Were you thinking of taking matters into your own hands and laying that beautiful oak, maple, or ash flooring yourself? After all, there’s a special kind of satisfaction that comes with completing this home improvement project yourself—a combination of pride, joy and accomplishment. Doing this kind of project teaches you to appreciate your domestic living arrangements more and enhances your knowledge about installing floorings.
If you’re keen on laying your own hardwood panels yourself, do your share of research first in order to ensure you’re doing the right thing. This will help you avoid making costly mistakes and repairs that eat up more of your time and effort.
Your choice of hardwood flooring will depend on the kind of material your own floors are made of. Generally, laying flooring on concrete requires a padding or foam underlay. Slabs made of wood may not need the extra layering.
Timber strips generally come in two alternatives: tongue and groove and glue-down. The tongue- and-groove choice lets you lock the pieces together, while glue-down flooring is designed to be glued into place.
Depending on your choice of installation alternative, acquire the tools necessary for this home improvement task. Generally, you need fewer tools for the glue-down type.
Remember that you should not install prefinished hardwood strips in basements and other areas classified as Below Grade. You can install it only over wood or concrete subfloors, as well as tile, bamboo, porous stone, vinyl, and timber surfaces. Radiant heating systems can be covered over as long as the flooring is designed to be suitable for this option.
Before you start, make sure you give the wood flooring slabs time to adjust to the temperature and humidity of your home so that these components will expand to optimal size before being laid. This means that as soon as the flooring material is delivered to your house, remove the packaging and place the strips in the room where they will be laid.
After ensuring that your surfaces are level, dry, smooth, and clean, examine the direction of your floor joists. See to it that your wooden strips are laid perpendicular to these. If you so wish, you can mark the positions of the joists on the part of the wall where base molding can conceal the marks later.
Next, lay out your underlay of choice and a moisture barrier. This is primarily applicable to concrete surfaces. The edges should be overlapped by three inches. Use a staple gun to hold this underlayment in place.
Make calculations on how many rows of strips will be involved in the installation. Use a chalk line to help you ensure you are installing the flooring correctly and that the flooring strips are perfectly aligned. See to it that the guide marks you make are of equal distance and are truly parallel.
In cutting the strips, use a power miter saw to speed up the process. See to it that the boards are face up when you cut them. If you are using a circular saw, the strip should be face down. If the slabs are pre-finished, you should cut into the prefinished side.
When laying the boards, do it systematically from left to right or vice versa – whichever is more comfortable for you. Finally, don’t forget to leave half an inch of space at the perimeters of your floors to give room for the wooden strips to expand and contract.
Arian A. is a blogger and Flooring Expert, He routines blogs about Home Improvement projects with an emphasis on Hardwood Flooring in NJ.