Laying Hardwood Floors

Hire a professional or do it yourself? Before you decide, review these considerations for installing a hardwood floor in your home.

A correctly installed hardwood floor brings peace of mind. Whether you hire a professional installer or install your floor yourself, you should be aware of what’s involved with laying a hardwood floor.

Hardwood floors in your home

The room where you lay the floor affects the type of floor that can be installed. Main living areas like the kitchen and living room benefit from a harder wood, like oak or hickory. In a bedroom, a softer wood will hold up just fine. Solid hardwood is not recommended for below ground level, but an engineered hardwood floor makes a great choice for finished basements.

All woods change color with time. Some, like maple, will yellow, while others darken or get lighter depending on the wood species. Exposure to direct sunlight accelerates this process. When shopping, remember to ask about a species’ inclination to change color.

Laying hardwood floors

Installing hardwood floors is a skilled art. Unless you’re an experienced flooring DIYer, you’ll get the best results by hiring a professional installer with the skills, experience, and special tools to handle the intricacies of laying hardwood floors.

Solid hardwood must acclimate several days prior to installation to allow the boards to adjust to the humidity in the room. Shipping cartons should be opened and raised off the ground during acclimation as well.

Some professional installers recommend orienting the flooring according to the dominant light source in the room, so that the boards run in the direction of the light.

For advanced DIYers doing their own installation, a Lock&Fold® floating hardwood floor is recommended. This simple two-step process is the easiest and fastest installation method available and delivers a tight fit and seamless appearance. It’s a good idea to review the steps for installing hardwood floors before you begin.

Laying a hardwood floor properly takes time and effort, but it’s worth it to ensure you’ve created a floor that will look beautiful and last for years.