Hardwood flooring is not only a natural and attractive flooring option, it is hardwearing and can be a great long term investment for your home. A good quality hardwood floor which is well installed, will enhance the look and the value of your property. That said, if you don’t do your homework before installing your hardwood floor, you could come up against problems.
Here are some of the most common mistakes made by people when they install hardwood flooring:
1. They install it over under floor heating - One of the most common mistakes made when installing hardwood flooring is installing it over under floor heating. As a general rule of thumb, hardwood floors should not be fitted over under floor heating unless stipulated by the manufacturer. Fitting hardwood flooring over under floor heating can cause the wood to split, twist, bend, shrink and warp, so is to be avoided at all costs.
2. They install it on new concrete which is still humid - When installing a hardwood floor, it’s essential that the humidity level of the sub-floor does not exceed 6%. A very common mistake made by people fitting a hardwood floor over a concrete sub floor is that they don’t wait for the concrete to dry out and warm up sufficiently before installation which means that the moisture from the sub floor gets into the wood causing it to expand, warp and bend.
3. They install it where there is ongoing humidity eg. from showers or in basements - Generally speaking, hardwood flooring is a ‘no-no’ in areas of high humidity. Typically found in shower areas and basements, these high humidity areas would be the wrong place to install hardwood flooring because, once again, the humidity could cause the wood to expand and warp, reducing its lifespan as well as its look.
4. They don’t leave a sufficient gap between the ends of the planks and the walls - Because hardwood is a natural product, it expands and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity. Wood needs space to do this. One really common mistake people make when they’re installing a hardwood floor is that they don’t leave a big enough expansion gap between the planks and the walls for this process. The recommended guideline is to leave an expansion gap of between 1 and 2cm to allow the wood to expand and contract without restriction. Don’t worry about how this will look as it’s most likely that the gap will be disguised using skirting boards.
5. They omit to glue the floor in big areas of over 30m2 - If you’re planning to install hardwood flooring in any room which has a floor area of 30m2 or more, you must glue the boards to ensure stability and durability.