Posted on August 10, 2017 by
Enthusiastic DIYers can easily install their own solid wood flooring, but it’s important to follow the correct steps. Four of those steps should actually be taken before you even get started laying down the boards, and here they are.
- Let the Wood Acclimatise
You’ve probably chosen solid wood flooring because it’s a natural product – at the very least, it’s a characteristic you’re likely to see as a perk. Thing is, being natural means that timber needs to acclimatise to the room. If you fail to let it do so before installing it, you’ll probably be pulling the floor up again in a few months. The amount of time needed will vary, and some woods will need to be left in their packaging while others will need to be taken out. Your supplier should be able to let you know, so make sure you ask them.
- Check the Underfloor
If you’re laying the boards onto concrete, make sure it is dry, smooth, and level. If it is at all uneven or marred by structural defects, the wood will not sit right. Whatever the subfloor, make sure you remove any paint, previous adhesives, grease, or dirt. Do not use solvent-based strippers to do this since they can prevent the new flooring from bonding properly with your adhesive.
- Measure Out an Expansion Gap
One of the reasons why it’s so important to acclimatise your timber is that it will expand or contract during this process, and you need that to happen before you lay it down. However, your boards may still expand a little, which is why you also need to set an expansion gap around the walls. Use plastic spacers, and aim to keep a gap of around 15mm. This will allow room for expansion, and the skirting boards should cover it up.
- Remove the Skirting Boards
Speaking of skirting boards, you should remove yours. It might seem like unnecessary work, but it isn’t. It’s far easier to create a nice finish if the skirting boards are removed, especially when you come to apply treatment after the floor has been laid down.