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Preparing to Lay a New Wood Floor


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One of the easiest home improvement jobs you can do yourself is to install new hardwood floors. It’s not for people with bad knees or backs, however, as it requires spending a lot of time on your hands and knees. Before you begin the installation, you will need to prepare the area. Follow these steps to get ready to install your new solid wood floors.

Measure the Room

You will need to know the area of the room before you can buy your flooring. Multiply the length by the width and add an extra 15 percent for waste and irregular boards.

Choose Your Floorboards

Hardwood floors come in many different patterns and finishes. They can also be made of many different types of wood. In addition, the price can vary widely from one store to another. You should comparison shop to find the best deal on the boards you like.

Get Rid of Your Old Floor

First, take out your baseboards and then remove the old floor. Once it’s gone, take out any tacks or tack boards that might be left. You can save the old baseboards to be reused if you want, or you can buy new ones later.

Level the Floor

If your floor is not level, you will need to pull up the subfloor and level it. You can determine if your floor is level using a level. Leveling strips are available at all hardware stores. After you’ve leveled the floor, lay down a new plywood subfloor.

Prepare the Subfloor

The subfloor should be a minimum of 3/4” in thickness. Check it for squeaks and screw down any loose boards or joints with drywall screws. Sweep the area clean of debris.

Put down the Vapor Barrier

A vapor barrier prevents moisture from getting through the floor and into your subfloor and joists. There are a number of different types of vapor barriers on the market. Roll it out and secure it as directed by the material’s manufacturer. Each section should overlap the prior one by a minimum of 4”. You should mark the location of each joist using a chalk line.

Mark Baseboards for Expansion

Wood expands and contracts over the course of the year. To allow for this expansion, you need to leave a gap between your floorboards and your baseboard of 3/8”. Use a chalk line to mark the gap.
You’re now ready to begin installing your new solid wood flooring !

Graeme is writing on behalf of Floors-2-Go Real Wood Flooring & Real Oak Floors


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