When you want to increase the style and value of your home, it may be time to update the flooring with a new material that can last for several years. The summer season is a common time to install exotic hardwood flooring to enhance the appearance of the home and boost the property value. When installing the hardwood floors yourself, there are a few important dos and don'ts to follow to avoid common problems that can occur.
Do Remove Moisture
One of the most common challenges with hardwood floor installation in the summer season is cupping that develops due to high humidity levels. Install a whole-home humidifier to maintain a maximum dewpoint of 60 degrees and remove an average of six pints of water from the air each hour. Portable humidifiers can also be used but only remove two pints of water per hour. The humidifier should be used with an HVAC system, which will use 25 percent of its energy to remove moisture. Run vents as much as possible, especially while showering or cooking. Cupping can also be avoided by fastening floor boards properly due to wood that expands throughout the year. The humidity level should be kept at 35 to 55 percent throughout the year to maintain the condition of the hardwood floors long-term.
Do Get a Temperature and Humidity Instrument
You can monitor the humidity levels in the home by purchasing a temperature and humidity instrument to use in each room that you work in when installing the flooring material. This will monitor the temperature of the wood and the subfloor to ensure that they are two to four percent of each other.
Don't Lay the Boards on Uneven Subfloors
Professional flooring experts recommend laying the hardwood boards on subfloors that are level and are in good condition. You can hire a professional to examine the subfloor ahead of time to ensure that it is even and doesn't need to be repaired before the hardwood floors are installed. The subfloor should also be dry and clean before installing the hardwood floors.
Most hardwood floors are not installed directly on the subfloor and are floating, which provides a minimal amount of movement with the floors. Each type of hardwood flooring material will also need a specific type of underlayment to ensure that it is secured properly.
Don't Forget to Evaluate the Layout of the Floor
It's important to evaluate the layout of the home's floor ahead of time to discover any areas where the boards will need to be cut due to specific fixtures that are present, such as a stone fireplace. Avoid awkward slivers or attaching permanent fixtures, which can restrict movement and cause cracks to develop over time.
Do Choose the Right Wood Flooring Material
Many homeowners make the mistake of choosing wood flooring materials that may not hold up well in humid climates when it's installed in the summer season. Hardwood floor types respond differently to warmer climates, making it important to speak to a professional about the options that will remain durable long-term for your area.
Do Finish the Project
To complete the hardwood floor installation process, cut the boards lengthwise when it's time to install the last row in each room of the home. You'll need to trace for contours to be fitted and cut to create a professional look that is uniform and is void of any gaps. All spacers can be removed after installing the last row before it's time to attach trim and moldings for a complete look.
Denver, Colorado is home to MacDonald Hardwoods, a flooring company specializing in various flooring types including Bamboo, African Padauk, Jarrah and Purpleheart. Macwoods recognizes the importance of educating buyers so that they can make the right decision for their particular needs.