Hardwood flooring is any article made from wood that is specifically designed for application as hardwood flooring, aesthetic or structural. Wood is an extremely popular choice as a primary flooring material because of its versatility, availability, and innate beauty. However, there are numerous factors to consider when deciding whether or not to install hardwood flooring in your home.
The most important thing to consider is the durability of the individual boards. Solid hardwood flooring panels that have been painted or stained in any color will be much more durable than solid wood flooring that has just been waxed or oiled. While both products help protect the floor, waxing actually makes the floor more pliable while oiling gives it a nice glossy look. Although both are effective, solid wood flooring that has been stained with either wax or oil is much more durable and better looking.
Another issue to consider is the difficulty of installing hardwood flooring. Most homeowners do not have the skills necessary to properly install this type of floor. Unless you have previously installed interior walls or subflooring, installing hardwood flooring on your own is usually not a simple task. Unless you are skilled at laying hardwoods, plywood or concrete, most homeowners will hire a professional installer. Depending on the quality of the floor, these professionals can be extremely expensive.
Although the professional installation may be more costly, if you are a DIYer, you can still try to save money by performing the installation yourself. One way to save money on the installation is to avoid water contamination or cupping. Cupping is an occurrence where moisture collects underneath the hardwood flooring and makes it swell. If this happens to your hardwood flooring, it can cause the boards to split or even warp. The moisture then has the potential to cause mold or mildew to grow in the home, which is obviously a health risk.
It is recommended that you avoid cupping by simply sanding the floor down, after cleaning it thoroughly. Use medium grade sandpaper when sanding, as this will ensure that you’re left with smooth, even sanding edges. You don’t want to skip this step or allow your boards to become uneven. Once you’ve finished sanding the floor down, use a sealer to help prevent future water penetration. This step is especially important for solid hardwood flooring because a buildup of moisture over time can actually cause warping.
If you do decide to install your hardwood flooring yourself, you’ll want to be extra careful when handling the wood planks. Hardwood flooring is typically glued to solid wood boards with a solvent. This process will likely damage your floors if you are not careful. Also, be sure not to run the solvents through the nails, as this can cause them to become coated and discolored. Instead, opt for an alternate method.
When installing, always make sure that you use the same adhesive you used on the wooden flooring planks. This will help ensure that they are properly bonded and won’t separate. You may also want to double tack the boards so that they will stay in place better. Many times this will be enough to avoid water seepage through the boards themselves.
When installing hardwood flooring yourself, there are a few tips that you can follow to ensure proper installation and long lasting beauty. The first is to always use good quality wood glue and a quality nail. Test a few nails before doing your installation to see how much pressure they need to be applied. You can avoid using too much pressure by applying only half as much to your boards. Also, use your saw at an angle to prevent splitting the wooden planks. Also, remove the boards before drilling into the floor to prevent wood rot and increase the life of your floor.