The type of flooring you select for a room can make or break the area. The best choice is functional, durable, and looks great. Here are some tips on how to select the proper flooring for your needs, achieve a professional-level installation, and protect your investment, enabling many years of use.
Step 1: Begin with a level subfloor. Any voids present under floorboards will cause the floor to squeak. One method of leveling the subfloor uses sand topped with an underlayment made from rubber.
Step 2: When the new floor will be glued down, leveling the floor is the only prep work. If the new floor is being nailed down, a subfloor must be laid. The total thickness of the plywood plus the flooring must be enough to handle the nails.
Step 3: A floating floor is simple and inexpensive to install. No glue or nails are necessary and this type of flooring is ideal if the old floor contains asbestos. The new boards are installed on top of the old floor, eliminating the need to pay a professional to remove the asbestos.
Step 4: Consider using engineered-wood flooring in a basement or other damp area. This consists of multiple thin fiberboard or plywood layers topped by a layer of real wood. Engineered wood floors are refinished one or two times, depending on the veneer thickness.
Step 5: Lay the flooring for strength, running the floorboards perpendicular to the joist. This makes the floor stronger and prevents floorboards from separating or warping.
Step 6: If a wood floor is being glued, verify the drying time for the adhesive. Work in small areas, being careful not to spread more adhesive than can be covered before drying.
Step 7: Test any stain being used on a wood floor before covering the entire floor. Use a sample piece of wood or test in an inconspicuous area to ensure that the color is satisfactory.
Step 8: Stain adds tone or color to wood but it does not create a protective finish. Add polyurethane or another protective coating to make the floor more durable.