You may not be thinking of selling your home, but solid hardwood floors will certainly add value to it. Your visitors, friends and relations will admire your wooden floors as they give rooms a traditional, warm look. It isn’t easy to lay such a floor, but all your efforts will be worth it when the floor (s) are completed.
DIY installation of solid hardwood floors
Before you begin to install your new hardwood floors, you will need to measure the floor area of each room vert carefully. It’s easy if your room is square or rectangular, but it is more complicated if you have bay windows or alcoves. To measure up you will need to divide the room up into one big area and other smaller ones. Add the measurements up to work out how much wood you need and add 10 percent to allow for wastage.
Acclimatising your wooden flooring planks
Solid hardwood planks will take around 7 days to acclimatise. which means that the wood should be in your home in the rooms for which it is designated, before you think about laying it. Don’t be tempted to leave it in your garage or outhouse. Try to lay it flat so that it does not bow. Don’t just prop the planks up against the walls. This won’t help the wood, and someone might have an accident. You’ll need to check humidity levels and if the wood is delivered to your home when it is raining, it will need more time to acclimatise. You don’t want your solid hardwood floors to shrink and crack only a few months after all your painstaking installation.
Points to consider
- Asphalt and bitumen under-floors are not ideal for laying solid hardwood flooring on. Bear in mind too, that if you have underfloor heating, it would be better to lay hardwood engineered flooring.
- Check the moisture levels of concrete flooring before you lay your solid hardwood floors. You may have to use a moisture barrier if the moisture level is more than 4 percent.
- Your subfloor must be even before you begin to lay your solid hardwood floors.
- Before you start make sure that the floor area is free of any adhesives, paint and so on. If you are laying your solid hardwood floor on top of a wood base, you will need to place a half – inch plywood base over it before your start.
- You can nail solid hardwood floors into your existing wooden subfloors, or you can use battens to lay it over concrete.
How to lay your solid hardwood floor
Start laying your planks along the longest wall, leaving a 10-mm gap for extension purposes in the doorways and where the floor continues from one room to another. When the floor is installed the gap can be covered with new skirting boards or scotia.
Lay the pieces of wood end to end and use a rubber mallet to hammer the pieces together ensuring that they fit snugly.
A long as you think positively you can overcome any difficulties you might encounter. If you need advice, ask your friendly DIY salesperson