Hardwood floor installation work is a popular choice for intermediate to advanced DIYers. Many folks elect to have professionals handle the job, though. You might wonder if hiring a contractor is necessary so let's look at some of the reasons people frequently call in hardwood installation pros.
As important as accurate measurements are to almost any project, they're more important when you're installing hardwood. If you order material that's even a bit too large, you could end up sawing away at it to make it work. Likewise, not enough material can leave caps along the wall. Worse, you might not catch the mistake until you're well into the project. That can mean pulling up freshly glued wood, and you just don't want to risk that unless you're supremely confident in your measuring skills.
Subfloors and Moisture Barriers
The preparation of the subfloor is critical to the success of a hardwood installation. If the subfloor is uneven, the eventual flooring is also going to be a mess. Likewise, uneven floors can trap moisture that may cause the materials to deteriorate prematurely.
You need to be able to clean the subfloor thoroughly and then check it for evenness issues. If there are problems, you'll also need tools that can even out the subfloor. An underlayment to serve as a moisture barrier may also be necessary.
What makes one hardwood better than another for a particular project can be a tricky question. For every type of existing hardwood, there are many variations on the available products, too. You have to make decisions about the species of wood, and then you have to decide whether you want to use a solid or engineered product. Also, you'll have to contact suppliers, place an order based on the measurements, and make the delivery. Many homeowners prefer to leave this hassle to a contractor.
Planning, Cutting, and Fitting
Ultimately, the boards have to go onto the floor in some kind of arrangement. Especially if you're trying to achieve a less common pattern, such as herringbone, this can be challenging to figure out. You then have to measure the pieces and figure out what will go where. Likewise, you'll probably have to cut some sections and then fit them into the plan to make the floor line up with the walls.
Sanding and Finishing
Some projects also require sanding and finishing. Particularly if you want to stain the floor to achieve a specific color, this requires an understanding of how the stain and hardwood will interact.
For more information, contact a hardwood installation service near you.