January 31, 2023

Home Improvement 2023: Preparing Your Floors for Hardwood Flooring Installation

reparing the the floor to refurbish the laminate.

Interior design in 2023 is about making statements, sustainability, and relaxation. Whether you’re one for bold creations or bright and comfortable spaces, hardwood floors are home additions you’ll not regret having. These wooden floorings transform rooms with their natural textures, earthy ambiance, and timeless looks. But before achieving the floor of your dreams, there are a few steps you need to follow. Preparation is crucial when installing hardwood flooring. This guide will teach you how to prep your rooms before laying out your new planks.

Getting the Right Materials

The preparations begin before you order the planks you’ll install for your space. Measure the square footage of the room you’ll work on to determine how many hardwood strips you’ll be ordering. Instead of purchasing the exact number, add a few more in case of emergencies.

You can get the square footage of your work area by multiplying its measured length with the room’s width. Getting these measurements will help you figure out how many planks you need depending on the size of the hardwood boards you plan on using.

Besides the measurements of your room, here are other materials you need to have on hand.

  • Appropriate underlayment
  • Cleaning supplies
  • A generic toolbox and
  • A saw
  • A measuring stick/ ruler
  • Wood moisture reader
  • Leveler
  • Chalk line kit

Having these supplies read will make the rest of the preparation easier.

Removing and Cleaning the Base

Whenever you install any type of new flooring, cleaning the existing base of your floors is essential. Inspect your old floorings and thoroughly remove them until you expose the subfloor. While they’re flat surfaces, some subfloors, especially in old homes, are uneven but fixable. These surfaces will become the foundation for your hardwood flooring during the installation.

Deep clean the base of your workspace from dirt, dust, and debris. You also have to remove the causes of lingering odors and other interferences that will affect the success of your installation. Check for any items caught between the ground and the new flooring planks to avoid uneven leveling. Doing this will also prevent potential damage and dust and dirt buildup.

Repair or Replace Loose, Damaged, or Creaky Subfloors

Damaged or loose subflooring can have a massive impact on the stability and leveling of your new hardwood flooring. Many old homes renovating their floors will encounter holes, stripping wood, and worn frameworks on their subfloors.

Before you proceed with the other steps, patching any hazards is essential. Doing this gives your floors a sturdy foundation and improves the installation process and experience. In addition, not repairing creaky floors will add creaking sounds and squeaks all over the place. 

Inspect the Moisture and Floor Levels

Hardwood floors are weak to moisture, and too much exposure to them can affect their condition. When you expose your hardwood planks to moist environments, they can warp and swell. Before you install your flooring, take a moisture reader and gauge the room’s atmosphere. Look at the results and check possible solutions to their changing moisture levels.

High moisture ratings will need more insulation from the underlayment and other ways to adjust the area’s temperature. Test the moisture levels and keep them between 60 to 80°F.

It will also benefit you to have an even foundation. Uneven bases for hardwood floors create numerous challenges and issues. Homeowners can deal with potential flooring damage due to loose pieces and unappealing placements. In addition, installers will find it difficult to secure latching planks due to their inflexibility.

To avoid having these problems, leveling your floors beforehand will help. There are several ways you can do that, such as using leveling compounds like concrete.

Prepare Floor Space Barriers and Place Your Underlayment

Some construction materials like pipes, door frames, and doors can take up huge floor space. Cutting your planks and other customizable barriers will make everything fit and fill the area. Take one of your hardwood planks, mark them out, and cut the door and frame to make space for the new flooring underneath.

Floor underlayments aren’t necessary for hardwood floors, but you can benefit from having one. They offer numerous perks like sound and moisture absorption and insulation. Different types of underlayment can provide more advantages in certain areas and more protection.

Place your underlayment on the subfloor and fit them into the space. Leave extra pieces on the side to ensure you cover the entire flooring. This will help lessen the risks of direct exposure of your planks from the subfloor.

Mark the Floor Plan

Many hardwood planks expand a little as they adjust to humidity and temperature changes in your home. When laying out your floorboards, put expansion gaps to accommodate their expansion. Using your chalk line kit and ruler, mark out the center of all the walls in the area and create lines across each side to the center of the opposite wall.

In each line, measure the recommended expansion gaps and map out a new line across the room. Marking and drawing a floor plan minimizes miscalculations, errors, and inaccurate supply usage. 

Acclimate Your Hardwood Planks

The final procedure in preparing your space for hardwood flooring installation is to acclimate the planks you’ll use. Acclimating gives your hardwood boards time to adjust to their new living conditions. Hardwood floors expand and contract due to moisture and can swell too much if they don’t adapt to the humidity changes indoors. 

Preparing With the Top Hardwood Floor Installation Services in Austin, TX

Preparation is everything when it comes to hardwood flooring installation. Although hardwood planks are durable and sturdy, it requires attention and skill to lay them out properly. Understanding how to prepare your rooms for these new wooden floorings is crucial to their longevity. You also need to know which materials to get, how to clean and level your subfloors and acclimate your hardwood boards.

Get an expert hardwood installer’s help with Kelly Hardwood Floors today!