Installing hardwood flooring in your home involves more than simply tacking a few pieces of pretty wood onto your floor. Whether you are the DIY type or have hired it done professionally, there are many steps involved in the entire process. Before you have your hardwood flooring installed (or before you install it on your own), it is essential to understand the installation process so you will know what to expect.
For traditional hardwood flooring, the sub-floor must be completely level, clean and moisture-resistant. The reason for this is that solid wood floors can bow and bend if they are exposed to high levels of heat or moisture.
Once the sub-floor is ready, the boards are nailed end-to-end from a specific starting point of the room. Joints are staggered so that they are a minimum of 12 inches from the joints of other rows. When the flooring is complete, the wood is sealed and finished.
Contemporary hardwood flooring is designed to make the installation process less tedious than that of traditional hardwood flooring. You can find flooring that is glued, rather than nailed, to the sub-floor. You can find flooring that snaps together and even flooring that is pre-finished. When cost is a significant factor, contemporary choices may be just what you are looking for.
Laminate flooring is made to look like hardwood – even though it is not made of hardwood. Laminate flooring has a high-density core with a layer on top that resembles hardwood. Laminate flooring can often be installed in places that are not suitable for hardwood floors. Installation is much easier than traditional hardwood flooring because the pieces snap together. You can also pull laminate flooring up and reinstall it in another location.
While look and feel is important as you make your selection, wear and tear should also be a primary factor. What are your goals down the road? Talk with a professional and make the right choice for your situation.
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