Installing Real Wood Floors

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You can save money in the long run if you finish and lay your wooden floor properly.

When installing a wood floor, think about these ten things first.

1. Allowable Height Limit

2, Subfloor Varieties

Methods of Setup 3

4. Skirting

5. Orderable Quantity

6. Initial Wood Quality and Moisture Content

7. On-site wood acclimatization

8. Lack of Expansion

9. Boards’ General Guidance

10. Maintenance

First, measure the room to see if the thickness of the new floor you want to install, plus any sub-base, will exceed the height limit. There will be a step into principal rooms if the beams, ceilings, or entrances are too low.

What kind of subfloor is already there? The sub-bass moisture level should be checked regularly. You’ll be wasting your time and money if you try to install a solid wood floor in a room with a lot of humidity. All ground floor bases, in general, are susceptible to moisture issues at some point, so proper moistureproofing is crucial. There is less of a need for extreme caution on the first floor. Concrete, hardwood beams, chipboard, and reclaimed floorboards are all examples of suitable sub-bases.

There are four distinct approaches to installation, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks, as well as niche uses. Adhesive bonding works best on smooth, flat surfaces like those provided by a concrete or chipboard sub-foundation. Glue is costly and dirty. Nails are utilized on chipboard, ancient timber floor sub-bases, and wooden beams. This is a great, long-lasting approach, but you’ll need a particular nailer.

The term “floating” refers to the fact that the new floor is not affixed to the sub-base using glue or nails. This approach uses A subfloor or underlay to support the wood flooring. Underlays are beneficial because they act as a barrier against moisture and sound. Similar to floating a floor, but with a sticky underlay, is the usage of a “sticky membrane.” It’s important to note that the adhesive side is quite sticky, so if you accidentally stick the board in the wrong spot, you’ll have difficulty repositioning it.

Skirting, which is aesthetic and functional (it hides the expanding gap surrounding your solid wood floor), is point four. The expansion gap can be concealed by undercutting the skirting, removing and reinstalling it later, or installing beading up to the skirting.

Measure the area of the rooms to determine how many square meters of lumber you will need to order; then add 5 percent to that number to account for waste and cutting. It’s annoying to shell out money for something that doesn’t seem required. A 10% cushion should be built for spaces with many nooks and alcoves. The last thing you want is to need more lumber than you have on hand yet be unable to find a suitable match.

Wooden flooring has become a multibillion-dollar industry; thus, it must arrive in good condition (in terms of quality and moisture content). As a customer, you stand to gain from the increased competition. While it’s true that you can obtain high-quality wood at a lower price, I wouldn’t recommend automatically choosing the lowest option. Making floorboards involves several steps: sawing, milling, kiln drying, and finishing. All these processes have their associated expenses, and if the manufacturer has cut corners to keep his costs down, the end product will be of worse quality. In the long run, cheap boards that don’t fit together correctly or warp will cost more. When delivered to your facility, the wood should have a moisture content of 8% to 12%. Quantifying this without a moisture reader won’t be easy, which you probably won’t have. Hiring a professional has this benefit. They have the ability and duty to check that these conditions hold. Make sure of that!

This is the big one, so here we go: 7. People’s expectations about how much wood will expand and contract are usually too low. When a floor is in motion, and there is nowhere to go, it will continue moving until it encounters an obstacle. It will bend under its weight and smash through barriers if it has to grow. Therefore, it is essential to provide space around your floor for the floor to grow into, preferably approximately 15mm. This space must be maintained consistently around all entrances and exits.

The acclimation of wood at the job site is a hotly contested topic amongst flooring installers, but my views are grounded in the laws of nature. Putting wood on site in the summer with all the windows and doors open will cause significant gaps in the winter as the wood contracts, while acclimatizing wood in an arid centrally heated room in the winter may cause problems as it expands in the summer. Similarly, acclimatizing wood at a building site is pointless because the wood will eventually be moved to a different climate.

So, what should one do? Here are some recommended practices: Room humidity levels should be between 40% and 60% for wood flooring, whereas wood is delivered to the plant at 8% to 12%. If the humidity in the room is kept within these parameters when the floor is being installed, there should be no issues. Hiring a professional relieves you of this stress and ensures that the work will be guaranteed. By doing so, he is expressing confidence in his abilities.

Since engineered flooring does not expand or contract as much as a solid wood floor, installing them can eliminate many of these issues.

The orientation of the boards is arbitrary. It’s largely subjective, but some rules of thumb exist to follow. If you attach them to preexisting rafters, the boards must run perpendicular to the rafters or batons. The boards should generally be arranged so that they face away from the room’s entrance. Looking along the board’s length creates the illusion of more space. Crosswise boards can be a bit of an eyesore. Similarly, if you use boards, do so along the greater length of the room rather than across the shorter length, as would be the case in a long corridor. When in doubt, and if you’re feeling brave, attempt a diagonal arrangement; it creates a striking visual effect.

Regarding upkeep, the methods you employ will depend on your finish type. Simply put, regular maintenance will help you save time and money in the long run. Wooden floors are fantastic since they are durable and straightforward to maintain, but that doesn’t mean you can forget about them after installation. Take the advice of your wood supplier or layer.

The writer of this piece is the director of a prestigious British hardwood flooring company called Whittlewoods Ltd. He’s been working with wood for almost 25 years, so he knows everything there is to know about it. If you have any queries about wooden flooring, you can find the answers on the website of Whittlewoods Oak Flooring.

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