Everything you need to know about how to install hardwood floors

First thing to need to get out of the way is the decision to do your own floors or to hire an expert to handle your floor installation. The second option helps you put all doubts about how to install hardwood floors to rest as you sit back and watch the professionals sweat it out. But the first option is the one most would prefer so as to cut out the labour charges and to give themselves infinite bragging rights.

It is very rewarding to do your own floors and see the transformation as you bring some much needed elements of style, elegance and warmth to your home.  So let’s summarise and put to rest all things to do with how to install hardwood floors.  

Understanding your hardwood flooring

The degree of difficulty in installing hardwood floors can vary based on the floor space and the type of flooring. While the challenging and threatening flooring types are the plank and solid wood strips. They require finishing as well as sanding. Take note that using a drum sander can be tricky as it can leave ridges as well marks if not done correctly. It can be a very dusty process as well.  Areas where moisture is an issue like in the bathroom or in the kitchen, calls for more work in the form of protective and sturdy hardwood finishes. Let’s get started with how to install hardwood floors.

Preparing your flooring for the job

The floor base needs to be levelled, smooth, dry, structurally sound and clean. Once is this state, it is ready to accept the new wood flooring. Treat the manufacturer’s guidelines in the manual as a bible for your flooring. A good practice is to install your flooring in a perpendicular direction of your floor joists. Using asphalt kraft paper is ideal for reducing floor noise.

Cutting and fastening your flooring

You can opt for a circular saw or a power saw (table or any job saw) depending on whether your flooring is crosscut or rip flooring. An excellent tip for fastening the flooring is to use any power nailer which eliminates any damage and is faster.

Blind and face nailing are the two different types of nailing you will deal with while installing your hardwood floors.  In bling nailing you hammer the nail in an angle while in face nailing you should trigger the nail to sink it below the wood surface then covering the hole with some wood putty.

How to install hardwood floors – Laying the Planks and strips

Here make sure to cut the boards in a way that they stagger by a minimum six inches row wise. For that the starter board for every row should differ by a minimum six inches in length. Remember that the first row board’s tongues should face in the opposite direction of the wall. Continue with the installation, dry fit 5 or 6 flooring rows and here play with the pattern and design the look of the floor.If you are using a pneumatic nailer then use masking tape to avoid scratching the surface. This summary will help you get a brief idea of how to install hardwood floors.

Five benefits of refinishing your hardwood floors

It’s an established fact that each and every component of a house lends a unique character to the house. Each of the walls, doors, windows, floors and stairs etc. has a great role in creating the overall ambience of your house. It’s to create this magic that you go all-out to choose the right kind of material, design, colour and texture etc. of these components at the time of constructing your house, isn’t it?

With constant usage, it’s but natural that these components start showing signs of wear-and-tear. It’s particularly so, if you’ve chosen hardwood floor for your house. The warmth and grandeur that hardwood floors radiate is something unparalleled. But, it’s also true that they’re that component of a house, which needs regular upkeep. This shouldn’t keep you away from choosing one for your house, though! Giving your hardwood floor a makeover / refinishing once in a while isn’t really a major deal, in terms of money. It’s only a small price you pay, when compared with the elegance and grace refinishing endows your hardwood floors with. The following paragraphs will elaborate on the five benefits that you can derive out of refinishing your old hardwood floors.

1. Hardwood floors last a lifetime

Hardwood floors last a lifetime, if maintained properly. Refinishing and restoration (if and wherever necessary) are the only things required to extend the life of any hardwood floor. On an average, hardwood floors withstand refinishing for about 6-7 times, done once in 15-20 years. This means that they have an approximate lifespan of around 100 years. It’d be extremely heartening to realize that the original hardwood floor will still be a part of your house, years after most other components get their replacements. Durability is one factor that gives hardwood floors a clear thumbs-up over its competitors!

2. Refinishing helps in recovering damages

Wear-and-tear of hardwood floors occur not just due to the constant movement of people and other heavy items on them; but also due to the action of elements: Water (moisture), dust, sunlight and chemicals etc. Refinishing is a wonderful solution to overcome problems caused by these factors. Refinishing helps in removing scratches, stains and minor imperfections in wood as well.

3. Well-kept hardwood floors increase the value of your property

Whether you’re planning to let out your house on rent/lease or sell it in the near future, by getting your hardwood floor refinished, you’re sure to reap rich dividends. Well-kept hardwood floors tremendously enhance the value of your property.

