Hardwood floors are an ideal flooring option that provides desirable aesthetics and improves your home's value. However, how you install a hardwood floor determines its aesthetics and durability. Hence, it is always advisable to hire a hardwood floor installation contractor. Besides, most people who attempt DIY hardwood floor installations make costly mistakes. Thus, if you attempt a DIY hardwood floor installation, here are three mistakes you should avoid.
Failing to Prep the Subfloor
Prepping involves leveling, cleaning, and drying a subfloor. If you fail to level the subfloor, your hardwood floor will not lie flat when you install it. As a result, parts of your hardwood floor will be higher or lower than the rest of the floor. Thus, it is advisable to use a spirit level to ensure that your subfloor is level. If your subfloor is uneven, consider leveling it out. You can level the subfloor by using plywood for wooden subfloors or self-leveling compounds for concrete subfloors.
Hardwood floors can also absorb moisture from the subfloor. Thus, you must dry off your subfloor before installing the hardwood planks. If you don't dry off the subfloor properly, the hardwood boards will absorb moisture and start to expand. When the hardwood floor boards expand, your floor may start to come loose or buckle due to the pressure caused by the expansion.
Hence, before commencing the hardwood floor installation, prep the subfloor appropriately.
Failing to Acclimatize the Hardwood Boards
Hardwood floorboards are sensitive to changes in humidity and temperature. Hence, you should unpack the hardwood floorboards and allow them to acclimate to your home's humidity and temperature. If you install the hardwood floor boards before they acclimatize, they will contract or expand. If the hardwood boards expand after you install them, your hardwood floor will buckle or warp. But, if the hardwood floor boards contract after installation, your hardwood floor will develop gaps.
To avoid the above scenarios, allow the hardwood floor boards to acclimate to the humidity and temperature of your home before installing them.
Failing to Leave an Expansion Gap
During the summer, humidity levels rise. Thus, the hardwood floor boards absorb the humidity and start to expand. Thus, you must leave an expansion gap along the walls when installing the hardwood floorboards. The expansion gap enables the hardwood floor to have enough room to expand. If you don't leave the expansion gap along the walls, the hardwood boards will not have any room to expand. As a result, the hardwood floor will buckle and warp.
Different hardwoods have different rates of expansion. Hence, the appropriate expansion gap size depends on the type of hardwood floorboards you have. Nonetheless, most hardwood floors need an expansion gap of at least 10 to 15 mm.
Contact a flooring service, such as Williams Carpet Center, to learn more.