Installing Hardwood Floors: Intro

No matter what type of floor you want for a new home or a remodeling project, you can be sure the manufacturers of popular flooring materials are doing every thing possible to simplify the installation of their products. Your building materials supplier or flooring contractor should also be able to help you complete a flooring project successfully, supplying you with installation instructions and suggestions as to the proper tools and materials you’ll need to do a good job.

Innovations in design and manufacture have made many flooring materials easier to in stall and less taxing on the homeowner’s skills. For example, ceramic tile, once thought to require the skills of a professional, can be installed today by anyone with patience and aver age building talent. Intricate mosaic patterns come in sheets with a backing of plastic, cotton mesh, or paper that makes the tiles easy to handle. Tile sup pliers will help you choose the proper adhesives, grouts, and tools.

Hardwood strip and plank flooring and wood block flooring can be purchased with durable factory-applied finishes. Wood tile is available with adhesive backing.

New types of carpeting materials and simpler methods of installation make laying some carpeting a relatively easy job for today’s homeowner. Cushion-backed carpeting can be in stalled without stretching; seams in synthetic conventional carpeting can be ironed together with hot-melt seaming tape.

Vinyl tiles and other resilient tile flooring also come with adhesive backing or can be set in easy-to-apply adhesives.

We will show you how to install hardwood flooring materials. You may find that many of the more popular materials are among the easiest to work with.

Is it a job for you?

Though many kinds of flooring are now designed to make installation easy for the do-it yourselfer, there are still, of course, projects best left to professionals. If you’re thinking of putting in your own floor, read through the installation instructions that follow before making a final choice of materials. Make sure you’re looking at flooring that is not only suitable for the room where you plan to put it, but also installable by someone with your experience and skills.

Don’t overlook the fact that preparing a suitable base for new flooring can be more complicated and time-consuming than laying the final floor. Re member that the type of materials you choose will affect the amount of preparation necessary; For example, ceramic tile, because it’s inflexible, requires a particularly stable subfloor. Finally, keep in mind that not all types of flooring are suitable for all kinds of conditions; wood, For example, which is affected by moisture, should be considered for rooms below grade only if precautions are taken to control moisture.

After weighing the advantages and disadvantages of the many types of available flooring, you’ll probably find that you can limit your selection to the most practical materials and still achieve the appearance and quality you want.

Is the structure in good shape?

Before you undertake the installation of any new flooring—preferably before you even order the materials—take time to check the structure of the floor to make sure it’s in good condition. This illustration shows how a floor and its supporting structure are put together in a typical frame home. This is a very important step, one that could save you time and money in the future.

Next: Wood -- Still a Popular Choice

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Tuesday, 2008-11-18 19:50