4. Hardwood floors score on the cost-saving front, in the long run

Restoration of hardwood floors costs much less than what it costs to restore stone/marble floor.

5. Refinishing makes hardwood floors look as good as new

Refinishing restores the beauty of hardwood floor to such an extent that the floor acquires an all-new look. You can choose to go in for a new shade as well, when you decide to refinish your hardwood floor.

Refinishing hardwood floors is an easy job. You can in fact, “Do It Yourself”! But, if you aren’t inclined to take it up yourself, there are contractors to whom you can outsource the job. If your hardwood floor has lost its sheen, then it’s time you give it a makeover. Refinish your hardwood floor to simply fall in love with it, all over again!

Figuring Out Your Refinishing Hardwood Floors Cost

Introduction

Visually appealing, durable long lasting hardwood floors enhance the features of your home and make it elegant. However, time and use diminish that splendid finish to an eyesore before long. If that day comes, refinishing hardwood is a wonderful way of fixing the problem. But you need to think of the refinishing cost.

A lot many varied factors make up the price and so the charge can change from project to project. Getting expert professionals, materials cost, do it yourself, condition of your flooring, all are important in understanding the cost of the project. So the question is :- should you give out a contract or do it by yourself? We need to compare the refinishing hardwood floors cost difference and see which approach is good here.

Budget Briefing

Refinishing hardwood floor is worth the effort as it can work in favor of increasing the worth as well as the overall look of the property. However, this project can go over the estimated budget in a jiffy as there are a multitude of variables available to choose from and you may stretch yourself going in for the best of the lot. Calculating refinishing hardwood floors cost will be very important or else you find yourself running around scrounging to meet the costs. It can be beneficial if you work on a quote given by a professional, weaving your budget around it, if you have no skill or experience in this matter.

Also, at the onset you need to figure out the condition of your floor. If the floors are shiny enough and not much wear shows around, your flooring is in a fairly positive condition, and your floors might need a layer of top coat to bring back that glow. The refinishing hardwood floors cost thus works to somewhere in the range of a $1 to a $1.50 per sq. ft. but, if the wear & tear is considerable, it would be approximately two to five dollars per sq. ft. approximately. You will have to pay extra if floor calls for repair & additional services are expected.

Understanding Refinishing Hardwood Floors Cost

You need to aware that the prices given by stores will be higher than quotation from contractors; however, price is not everything. Having your floors re-finished can be a real hassle if done by yourself and there are a lot of services that many refinishing contractors give that can make the process easier on you. Most refinishing hardwood floors cost from refinishing companies can be done in two installments. First you have to make a deposit and you can pay the remaining amount after the job is finished to your satisfaction. If you hire a contractor, make sure you get detailed quotes of what they services they can offer you.

Outsourced

Most of the refinishers who excel in hardwood floor charge their clients on basis of the floor space that needs to be redone. Should you hire a professional to complete the work for you though it is going to increase the refinishing hardwood floors cost; it is not recommended to sand and refinish your floors on your own unless you have the experience. This can be from $3.75 to about $5 per sq. ft., including the labor charge, so an average room (15×15) will then cost you approximately in the range of $850 to $1125. The expertise of the refinishing expert also determines how this cost will increase or decrease. If you consider completing the project on your own, then you can simply deduct the labor and contractor charges.

This cost charged by the refinishing contractor is inclusive of the price for stuffing the vents and the doors. Also included is the charge for the space that has to be sanded with sheets of plastic, removing any existing finish while sanding floors and preparing the wood for the finish absorption, any small wood repairs, finishing as well as staining the floors. The better condition that your hardwood floor is in, lower the total cost you are going to incur. For example, if you had a room that is 15×15 the wood floor refinishing cost should be at least $340 – $900, that if you do most of the work yourself. If you hire a contractor to do it, refinishing hardwood floors cost should figure at about $850- $1125.

Additional expenses

There are other aspects to this project that add up to the refinishing hardwood floors cost. All the furniture from floors needing refinish must be cleared up. You can do this by yourself or have the refinishing companies do this. They will remove the furniture before the project and later move it in after the work is finished. They charge anything from about $0.25 to $0.50 per sq. ft. Others tend to charge a rate in the band of approx. $100 -$200, which is dependent on the floor space of the area to be worked upon. Also, there is a matter of cleaning up after all the finishing and the sanding is done. You can do it yourself, or have the contractor take care of it for a fee.

