Hardwood Floor Basics3a
Hardwood Floor Advice
As a customer, you may have questions about what type of hardwood you want to install and where to install it. .90% of the time your hardwood installation or refinish will not be a problem, however this is contingent upon the wear conditions at your house.
Here are some things to consider:
Q: Do you have large dogs? Do you have children that ride cars or tricycles in the house? Do you wear shoes in the house, which tends to track in dirt? Are your sub floors insufficient?
A: These are reasons to make a different choice in your flooring. Unless a refinish every 6 to 8 years doesn’t bother you. Large dogs, and some dogs in general, can ruin a hardwood floor finish over time. Dirt acts like an abrasive and insufficient sub floors result in a squeaky floor.
Q: What about installation conditions? Is it new construction? Below grade concrete? Is there standing water under the house? Is there a moisture barrier over the dirt under the house? Is there proper under house ventilation?
A: These conditions are likely to have moisture content that could ruin your whole flooring job. The way to determine is by moisture testing. If hardwood is installed over high moisture, it will buckle or cup, then dry shrink and crack. People that have had hardwood floors most likely have seen some gapping near heating vents in the winter.
Q: Is the floor reasonably flat?
A: Real dimensional hardwood can be forced to bend over small undulations in the sub floor and nailed. Many other click or snap together laminates or engineered hardwood flooring will be without warranty if the floor is not flat within manufacturers specification. Of course, most older homes do not meet these specifications. A Portland cement based self-leveling product may be used, however does not always prove to be self-leveling.
You may also want to consider Full Floating Engineered Flooring. This flooring is designed not to shrink or expand [as much] with changing moisture content, is designed to go over concrete, and must be installed as a “floating floor” in order to shrink and expand without buckling. Before installing any hardwood over concrete, a calcium chloride moisture test and an on-site evaluation should be performed to ensure all water drainage slopes away from the house and the new flooring.