Real hardwood floors are not as common as they once were, with many homeowners choosing to install wood-like vinyl or some sort of layered flooring instead. However, if you really desire that rustic, natural wood look, then you can't beat hardwood. Just make sure you know what to expect when your flooring company arrives to install it. Take a look at the steps here:
1. Prepare the subfloor
Before the flooring installers can put your hardwood in place, they need to make sure the subfloor is relatively level and able to be nailed to. They might replace your subfloor with a sturdier backer board, which should do a better job of holding the hardwood planks in place. Then, they will lay a piece of backing paper over top of the subfloor. This helps act as a moisture barrier between the wood and the subfloor, which long-term, should keep the flooring straight and free from buckles.
2. Deliver the wood, and let it acclimate
Your flooring company will probably drop off your hardwood flooring a few days before they install it. This gives the flooring time to adapt to the temperature and humidity in your home, which will allow it to remain straight when installed.
3. Mark the floor placement
Once the flooring is acclimated, your installer will use chalk or a similar material to mark, on the paper, the places where each board is going to sit. This helps ensure they create an even and attractive pattern, and that they cut the wood to size properly.
4. Fasten the flooring
With the floor marked up, your installers can begin nailing. They will usually use two nails on each end of the board, and a few nails partway down the length of the board. Some installers now use long staples to attach the flooring; they are shot through a special type of gun and go into place a lot faster than nails.
5. Sand and finish the floor
After all the boards are in place, it is time to sand and finish. Your installer will likely use a large, rotary sander to ensure the boards are nicely finished. This will create dust, but it's the only way to get a perfectly smooth floor. Then, your chosen finish will be applied — a stain, sealer, or wax. You can work with your installer to choose the finish that gives your flooring the desired look.
Now you have a better idea of what hardwood floor installation involves. Reach out to a residential hardwood flooring service if you have any questions.