Installing a wood floor is a big job that requires careful planning and execution. Without a plan, you could end up with a floor that doesn't meet your expectations.
Here's a list of the main steps to help you prepare for your wood flooring installation.
Choose the Right Type of Wood Flooring
There are many different types of wood floors to choose from, so it's important to select the one that's right for your needs. The most popular types of wood floors are solid hardwood, engineered hardwood, and laminate.
Solid hardwood is the most traditional type of wood flooring made from 100% natural wood. Engineered hardwood is a more modern option constructed from multiple layers of real wood. Laminate is a synthetic product designed to look like wood but is more durable and easier to maintain, so that might not be the best choice if you're looking for a traditional wood floor.
Consider the following factors to guide your choice:
- The look you want to achieve. Solid hardwood is the best option if you want a classic wood look. If you're looking for something more modern, engineered hardwood or laminate might be better choices.
- Your budget. Solid hardwood is the most expensive option, followed by engineered hardwood and then laminate.
- The level of traffic in your home. You'll want to choose a more durable floor if you have a lot of foot traffic. Engineered hardwood and laminate are both excellent options.
Once you've narrowed down your options, you can proceed to the next step.
Prepare the Subfloor
The subfloor is the layer of material that's underneath your wood flooring. It can either be concrete, plywood, or OSB (oriented strand board).
If you're installing wood flooring over concrete, you'll need to make sure the surface is clean and free of any debris. You might also need to level the surface if it's not perfectly flat. If the surface isn't level, your wood flooring could end up being uneven.
If you're installing wood flooring over plywood or OSB, you'll need to make sure the surface is clean and free of any debris. You should also check for any damage or weak spots and make repairs as necessary. This ensures a stable surface on which the floorboards can be installed.
Install a Moisture Barrier
Whether you're installing wood flooring over concrete or plywood/OSB, you'll need to install a moisture barrier. This layer of material helps protect the wood from moisture damage.
There are two main types of moisture barriers—sheet membranes and liquid-applied membranes. Sheet membranes are made from materials like polyethylene or asphalt and are available in rolls. Liquid-applied membranes are made from materials like latex or rubber and are applied with a brush or roller.
The type of moisture barrier you choose will depend on the surface you're installing the wood flooring over as well as your budget. Sheet membranes are less expensive but can be more difficult to install, while liquid-applied membranes are more expensive but easier to install.
Whichever type of moisture barrier you choose, follow the manufacturer's instructions for installation. You can then proceed with the installation of your wood flooring. To ensure a solid job, only enlist the help of a professional wood flooring installer.
Contact a supplier for more information about wood flooring.