Having a hardwood floor installed can be exciting. You probably cannot wait to have a pretty new floor in place — one that will accentuate your decor and serve as a centerpiece for your room. However, there are some intricacies to hardwood flooring installation that homeowners do not always expect the first time around. Here's what you need to know.
1. Your contractor may need to adjust the subfloor.
One of the downsides of hardwood flooring is that it can only be installed over a smooth, flat subfloor. It's not as adjustable as more modern flooring materials, like luxury vinyl tile. As such, your contractor may need to make some changes to the subfloor before they can put your hardwood floor down. This may mean they have to replace some of the boards in your subfloor. They may have to pour down a leveling agent or add a layer of epoxy in some areas. This will add a couple of days to the installation process.
2. Your flooring will need to acclimate.
As you might know, wood absorbs and releases moisture, and this causes it to swell and contract. It's important that the wood used for your hardwood floor is not losing or absorbing a lot of moisture during the period when it is being installed. Therefore, your flooring company will probably drop the floorboards off about a week before they plan on installing them. The boards will then need to sit in your home and adapt to your indoor humidity levels. It can be a little annoying to have the floorboards sitting around, but this is an essential part of the installation process if you want a straight, consistent floor.
3. The flooring will often be finished in place.
Sometimes contractors finish the floorboards and then put them in place. However, it's more common for them to put the boards in and finish them after they're in place. This usually results in a more consistent finish, and it allows the flooring contractor to see how the finish looks in the exact room where the floor is located. Don't be surprised if the flooring contractors bring in big equipment, like polishing machines. This is a normal part of the process and makes for faster installation.
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of what to expect when your hardwood floor is installed. If you have any additional questions, reach out to a flooring contractor directly.