Six Tips for Hardwood Floor Installation

Remodeling the floors in your home is a sure-fire way to increase its value. Flooring design trends come and go, but one type of material is a timeless classic that never goes out of style: hardwood.

Hardwood floors are popular because they’re sturdy, visually pleasing, and highly customizable. Not only can you choose the type of wood you want to use, but you can pick a stain that matches your home’s decor. From warm and welcoming to dark and sophisticated, hardwood floors come in all shades and styles.

Whatever your tastes, we’re confident you’ll find the right choice at 1st Choice Flooring. We offer a stunning variety of high-quality wood flooring options. Our collection includes solid hardwood, engineered hardwood, and exotic hardwood from top brands like ADLETA Corporation, ST, Columbia Flooring Originals, LW Flooring, Regal Hardwood, Johnson.hardwood, BPI and more. 

Stop by our Murphy showroom today to see them in person!

Advice From Texas Wood Flooring Experts:

Installing a hardwood floor isn’t too hard if you follow the right steps and have the right tools. Unless you’ve installed a wood floor before, you may not be aware of a few tips that will make the job easier.

Take a look at our tips for installing a hardwood floor:

1. Let the Wood Acclimatize

Wood is an organic material that reacts directly to its environment. As strange as it may sound, your hardwood boards may expand or contract in the weeks following their arrival in your home. This process is called acclimatization and is totally normal.

To give your hardwood a chance to properly acclimatize to your home, you should order them a few weeks before you plan to install them. Just open the boxes and give them a chance to “breathe.”

If you skip the acclimatization process and put the boards down right away, they may shrink or grow. This leads to all kinds of problems like gaps between boards or boards that appear buckled or warped. Trust us: it’s worth the wait!

2. Remove the Baseboard

The baseboard is a thin, horizontal board that covers the place where the wall meets the floor. You’ll need to remove the baseboard before getting started on the floor installation. We don’t recommend undercutting the baseboard instead of removing it, because it’s both time-intensive and causes you to lose part of the baseboard.

Plus, now is an excellent time to replace the baseboards if they’re old or worn-out. Baseboards typically get scuffed up and scratched by activities like moving furniture and running vacuum cleaners. This daily wear-and-tear means they can quickly start to look run-down compared to the rest of your home.

When you remove the baseboards for the wood floor installation, you can replace them with brand new ones or paint over the old ones to give them a like-new look.

3. Check Out the Subfloor

Below your floor is a layer called the subfloor. Depending on the condition of your subfloor, you may need to make some repairs before you lay down the hardwood. Unfortunately, installing a new floor over a damaged subfloor will lead to more problems down the road.

Doublecheck to make sure your subfloor is level. The height shouldn’t change more than 3/6-inches in a 6-foot area. Any more than that and you’ll have to level the subfloor before installing the hardwood. Depending on how drastic the imbalance is, you may be able to fix it on your own or you may need to hire a handyman or flooring service.

4. Prepare the Subfloor for Installation

Even if your subfloor is in good shape, you’ll have to prepare it for the installation. Important steps include checking for remaining nails and sanding the edges of the subfloor so they’re smooth. You can do this with simple equipment like a sander and a dustpan.

By properly preparing the subfloor, you’re ensuring that the rest of the installation project will be a lot less bumpy – literally! Hardwood boards placed over a well-prepared subfloor are noticeably smoother and flatter than boards attached to an uneven, un-sanded subfloor.

5. Make Sure the First Row is Straight

The very first row of hardwoods you put down needs to be impeccably straight. Even a small error at the beginning will become extremely noticeable as you lay down more and more boards. This is a common mistake for first-timers, but one you can easily avoid by taking the correct measurements.

Before laying down the first board, we recommend marking a line parallel to an interior wall. It’s important to use an interior wall as your guide because exterior walls are often not 100% straight.

6. Buy (Or Rent) The Right Tools

You can’t install a hardwood floor without the right equipment. Not only will having the proper tools make your job a lot easier, but the finished product will also look infinitely better! While you’ll most likely already have some of these tools in your garage, you may have to pick a couple of the more specialized ones. Luckily, many hardware stores let you rent them so you don’t have to pay the price for buying them new.

Here are a few of the tools you’ll need to install your new hardwood floor:

  • Chalk line
  • Nail set
  • Tape measure
  • Lots of saws: table saw, miter saw, and jamb saw
  • Cleat-nailer or staple gun
  • Finish nailer

Quality Hardwood Floors Installation in Murphy, TX

Hardwood floors are challenging to install, but with the right tips, you’ll have a beautiful DIY floor in no time. While there are a ton of step-by-step DIY guides out there for installing your own flooring, many of them don’t include the tricks and tips that make the project a success! With the tips in this article, you’ll be well on your way to feeling like an expert floor installer.

Here at 1st Choice Floors, we supply quality hardwood flooring for your home remodeling projects. Stop by our showroom in Murphy TX to see our stunning array of flooring options!