Hardwood Flooring Installation: 9 Questions to Ask Yourself

Toronto homeowners are prone to making certain mistakes when it comes to hardwood flooring installation. They may try to install it themselves when not fully equipped to do so, or install it in an unsuitable area, like a moist bathroom.

But hardwood is not cheap, so adequate preparation is vital for smooth installation. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before installing hardwood flooring.

Questions to Ask Yourself for Perfect Installation of Hardwood Flooring

1) Where Are You Going to Install It?

One of the most common mistakes hardwood flooring installation companies in Markham (like ourselves) see homeowners make is picking the wrong place to put the material.

Hardwood is not suitable in every room, as water and moisture can warp and damage it. This makes it unsuitable for bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and basements. Hardwood flooring is also not suitable for areas with high foot traffic, like living rooms.

Also, areas that need to be mopped regularly (like playrooms), that are subjected to excessive heat (like patios), or play areas aren’t suited to hardwood.

However, if you insist on installing hardwood flooring in living areas, consider wood that ranks high on the Janka scale. Softer hardwoods are best for relatively low traffic areas like bedrooms.

2) What Are Your Installation Options?

Different types of hardwood flooring require different installation methods. Some need to be nailed, some glued, and others stapled down. Some are very hard and rigid so need to be installed by professionals with special tools.

If you want to install the flooring yourself, choose engineered hardwood as it doesn’t need to be nailed or stapled. Some even come with a click-and-lock mechanism that makes them easy to install.

3) How Is It Installed?

Most hardwood flooring comes with an instruction manual and tips for maintenance.

4) Do You Have the Supplies? 

For flawless and easy hardwood flooring installation, be sure to have everything you need on hand. Read the instructions and gather your supplies. Different types of hardwood flooring will need different supplies.

Common items you may need include mouldings and trims, nails, underlayment, glue, and staples.

5) Have You Prepped the Room? 

Make sure you prepare the room for installation. Move the furniture out, remove the old flooring, and gently pull away any wall base, millwork, or trim that you are planning to reuse.

6) Do You Need to Prepare the Subfloor? 

If you are installing the floor after you have ripped out the previous one, you may need to level the subfloor by filling in any dents and repairing any cracks. Make sure your subfloor is clean, dry, and flat before you start the hardwood flooring installation.

7) Have You Acclimated the Flooring?

This is a vital step when installing hardwood flooring. Acclimation gives your floor time to adjust to the normal environment of the room. Remember, wood is hygroscopic, which means it absorbs moisture from its environment and expands.

If you don’t let it acclimate, there may be excessive gaps in your flooring post-installation and it can warp, buckle, cup, and even crack later. It can also put pressure on the expansion joint, causing more damage over time.

8) Are You Ready for the Installation? 

Review the product instructions carefully. Make note of all the steps, even if they seem insignificant. Some steps may appear to be unimportant but each is vital. Pick a starting point and plan how you will proceed.

Make sure you are ready to commit the time and effort it needs for proper installation. If you are not sure you can do it by yourself, contact reliable flooring companies and request a quote. Compare the cost and services and pick the one that best serves your needs.

9) Do You Have Everything for Finishing? 

After the floor is installed, there are still things you need to do. You need to clear the supplies, check that the installation is perfect, remove the tape that held the boards together, wipe away excess glue, et cetera. And if your hardwood flooring is not prefinished, you will have to wipe it clean, let it dry, and then move on to finishing and staining. This process takes days and it is always better to get it done professionally. After finishing, you will have to clean the floor again and move the furniture back inside.

Hardwood flooring is expensive and needs extensive protection and maintenance. If the floor is not installed properly, its durability can be affected, and the damage can be substantial, often beyond repair. That’s why we always recommend having flooring professionals do the job for you. This way the job will be done perfectly and your hardwood floor will last longer.