Are new floors on your list of DIY projects? Installing hardwood or engineered hardwood can completely transform a room and add style and beauty for years to come. However, getting the process wrong can bring a lot of headache to your life. Don’t worry! With the right preparations and planning, you can lay each floorboard with confidence. Make sure your end result is both functional and fabulous with these considerations to make when installing your wood floors.
The Rest of the Room
First things first: how do your floors fit with the rest of your home? If you’re building from scratch, it’s easier to match paint colors, décor, and other details to the flooring you choose. However, if you’re renovating a preexisting room, you need to make sure your new wood floors look good with what you already have. Choose a wood species and stain that provide some contrast with your furniture and décor to prevent everything from blending together. You should also consider the weight of your furniture. A darker floor can easily overpower smaller, slimmer pieces, while lighter wood floors have a hard time standing against larger furniture.
Your Home Environment
Now that your flooring matches your home aesthetically, you need to make sure it can match your home functionally. Different species of wood hold up better against heavy traffic or activity, such as rambunctious kids or pets. If you lead a busy, active lifestyle, you can choose a harder wood such as hickory or maple to hold up against the wear and tear of your everyday routine.
Your cleaning routine should also be on the list of considerations to make when installing wood floors. If you have pets that shed a lot, you might want to choose a lighter wood that will disguise fur. This will keep you from having to sweep your new floors every other day just to keep the room looking nice.
The Subfloor and Underlayment
Durable wood floors require more than just the actual planks. You also have to consider the type of subfloor you have and which underlayment option is right for you. Make sure your subfloor is in good condition; an uneven or dirty subfloor can lead to loose floors or, eventually, cracked and warped boards. The right underlayment is also key to adding stability and durability to your wood floors. When you prepare a quality subfloor and underlayment before you install, you prevent creaking, water damage, and other stressful issues down the road.