Every once in a while, something comes across my computer that is so relevant, it’s almost too easy. Coincidentally, the post was about things being too easy – and in this case, it was about installing hardwood flooring, a task which most will agree, is typically best done by professionals.
Blogger Gonzo Dave of The Peripatetic Traveler decided it was time to replace his worn carpet. For him, it was easy – possibly too easy.
We glued the wood strips (prefinished Australian cypress) directly to the concrete slab, because we weren’t worried about moisture coming from the Arizona dirt under the house. That meant we had to pour the glue, spread the glue, lay the strips in the glue, position the strips before the glue set, and then strap them together so they didn’t move while the glue cured. After that, we had to clean up the excess glue, roll the strips with a weighted roller to make *sure* they were in the glue, and clean up the new excess glue. And, of course, we had to clean the glue off our tools and ourselves every night when we were done for the day.
(Side note: I finally got the last tidbits of glue off the floors THIS YEAR.)
By contrast, to replace the peel-and-stick tile in Rick and Eve’s kitchen with acacia hardwood flooring, we steamed the old tiles off, unrolled some underlayment and stapled it down, laid down the flooring strips, whacked them with a compressed-air-powered flooring nail gun, and PRESTO! Half the floor done in one day. No glue, no cleanup, no horrendous mess, almost no nothing except a beautiful hardwood floor.
Awesome job, Gonzo Dave! You’re right in thinking that for most people, laying hardwood flooring isn’t that easy.
Proper installation matters, as discovered by this YouTube user:
The bottom line is yes, laying hardwood flooring can be relatively easy, but unless done properly, you may encounter problems later on down the line.
Professional installation does cost more but with trained installers, you may end up saving a lot of money in the long-run. If you do decide to go it alone, make sure you start with quality wood. Acclimate the flooring to the humidity levels in your home.
- Make sure the room or level where the flooring will be laid is an enclosed space.
- Between 5 and 10 days ahead of time, check to see if the temperature and humidity of the space is at normal living conditions. In other words, let the heat or air run as it would normally for at least 5 days. Between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit is a good range when it comes to the temperature. The humidity level should be around the yearly average for the area.
- If the temperature and humidity of the room is off, use a heating and/or air conditioning system to balance it out. Don’t bring the hardwoods into the space until the heating or air has been running for at least 5 days, and wait 7-10 days before actually installing them.
- Open the boxes and lay them flat in the room where they’ll be installed. If because of space you do stack the boxes try to stagger them to expose as much of the box to the open air as possible.
Once you do that, here are step-by-step instructions. If you have questions, your Amber Flooring representative will be happy to answer them.