Installing a wood Floor how to flooring how to hardwood floor

Installing a wood Floor how to flooring how to hardwood floor

Installing a Hardwood Floor

If you are looking for ways to improve the quality and value of your home, installing hardwood floors is one surefire method to do just that. Hardwood floors are visually striking, and add warmth to a home. Although they require some care, they are easier to keep clean and fresh-looking than carpeting, and they maintain their luster better than vinyl floors. If you are hoping to sell your home, upgrading to hardwood floors is one way — albeit not the cheapest — to attract buyers. Old carpeting, or scuffed vinyl, tends to turn buyers off, whereas hardwood flooring lends the appearance of value; a potential buyer, looking at wood and vinyl floors, will almost always prefer the former.

Hardwood floors can be used in any part of the house — a foyer or entryway is the most obvious location, as this is the first part of your house your guests will see when the come visit, and it will provide the first impression of your home to a potential buyer. (Or, if you are coming home after a long day’s work, it’s the first part of your home that YOU will lay eyes on!) Other obvious places for hardwood flooring are dining and living rooms, dens and libraries, home offices, and hallways. Hardwood floors are more often being laid in kitchens — if you lay on a heavy finish, use area rugs in places most prone to spills, and wipe up any spills promptly, the floors won’t be damaged, and will lend a nice country touch to your kitchen. Most people still prefer carpeting in their bedrooms, but a hardwood floor here, with a large area rug under the bed and smaller area rugs (with non-slip padding underneath) in front of your chest of drawers or wardrobe, can add a great deal of warmth to the bedroom.

If you are handy and enjoy working in your home, installing hardwood floors yourself is one way to save a great deal of money. You will have to make several decisions. First, what kind of wood do you want? What color and grain of wood would best match your walls, or your furniture? Darker stained woods are more popular these days; the «white-washed» look has fallen out of favor. And while some prefer the elegance of a high-gloss finish, a more sedate matte finish may be more practical, as such a finish doesn’t show scratches as easily. The most often purchased type of wood is red oak, with maple, hickory, and some imported woods also popular. Look at lots of samples and see what matches your home best.

Also, wider planking has become very popular in recent years, though it tends to be more expensive, and may not be recommended if you leave near the beach or some other high-moisture area. The wider planking may be more susceptible to warping or other adverse reactions, though using engineered wood may take care of these problems.

Another major decision you will need to make is whether to install traditional strip or plank wood, which will require sanding and finishing, or prefinished wood planks, which are installed the same way but which do not require sanding or finishing. If you are inexperienced with a drum sander, you might do better installing prefinished wood — operating a drum sander takes a knack, and before you get it, your floor may be full of marks and ridges. If you want the more natural look of traditional strips or planks but are uncomfortable operating a drum sander, you might consider hiring a professional at least to come do your sanding.

There are many other considerations in installing your own wood floor, and the process itself involves many steps and some labor on your part. But if you take your time and do the job right, you will be able to enjoy your finished hardwood floors for many years to come, or expedite the sale of your home by showing it off more effectively.

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