Flooring is an integral part of home construction. This element can either appreciate or depreciate the value of an individual’s property. As such, selecting an ideal flooring type is one of the priorities of every homeowner. Accessing various types of floor panels has never been easier. These materials range from cork to tiles (porcelain and natural stone). Among these vast options, one stands out – hardwood.
Hardwood floors are a go-to flooring option for most homeowners. They come in different grains, patterns, colours, styles, and finishes. The flooring material types include parquet, laminate, vinyl, solid and engineered hardwoods. In the same vein, they include several species, like cherry, maple, oak, ash, walnut, mahogany, and bamboo. These woods have unique qualities and perks that make them every homeowner’s flooring choice.
What Makes Hardwood Floors Special?
Each day, several owners switch from their previous flooring options to hardwood floors when undertaking home renovation projects. At the same time, new homeowners opt for the look and feel of hardwood floor panels. It is worth noting that this flooring option provides a more natural look and texture compared to tiles or carpets. Additionally, maintaining these floors comes with ease. Several factors make hardwood flooring a number one choice.
- It is easy to clean and maintain hardwood floors.
- Hardwood floors provide a home with an enhanced aesthetic
- They increase a home’s value
- Such flooring materials are strong and durable
- They are cost-effective and long-lasting
- The materials don’t fade over time
- Homeowners can get better air quality
- The floor panels provide the home with better acoustics
- Hardwood floors can be refinished
For homeowners who intend to renovate their homes, solid hardwood panels provide an ideal flooring option—the age of the materials with grace, giving the apartment a timeless look and feel. Hardwood floors can last for several decades without showing signs of wear and tear. However, not all hardwood flooring is the same. A homeowner should know what option is ideal for a particular purpose as this factor influences the wood’s aesthetics and performance.
Pre-Hardwood Flooring Installation Steps to Take
To get the best from hardwood flooring, a homeowner must consider the following:
Remove All Items from the Room
The room in which the hardwood flooring installation is to take place should be free of furniture and other materials. For large storage items, such as cabinets and wardrobes, the homeowner should empty their content before moving them. Some flooring installation companies move items at an additional cost. To aid installation, ensure that the room is climate controlled. The humidity level should be within 45% and 65%.
Get Rid of Old Flooring (If Any)
If there are old floor panels in the room, it will be ideal for getting rid of them. Doing so personally can be time-consuming and ineffective as specks of dust, and other particles may settle on one’s belongings. Ideally, the homeowner should undertake this task a day before the hardwood panels arrive. Once done, clean the entire area thoroughly in preparation for the hardwood installation.
Take Off All Wall Baseboards
To ensure a smooth installation of the hardwood panels, a homeowner needs to remove the wall baseboards. These trims may hinder the proper placement of the solid wood panels during installation and may even cause them to break. Once the installation is complete, the boards can be fixed again and retouched.
Fixing the Subfloor or Getting a New One
It is essential to prepare the subfloor for the hardwood installation. If it is old, there may be a need to renovate it or get a new one. The flooring installation expert can get this part done to ensure that the floor layer is perfect for the installation. It may include grinding and sanding the connecting parts of the subfloor.
Consider the Doors
Doors are meant to swing freely, either when opening or closing them. However, if there is an obstruction, they will not perform this task. There may be a need to remove the door when installing the hardwood floor panels. Once completed, the installation expert fixes the door again, ensuring that it is in the clear.
Selecting the Right Hardwood Flooring
When selecting a hardwood floor option, a homeowner may go for either solid wood or engineered wood. The former comes in solid timber panels and can be installed over a layer of plywood or two. However, the downsides to this floor option include:
- The ability to reduce ceiling height
- Interference with existing doors
Nevertheless, such materials are ideal for sanding and refinishing. Besides, they are quieter than their counterpart. Engineered woods are ideal for rooms with concrete subfloors. It is easy to install them over a soundproofing mat. However, some of them have thin top layers that can’t be sanded or refinished.
What will it be? Prefinished or site finished? To begin with, prefinished hardwood flooring comes with its stain and topcoat already in place. It is convenient for a homeowner to select a palette of choice to match the home’s theme. On the other hand, site-finished flooring allows for more customization. However, this is dependent on the contractor’s skills. Another upside to this flooring option is that it gives the homeowner more control over the final product. The individual can create custom finishes that are not available in the manufacturer’s catalogue.
The next step would be to select the type of finish, whether it be oil finish or polyurethane finish. The former produces a matte-like, natural appeal. On the contrary, it scratches easily, although not noticeable. Polyurethane finish is more resistant to wear and tear than its counterpart. However, scratches are significant and may require the homeowner to change the entire floorboard. Besides the options stated above, choosing the right wood type and grain pattern will create the best result after installation.
What is the Cost of Hardwood Floor Installation?
The average cost of wood flooring ranges from $6 to $12 ($3 to $7 for wood flooring cost and $3 to $5 for labour) per square foot. The national average cost is pegged at $4,541, and the typical range is between $2,492 and $6,754. Homeowners may pay as low as $1,000 to install hardwood floors in their homes, while cost may skyrocket up to $11,000. Flooring cost also varies based on wood type and style.
Hardwood flooring has its benefits, including home value appreciation. Some long-lasting wood flooring types include Brazilian walnut, teak, and bamboo. Hardwood floor panels are available on sale at large home improvement stores and flooring speciality depots.