Install hardwood flooring to transform a room

It often doesn't take much to completely change the atmosphere of a favorite room. Painting the walls a different color might be an option or you may want to consider upgrading the trim package by installing crown molding and perhaps adding wainscoting. However, a change that may only take an afternoon can also result in one of the most dramatic transformations--installing new hardwood flooring.

Hardwood flooring considerations

There are numerous styles and wood species to choose from when shopping for hardwood flooring and if you're installing over a wood sub-floor, just about any selection should work for your home. However, regardless of how beautiful the flooring looks in the showroom, its appearance can be marred by a poor floor installation at your home. This video demonstrates best practices for preparing a room and properly installing hardwood flooring. A few important steps:

  1. Scrape the sub-floor to remove debris and vacuum thoroughly, make sure all nails are flush
  2. Check the room for square and chalk a starting point on the floor
  3. Cull the wood during installation and toss aside defective boards
  4. Stagger joints--there should not be a joint within several inches of a joint in the previous or following row
  5. Alternate board lengths to achieve a random pattern
  6. Boards should be angle nailed at the tongue so nail heads aren't visible when the floor is complete. Face nailing is permissible at walls, but whenever possible, face nail placement should be where molding can provide coverage
  7. Floor registers should slide in easily and register trim should cover any flooring gaps
  8. Adhesive should be used to help hold boards in place that aren't angle-nailed

A hardwood floor installation is a job that requires patience and shouldn't be rushed. The contractors in the video show how attention to detail and pride in workmanship while installing hardwood can result in a beautiful floor with rustic charm.

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