Also, if you want to give your wood floor an old school orientation, or you choose to modernize your old hardwood floors, you are eyeing a customized job. The price in such instances will shoot upwards. The charge to redo the finish on hardwood floors with custom drawn outputs can get you billed anywhere from $4 to $6 per sq. ft., depending on technicality of the job involved, and the finish you would like to see.

Do it By Yourself Project…

If you want to refinish the floors yourself, you will need patience and will be rewarded with a lot in savings.

Since most of the tools used for this project will not be used frequently anywhere else in the house, it would not make sense to buy them and keep it. Most people elect to rent out specialty equipment found at hardware rentals and tend to purchase standard tools. Do it yourself refinishing hardwood floors cost will be in the approximation of 250$.

The specialty equipment that you need to hire include a drum sander, needed to do all the sanding job which can cost you about $40 – $50 for a day’s time and an Edge sander, that lets you get to the edges, corners that the drum sander may not be able to reach which may cost $20 – $30 for a day. You will also need to buy some regular tools that you may need in the future like paint rollers, claw hammers, nail set, and an extension pole so as to put the varnish. The roller covers can be inexpensive at about $4 – $7. The pole can set you back by about $5 – $40, based on its material and length. Clear varnish or liquid based polyurethane can be purchased for $8 – $10. The wood stain being optional is available for the same cost. Shop vacuums are powerful than any standard vacuum based cleaners, will cost anything between $70 and approx. $160. In the finishing stage, you will need a pack of cotton rags for cleaning; these retail for $4 to about $11.

In light of this presentation on different approaches to refinishing hardwood floors cost, you can decide on what suits you best and work away to a brand new floor.

How To Install Hardwood Floors ?

Who won’t get attracted by the elegance of hardwood floors? They present a visual treat, wherever they’re present! And if you don’t have hardwood floor in your house, probably you’ll vow to endow your house with its elegance, every time you get bowled over by beautiful hardwood floors.

Well, let’s suppose the moment has arrived. You have your own house; you’ve made up your mind to go in for hardwood flooring right away; how will you proceed further from that point? Learn how to install hardwood floors! It’s as simple as that! Yes, there are lots of resources available on the net, including videos, that’ll give you step by step instructions on how to install hardwood floors! They happen to be very valuable resources when you set out to do the job yourself.

Once you understand how to install hardwood floors, it’s time to be on the job. Here’s how your job proceeds:

1. Measure the size of the room in which you’ve decided to install hardwood floor, to estimate the quantity of hardwood boards you require to cover the area. It always makes sense to buy around 10-15% more than what you actually require, as there are bound to be wastages.

2. Make a checklist of items and tools you require to carry out the job. Segregate the items that you need to buy and the items that can be hired.

3. Some of the must-need items on the list are: hardwood board of your choice, minimum ¾” ply for preparing the sub-floor to cover the entire floor area, vapour barrier paper (tar paper or felt), a wealth of nails to fix the boards. Once you have all these ready, go through the resource that taught you how to install hardwood floors again, to brush up your knowledge and get going.

4. Clear the area and clean it thoroughly. Spread out the ply to prepare the subfloor. Check for squeakiness and fix it by nailing it onto the base wherever required.

5. Roll out vapour barrier paper on the subfloor and secure it by stapling it onto the subfloor. See to it that there’s an overlap of at least 4” between two adjacent rows of this paper.

6. Start laying out hardwood boards from that side of the room, which has the longest unobstructed wall.

a. Please note that hardwood boards are end-matched, i.e. one end of the board has a ‘tongue’ and the other has a ‘groove’. So, whenever you need to cut hardwood boards, take care that you don’t cut off the grooves/tongues.

b. When you lay the first row of hardwood boards, allow a gap of around 3/8” between the board the wall to allow for seasonal expansion and contraction. This is one of the most important instructions to follow.

7. Nail these boards onto the subfloor, one by one, using a pneumatic nail gun. Wherever there’s no clearance to use the nail gun, hand-nail the boards. See to it that there are at least two nails on each board and preferably place them 10-12 inches apart.

