Wood Floors

There are many issues that need to be addressed for a quality hardwood installation. These are just a few:

Subfloors

CLEAN-all floors must be cleared of wax, paint, oil, sealers, adhesives and other debris. LEVEL / FLAT-within 3/16” in 10’ or 1/8” in 6’. DRY-checked and documented moisture levels of the subfloor using appropriate moisture tests. (Note-“dry” concrete as defined by these tests can be wet at other times of the year. These tests are only a picture of the subfloor at the time the tests were made.) STRUCTURALLY SOUND. Unfortunately, these issues can only be determined after the carpet and pad have been removed from the floor. Because of this, additional time and cost may be required to correct any problems before the wood can be installed.

Acclimation

All HVAC systems must be installed and running prior to installation. Job site should have a consistent temperature of 60-80 degrees. Relative humidity of 35-55% is required throughout the life of the floor. All solid wood floors are required to be acclimated in the home for a minimum of 72 hours prior to installation. Engineered wood floors may or may not be required to be acclimated depending on the specific recommendations of the manufacturer.

Method

In addition to the subfloor preparation and acclimation, the next largest factor in a quality wood floor installation are the products and methodology of the actual installation process. I use only Bostiks BEST or Bostiks BST adhesives for glue down installations. They are expensive but also considered the best adhesives on the market. I have never had a failure using these adhesives. The floor is also cleaned several times to remove leftover adhesive residue.

Nail or staple? Floated? Again, it has a lot to do with the material being installed, what it is installed over, and the manufacturers recommendation.

Solid or Engineered?

Today, you can purchase any number of species and styles of hardwood in both solid and engineered forms. The basic difference between the two forms is that solid wood floors are subject to a greater amount of expansion and contraction than their engineered counterparts. Secondly, some solid wood floors can truly be sanded and refinished while most engineered floors can be screened (not as deep as sanding) and refinished. The thickness of the wood above the top of the tongue will determine just what can be done to refinish the floor.

The first question is where is the wood going to be installed? Engineered floors can be used below grade, on grade and above grade. Solids can always be used above grade and some solids can be used on grade. It would be best to have an evaluation of your particular project to determine your options.

Finishing Touches- Installing hardwood on the second floor?  You may also want to consider installing 1/4″ cork underlayment as a soundproofing layer. It significantly lowers the impact of noise between the first and second floors.

Also, if you have carpeted stairs, the stairs can be redone to complement your new hardwood floor-it looks great!

The takeaway? Quality hardwood installation is much more than just slapping some wood on the floor. Let us install your hardwood for a beautiful, long lasting floor.