Hardwood flooring is a popular choice for homeowners. It adds natural beauty and can increase the value of a home.
Getting hardwood floors installed correctly is an integral part of the process. However, it can be tricky and even a bit intimidating.
Not Leaving Enough Expansion Gap
When installing hardwood floors, leaving enough expansion gaps around the room’s edges is essential. This space is critical to the flooring’s stability and durability as it reacts to temperature and moisture changes.
If you don’t leave enough room, wood planks can develop gaps as they expand and contract, leading to irreversible damage that will eventually require plank replacement.
Ideally, leave a gap of 10 to 15 mm (depending on the type of floor) all around the room. It is necessary to allow for the floor’s natural expansion and prevent the pressure from pushing outwards and bowing upwards at the edges of the board.
Often, the easiest way to get a proper expansion gap is to use spacers during the installation process. These are simple, cost-effective ways to ensure your installation is done correctly.
Not Taking Care of the Sub-Floor
The subfloor is the foundation of your hardwood installation Decatur GA and needs to be completely dry and solid. A wet or uneven sub-floor can cause problems with your hardwood floors, such as squeaking, creaking and gaps between the planks.
It can also damage the wood boards and the subfloor. In addition, a wet subfloor can lead to structural damage to your home and expensive repairs.
Not taking care of the subfloor is one of the most common mistakes that doom do-it-yourself flooring projects. Fortunately, it is straightforward to fix these issues once they are discovered.
They install the floor over new concrete, which is still humid – Another common mistake is installing hardwood over fresh concrete that needs to be thoroughly dried out and warm. Moisture from the concrete can get into the wood and cause it to expand, warp or bend.
It is also recommended to store the hardwood for a few days before laying it to allow it time to acclimate. This process helps the wood adjust to its environment and avoid costly issues such as excessive expansion, dimensional distortion and structural damage to the boards.
Not Taking Care of the Planks
Not caring for the planks is one of the most typical errors individuals make while laying hardwood flooring. Even with modern water-resistant finishes, large spills can soak between planks and cause severe damage.
When installing solid wood floors, leaving a gap around the room’s perimeter is crucial to allow for expansion and contraction. Moisture causes wood to expand, while dry conditions contract it.
It can lead to warping or cupping. When installing hardwood, leave enough space for this expansion and avoid gluing joints that will create uneven gaps between floorboards.
In addition, planks can split or crack if not properly inspected before installation. Checking each wood plank before installation will prevent these problems from escalating into more expensive repairs.
Not Taking Care of the Finish
Maintaining the finish is one of the significant errors individuals make when installing hardwood floors. It is because not all finishes are created equal.
Newly installed wood floors are generally sealed with urethane, polyurethane or polyacrylic sealants, making them water- and stain-resistant. These types of floors are easy to clean, sweep and mop.
Older wood floors are usually finished with oil finishes and require a bit more care to maintain them. It is essential to treat these floors with either a liquid or paste wax to prevent damage from moisture, scratches and grime to a minimum. Some common finish failures include peeling, uneven sheen and lap lines. These can be prevented by following the instructions with each finish you use.