Installing hardwood flooring is not complicated but it does take a lot of care and attention in order to achieve long lasting beauty. Whether you hire professional installers or decide to install hardwood floors yourself, here are five common mistakes that can make, or break the appearance of your expensive floors.
- Not paying enough attention to the moisture content of your flooring. The moisture content of your wood flooring and the environment it will be installed in can have a huge impact on the appearance and durability of a wood floor. The joy that a newly installed hardwood floor brings can quickly turn to tears if there’s too much moisture or not enough in the wood when it’s installed. For example, wood that’s extremely dry and installed in winter can expand so much during the more humid summer that the edges of the boards are crushed.
- Not preparing the subfloor. The subfloor has to be clean, level, and dry before wood flooring is installed over it. Dips, humps, or blogs of drywall mud need to be removed or filled in otherwise a hardwood floor will float in some areas, squeak, or be more likely to open up or buckle.
- Not leaving room for expansion. When hardwood flooring absorbs moisture, it expands. If there’s not enough room for expansion, the wood will be damaged and the floor can buckle. Under certain conditions, washer rows are necessary to give the floor a little room to grow.
- Not using enough fasteners. Sometimes installers will take shortcuts like only nailing down every second row. Every board needs at least two fasteners. Depending on the width of the boards, a fastener should be used every 6” to 10”. If not enough fasteners are used, a floor can squeak and boards can become loose or move.
- Installing hardwood floors while wet work is still being done in the home. Hardwood flooring should be installed under normal living conditions. Activities like dry walling and painting create abnormally humid conditions in a home. Flooring should not be installed until the humidity has stabilized.
Be sure to buy hardwood flooring with moisture content that’s suitable for conditions in Calgary. Visit TimberTown for expert hardwood flooring advice and customer service.