8. When you’ve to lay the last row of hardwood boards, you may have to cut the boards lengthwise to squeeze them into available space. Don’t forget to allow a gap of 3/8” on this side as well.

9. Use the same boards to install shoe molding on all sides of the room.

10. Use putty to fill the holes.

Ten simple steps that’ll give your house, a grand new look! By the time you finish working on one of your rooms, you would have mastered the craft so much that it wouldn’t be difficult for you to guide ‘novices’ (!!!) on how to install hardwood floors. Who knows, I may even come across an article, “How to install hardwood floors?” written by you, sometime down the line!

Informative Refinishing Hardwood Floors Guide

Hardwood floors have an elegant look compared to other flooring; also unlike others they lose their charm over time and with use. It would need to be refinished to be restored to its earlier splendor and there are a couple of ways of going about it.

Since it is physically intensive, some of you would like to pass the job and seek the help of experienced contractors who can get it done for you. If you fancy a go at it, this is a pretty straightforward work of getting some equipment and working on it, as detailed by the refinishing hardwood floors guide, all the way to a shiny ‘new’ hardwood floor.

Preparation

Get to the nearest rental place or hardware store and all the necessary equipment ready for the task at hand. You will need sanders, mouth, ear, and eye protection, a buffer, vacuum cleaner, selected stains, clothes to clean, wipe; and sandpapers of various differing grits. Stretch your budget to accommodate the best stains possible as this will finish quicker and better, will sustain and last longer and require lesser maintenance.

With tools in hand, you can start preparing the room by stuffing clothes as well as plastic on doors, vents and windows as this is a dusty job, which will send thick dust clouds flying all over the house. The refinishing hardwood floors guide points the necessity of going over the hardwood floor thoroughly to find squeaking or loosened boards, cracks, & jutting nails. Fill up the big cracks with putty and hammer the nail heads in place and fix the loosened boards by driving the nails at an angle to firm them up.

Sanding

Practice a bit on the sanders as they can be intimidating at first, acting as though they have a life of their own. Also, refinishing hardwood floors guide warns that, if the sander stays in a place for long, it will cause a gouge in the floor, requiring further sanding to level the area.

Begin from one corner of the room and walking the drum sander in a straight line and then coming back in the same manner till you finish the entire floor. As it will be difficult to get to the edges of the floor where it meets the walls with a drum sander, you will have to use an edge sander or your hands.

Start with a coarse paper for sanding and the next round should be with a less coarse one and the last one with a smooth buffer for feathering it. After sanding, vacuum the whole room free of dust and debris, taking special care to clear the gaps in the floor and edges where the floor meets the walls and corners. This part of the refinishing hardwood fl1oors guide needs care and patience.

Finishing

The refinishing hardwood floors guide wants to ensure that you have the room airy and well ventilated as the stains can give out harmful vapors. Test the stain on a separate area before applying on the floor.

Apply a coat from one end of the room evenly and without overlapping and check for the shade. If there are differences in shade, use the stain and a cloth to bring out the perfect match with the rest of the floor. After the first coat dries out, apply another and if necessary go for a third one.

Work with the grain of your wood flooring and do not use any wet cloth to wipe the floor as this can cause the grain to be raised and affect the look adversely. This informative refinishing hardwood floors guide will definitely help you with your every need. Good Luck!

Refinishing Hardwood Floors Guide: All the information you need!

It is that time of year yet again when you feel the need to take a deep look at your existing hardwood floor, if that’s your thing. If it has lost its sheen, it would turn it into a very unattractive and boring feature of an otherwise refreshing house. Get set and ready to get an insight into the refinishing guide.

Assessment of your floors

If your hardwood floors need to be worked on, you need to evaluate and find out whether you can source it out to flooring professionals or can do it yourself. If you think it is economical or just want a hands-on experience, and want to do it by yourself, then you must go through the steps in this refinishing hardwood floors guide to a shiny new hardwood floor.

Groundwork

To get rolling with the refinishing work, go through the entire floor examining and assessing it for any hot spots such as protruding nails, squeaky boards or ones that have come off. Hammer such nails back in place. Then nail down the boards that tend to squeak or are out of their positions. While hammering, remember to always hit the nail at an angle to make sure that the board gets flattened and holds its position for long.

Make a list of all the necessary equipment as required in the refinishing hardwood floors guide and get them in place, as once you begin it will not be easy to run for it, especially if the rental place or the hardware store is not close by.

