Wood floors are much in demand today because of their beauty, eco-friendliness, value and exotic appeal. Wood flooring has also become very easy to obtain, install and maintain with advancements in technology.
The equipment required for installing wood flooring is a broom or a vacuum cleaner, tape measure, chalk line and chalk, hammer, handsaw, moisture meter, electric miter saw, tape, color wood filler, safety glasses, floor cleaner and a pry bar. Installation guidelines are different for different kinds of wood flooring: radiant-heated subfloors, glue-down flooring, nail- or staple-down flooring, floating flooring, etc.
There are a few things that need to be done prior to installation: subfloors and their systems should be installed properly as per the manufacturers instructions; the subfloor should be cleaned of dust, sealers, paint, wax, curing compounds, grease, drywall mud and any other substance that can affect the flooring material or the adhesives; the moisture of the subfloors should be tested to ensure that it does not exceed 13%; similarly, the moisture content of the wood floor must be below 4% of the subfloor moisture content. Additionally, the sub floor must be flat and basements and crawl spaces must be dry.
Start from the wall that is straight and square with the room. The first row of the planks can be nailed to the subfloor. Spread the adhesive properly, using a trowel to keep the planks in place. Ensure that the planks are well aligned since misalignment can cause gaps to appear in the preceding rows. Spread the adhesive for only limited areas since it can dry up in the meantime. For planks that have tongues and grooves, ensure that they are in place. Do not strike a hammer directly on the plank as it can cause damage. Keep removing the excessive adhesive immediately from the flooring as you work. At the end of the row, make sure that there are enough gaps for expansion. Make sure not to walk on the floor for at least six to eight hours after installation. Clean the duct tape and the adhesive from the floor. Examine the floor for any scratches or nicks or gaps in the planks. Use touch-up products like putty to cover any scratches.
Wood floor installation is generally done by the supplier, although some manufacturers have do-it-yourself flooring as well that you can install. However, follow the instructions carefully.
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