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12 Common mistakes to avoid in Hardwood Floor Installation

12 Mistakes to avoid when Installing Hardwood Floors

Home Interior decoration without good flooring is incomplete. And with a variety of flooring types in the market, the wood flooring system outstands others. The wood flooring not only provides a stylish experience but also gives a nice and comfortable feeling to our underfoot. Another great feature this wood flooring offers is value to our home.

Even though this type of flooring stands out from the rest, it’s still easy to make mistakes if attention is not taken. However, the greater part of this type of flooring is that these mistakes are avoidable. This post is mainly about the top 12 mistakes to avoid in hardwood floor installation, so you want to pay attention before too late!

12 Common mistakes to avoid in Hardwood Floor Installation

To avoid problems with hardwood floors on slab, below are the common mistakes to avoid during the installation:

1.     Wrong Type of Wood

It is crucial to keep in mind the desired hardwood as you go through the types of flooring. With each wood constituting unique grains, colors, and specific hardness, suitable for certain textures,  you want to ensure you choose the one that suits your preference.

These are the details you need to know before choosing the wood. In addition, check for the stain or color. Some colors are desirable for some homes, and you might want to consider this before making your choice, as painting is part of the picture.

2.   Wrong Quantity of Wood

It is not advisable to get the exact amount of wood for your flooring. It is crucial to have extra wood panels. This is because mistakes might surface, and to make adjustments, you won’t need to order another type of wood, which can end up being slightly different from the initial one.

Hence, getting the wrong amount of wood flooring is a bad call whatsoever. Likewise, this technique will not only help you fix issues but will reduce costs and also help minimize floor installation costs.

3.   Not Paying Attention to the Moisture

Unwarranted moisture is the main cause of the 5 inch hardwood flooring problems. This is because they can easily influence the wood, which can then cause issues to occur. Therefore, to avoid any problems during the floor installation service, you will need to pay attention to the moisture. Likewise, the temperature of the wood is to be considered.

Woods tend to contract in response to lower temperatures during winter and expand during warmer seasons. Knowing this will help you plan and address issues relating to moisture. Therefore, allow your floorboards some time to breathe and also let the wood adapt to the climate indoors.

4.   Improper Layout Planning

Poor planning of the layout can also affect the wooden floorboards in terms of unplanned patterns. One thing you want to ensure is natural and random-looking floorboards. Also, just like the layout, you want to keep in mind the leveling of the floor. A single mistake in this part can cause an accident by tripping. Hence, you need to pay attention to these, especially if it is work you do yourself regularly.

5.    Lack of Subfloor Preparation

When setting up the hardwood flooring, the subfloor is a crucial factor to keep in mind. For hardwood, you must ensure a dry and sturdy foundation. And not paying attention to these factors might result in some problems with the floorboards.

Commonly, these problems range from squeaking and creaking to gaps between floorboards, which are sometimes caused by the way the nail holds the boards to the subfloor. On the other hand, you also want a dry subfloor to avoid structural damage and any other future problems that might be expensive to repair. Hence, cleaning the subfloor is crucial to attaining a dry state at all times. Doing this will help you avoid issues that might surface in the future.

6.   Careless sanding

Sanding is a step you want to carefully carry out. It requires precision during installation. In this step, a deft hand that can handle the hardwood sander while maintaining constant movement is crucial. This is because one wrong move can result in stripping the stain and the coating. If you will be approaching it personally, close attention must be paid to the sanding and the whole finishing process. If you feel like you can’t maintain the precision required, then at that point, it is wise to involve a professional to avoid any costly mistakes.

7.    Leaving the Floor Dirty

This is a common mistake, mostly made during floor installation. Applying a stain to a dirty floor will result in a rough finish. Therefore, it is crucial to remove all forms of dust and stains before applying the stain and the lacquer for the finish.

In between sounding rounds, you should always endeavor to remove the debris off the floor surface. Doing this will also result in a smoother finish, only when done right. Another thing you want to keep your eyes on after installation is to ensure cleanliness. Doing this will add to the floor’s lifespan.

8.   Gaps In The Floor

Gaps in the floor are one of the signs of bad hardwood floor installation. This type of mistake mostly happens when the hardwood is installed on a wet subfloor. Doing this will make the wood boards cling to one another, and with time, they will retract as they dry, causing failure in the long run. To prevent this, you may need to fill the gaps with wood filler. Better still, it might be in your best opinion to hire a professional to prevent minimal gaps in your flooring.

9.   Improper Racking

Improper Racking is also one of the most common hardwood flooring mistakes most commonly encountered. Racking is about the order in which you want to install your flooring boards, and it needs to be carefully done to attain a pleasant look. In addition, this will ensure easy installation of the floors. That is, if your racking is not done properly, your flooring will come out rough, and you won’t like it.

10. Improper installation of Expansion Joints

When too much moisture is present in a room, your wood flooring will cup and swell as it expands over time. Therefore, installing expansion joints properly is crucial in ensuring a good layout of the wood flooring and preventing this humidity or moisture from damaging your wood flooring.

11. Improper spacing of nails and staples

Another hardwood flooring installation mistake is improper nailing and stapling hardwood floors. This common mistake can affect your wood flooring to a great extent. Hence, proper spacing of the nails appears to be an important factor to consider during installation as it will help you hold down your boards properly. According to the rules, it is essential to have nails or staples at every 10 to 12 inches intervals.

12. Not Hiring a Professional

Not involving a professional for your hardwood flooring installation is the greatest mistake you can make. This is because professionals have undergone the necessary training and have acquired enough experience to help you install your flooring properly while staying away from any form of mistake. Instead of trying to save money by installing it yourself and subjecting your flooring to rapt failure in a short time, it is, therefore, advisable to involve a professional and pay a little money.

Bottom Line

Hardwood floor installation might look easy, but it is something you want to do when paying attention to detail. Starting with choosing the right type of wood, getting the required amount, and ensuring proper spacing and racking, you want to ensure it is carried out properly. And sometimes, you might need the eyes and hands of a professional. Often times, companies just add hardwood installation as part of their flooring marketing strategy, and not to deliver decent results, which something you should look out for.

For more information, recommendations and help with your home installation project, contact us.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Hardwood flooring vs Engineered wood flooring

The primary difference between hardwood flooring and Engineered wood flooring lies in the core. The former’s core consists of hardwood while the latter consists of plywood and the differences between this core depends on their water resistance.

What can I do if I have installed my floorboards incorrectly?

If you installed your flooring incorrectly, the first action to take is to contact a professional for any possible correction. And if a solution is not feasible, you might want to make a further move by contacting your homeowner’s insurance provider.

Read more: Mistakes to avoid when installing laminate flooring

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