or spots that squeak. The best time to fix squeaks in the floor is now because few screws in the loose area will stop squeaks and groans. Raised nails should be hammered in fully or removed.

Once the floor is clean and smooth, it is time to lay rosin paper. Overlap paper edges by four inches, and hold the paper in place by going across it with a staple gun. Make sure all staples are completely flush with the floor.

Wood Flooring

Slow and Easy Wins the Race

The goal with the wood floor isn’t to finish in record time. The goal is to have a floor that looks professionally installed. This means being patient with the installation. Be a perfectionist when choosing boards. Look for flaws, wormholes, splinters, damaged tongues or grooves and any other damage. If there is something about a board that isn’t attractive, it should be set to the side.

All seams must be carefully staggered across the floor. Make sure there is at least four inches between seams to create a strong floor. Before choosing a board, look at the seams a few rows back to maintain attractive spacing.

The All-Important Gap

A quarter-inch gap is required all the way around the floor. Wood will expand slightly and contract again over the course of the year. If the expansion gap is not present, the floor could buckle and be ruined.

Cutting the End Boards

At the end of a row, installers measure the space and cut a board to fit. Be sure to allow for the gap when measuring, and check all measurements twice. Mark the board to ensure that the right end is cut. Remember that a working tongue or groove on the floor side is required to secure the board, so the cut should always be on the wall side.

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