Nothing brings more style, warmth, or beauty to a home more effectively than hardwood floors. Hardwood has, for generations, been the number one choice for flooring. No material is as timeless and enduring as hardwood. It’s easy to own and care for and, once installed, will last a lifetime.
Professional hardwood floor installation in Walnut Creek, CA, is the most important part of your hardwood flooring purchase. Having a clear understanding of what happens during the installation process will help you prepare for what comes after you choose your floors.
Hardwood floor installation begins with accurate and complete measurements. The installers will visit your home, inspect the site, and measure the area. Take this time to ask questions about hardwood installation costs and about the installer’s expected working timetable from start to finish. Installers analyze your property carefully and look for potential problems that may affect installation. If your home is new construction, floors are installed last. The space must be enclosed, and moisture levels in the subfloors are measured. Different species of wood behave differently with different subfloors and moisture levels; each flooring manufacturer has recommendations for ideal subfloor moisture conditions relative to the specific wood being installed.
Hardwood must be acclimated to your home’s humidity and temperature before being installed. Your flooring will be delivered and will then need to rest somewhere indoors, typically an unused room, for several days or weeks. Acclimating wood is less about time than it is about moisture. For example, properly acclimated narrow solid strip wood flooring will have a moisture content that is no more than 4% different from the subfloor. Wider flooring must be within 2%.
Don’t skimp on this step or give in to the temptation to rush things along; acclimating hardwood takes as long as it takes. Failure to properly acclimate hardwood flooring prior to installation may compromise the integrity of the floor, resulting in gaps, cupping, warping, or buckling. Waiting and getting this step right is critical.
Once your wood has acclimated and a date for installation has been set, you’ll need to get the area ready. All furniture and appliances need to be removed prior to installation unless you have arranged for the installers to move furniture as part of their installation services. It’s also recommended that you remove draperies and anything hanging on the walls or sitting on countertops to minimize the risk of damage.
The installation process is disruptive. You won’t be able to use the space at all, and there will be noise, vibrations, vapors, and, even though installers use sophisticated dust collection equipment, there will be dust. The time needed for cutting, installing, sanding, staining, and finishing depends on your wood species, your home’s layout, and the quantity of wood being installed. Once the installation is complete, finishing begins. While each situation is different, you can expect that you’ll need to be away from your home during the final finishing phase.
Your floors are in, and they are fabulous! You can return home within a few hours (4 hours for water-based finishes, longer for oil-based finishes) of final finishing and walk on your new, smooth floors in your stocking feet, but you’ll need to keep pets and furniture, and maybe small children, away until the floor is fully cured, typically 7-10 days. Installers will remove their equipment, cleanup, and vacuum window seals, baseboards, and countertops.
Wood floorboards are like snowflakes; no two are alike. Variations are completely normal and expected. In addition, as your floor ages, you may notice color changes and some cracks. Floors 4 U, Inc., we tell our customers that cracks less than the width of a dime will correct themselves as the seasons change. Anything more than that, give our commercial flooring contractors in Walnut Creek, CA, a call.
Your hardwood floors will add beauty to your home for a lifetime. Call us today to discuss hardwood installation costs and to schedule your installation today.