So, you love the look of hardwood flooring, and you enjoy a challenge. That combination might lead you to install your own floor, which is definitely a possibility… but also an opportunity for some big mistakes. If you decide on the DIY method, remember to avoid these common blunders.
Uneven transitions. It’s easy to get wrapped up in planning for your new, beautiful floor. But don’t forget about existing floors. In particular, make sure you level your new hardwood flooring with existing floors in adjoining rooms. Otherwise, you’ll trip every time you leave the room.
Humidity concerns. Don’t just haul your new hardwood planks into the home and get right to work. The wood needs to sit in your home for at least three days, to acclimate it to your usual temperature and humidity. Otherwise, you could end up with floor boards that expand or contract after they’re installed, leading to an unlevel surface or unsightly gaps between planks.
Running out of planks. Often, homeowners measure twice and then purchase the exact amount of hardwood needed. The problem is, various things can happen during installation, leading you to fall a bit short of the number of planks needed. While in most cases you can order more, this mistake leads to wasted time. And occasionally, something might be out of stock when you try to reorder.
Nailing it down. Maybe you’re going for a rustic look, so you buy wide wood planks and start nailing them down. Hopefully, you’ve had a recent tetanus shot, because humidity will eventually cause some of those nails to rise up out of the boards. And you thought stepping on the kids’ Legos was painful…
Accidental patterns. As far as hardwood floor installation is concerned, there’s almost nothing worse than discovering, after the installation is complete, that you’ve accidentally created a “pattern” with your boards. In most cases, the layout of hardwood floor boards should look random. Staggering different board lengths, watching for slight variations in color, and stepping back to check progress periodically are all important steps in the installation process.
Trapped dirt. The last thing you want is dirt trapped in your stain and lacquer! Your floors will forever look bumpy and unappealing. Make sure to thoroughly clean every speck of dust, by wiping down floors with mineral oil before staining. And don’t forget, you might be covered in dust, too.
Reckless sanding. Even with power equipment, sanding can be a difficult process. Careful precision is required if you’re sanding between coats of polyurethane, or else you could strip the floor and be forced to start over.
Of course, you can avoid all of these do-it-yourself nightmares by hiring a hardwood flooring expert. Give us a call, and we’ll get you an estimate on a full-service, professional hardwood flooring installation.