Make sure you close all vents, windows, and the doors by lining the corners and edges with paper, cloth, or rags so that the dust does not get all over the house. Look out for cracks and breaks in the hardwood floor and fill them up diligently with putty. But here you need to be judgmental and use discretion as some of the cracks develop to compensate for the expansion of wood due to cold or the hot climate; and others will just grow bigger in time.

Equipment for your project

Refinishing a hardwood floor calls for materials that can be found easily at any local hardware or nearby rental centers in your area. A refinishing project will require an edge sander, hand sander, drum sander, a buffer, scraper, a putty knife, dust masks, shop vacuum, safety goggles and much needed ear protection gear. The equipment is the vital ingredient or essential component for any refinishing hardwood floors guide.

If there is no chance or possibility of using the mentioned tools on any similar projects anytime soon, it would not make any sense to buy and keep them. There are lots of rental places where you can get these tools and it will make good sense.

Also, you can get instructions and guidance material for the proper use of these materials, devices or tools from the salesperson at these shops. Also ensure than you have papers for the sanders a little more than necessary, as any corrections you might need to make will see you use extra. Again, if the floor has been painted before, you will need a lot more of it.

Sanding

Before you begin the sanding of the hardwood floor, make sure to vacuum the whole room. As for the sanding process, refinishing hardwood floors guide would want you to take necessary precautions.

As it is noisy and intensely dusty work, please make sure that you wear goggles and effective ear protection gear, dust mask. Be careful when using the drum sander as it can cause damage to your wood, making swift swirls which will necessitate extra work to set it right.

Do not place the drum sander in the same place for long, but move it along the surface of the hardwood floor in a line till you reach the end and walk back in the same manner covering the whole room. It will be difficult in the beginning as it will be quite a handful, though you will slowly get the hang of it.

Start using it in an easy and ‘safe’ place before you actually go full-on with it. It will be difficult to work the edges with the drum sander, so the refinishing hardwood floors guide stipulates and suggests the use of an able edge sander to bring it at even with the rest of the wooden surface.

Start by using the coarse grit, moving on to less coarser one before you finish with a smoother buffer.

Cleaning

Vacuum the whole place and wipe the whole hardwood floor clean of all sanded dust and shavings. Make sure you vacuum the edges where they meet the walls and the in between gaps in the hardwood floor.

Look for any new peeking, popping nails and get them hammered fast. Be sure not to use a wet cloth for the cleaning process as the dampness will cause the finish to bubble and it will tend to spoil the whole process.

Finishing

This is one of the crucial stages of the refinishing hardwood floors guide. Apply hardwood floor sealer all over to the cracks and cover splits. Remember to wait for it to dry. Use the buffer to tighten the grains of the wood and ensure that the stain finds a nice resting place. Vacuum again well to rid of any residual dust and debris.

Chose the right shade of the stain for your floor and you can make a good choice from a shade card that has plenty different options. Before you apply the stain, apply it on to a test region and make sure you have got it right as surface and the printing applications tend to differ.

While applying the stain, be sure to follow the instructions that come printed on the containers. Exercise necessary caution when handling the stains as they are volatile and can emit harmful vapors. See that ventilation is kept to optimal level while working on this section of the refinishing hardwood floors guide.

While applying the very first coat, ensure that you do not leave any drips or end up with a thick overlapping coat of it on the hardwood flooring. Coat the wood surface evenly and use even strokes and wipe it using a piece of cloth. Apply the stain beginning at the corners and work with the wood grain. Always remember to clean off excesses and change the cloth pieces frequently.

Wait for an hour or more before you apply a second coat and ensure the colour evens out across the floor, reworking on spots that differ with the stain and cloth, just when the stain is wet, till you get it up to your satisfaction. These simple and minute steps and precautions play an important role in any refinishing hardwood floors guide.

Notes

Different types of wood need differing kinds of treatment in refinishing, so be sure to know the task hand at the planning stage to save unnecessary exertion. Also, once refinished, be sure to take precautions and care to see that the floor is not unduly damaged in the process of daily placing, moving and cleaning of furniture. Discretion should be used on the application of cleaning solvents and chemicals as this could wear out the coats very easily.

The refinishing hardwood floors guide wishes you a successful project and a shiny new hardwood floor.