Do You Need a Hardwood Flooring Company for Wood Floor Installation?

It's not uncommon for homeowners to assume that they don't need a hardwood flooring company to install new wood floors in their home, or that any general contractor is qualified to install engineered hardwood or laminate floors.

Installing wood floors is not a DIY job. Hardwood floors require specialized know-how and experience, and a homeowner should always rely on a qualified hardwood floor company for their new flooring installation.

Before you decide on new flooring for your home, or assume that you can watch online tutorials and install wood floors on your own, note some important reasons why you should always call a qualified hardwood flooring company for any such installation. It's also good to review the differences in wood floor options as well as some advantages of hardwood versus carpet and tile, so you're happy with your home's new floors for many years to come.

Why You Need a Flooring Professional for Hardwood Floor Installation

To better understand why installing hardwood floors is not a DIY job, note a few important details of the installation process. Many of these steps are very intricate and require the know-how and experience of a trained professional, and are not easy skills to master! You can then find the best “hardwood flooring companies near me” for your home’s flooring installation.

  • Wood flooring needs to be acclimated to its new climate, meaning that it must get accustomed to the amount of humidity inside a house. Very often, wood floor planks are delivered to a home many days or even a week or two before their actual installation and then left to sit, so those planks can absorb surrounding humidity or dry out as necessary. A flooring installer will know how to check wood planks and note if they have expanded or shrunk according to their surrounding climate.
  • Before installing wood floors over existing tile or timber planks, a flooring installer will measure their depth or height, and the height of the existing floor. This process ensures that doors can still open without scraping the surface of those new timber floors! If the new flooring planks are overly thick, the existing floors need removing.
  • Many wood floors come with an underlayment, similar to carpet padding. Underlayment absorbs noise and creates a softer feeling underfoot. This underlayment is installed over the home’s existing floors or subflooring, and then also cut to size.
  • Timber planks might be glued or nailed in place, while some snap together and float over the existing flooring. After the acclimation process, wood planks might be difficult to fit together, and a flooring installer will need to gently but firmly tap them into place.
  • A flooring installer will also know how to add spacers between wood planks and the surrounding walls, to allow for expansion and movement.

In some cases, a wood floor might require a few days to settle and expand, or the glue used for the planks might need some time to dry thoroughly before you can walk on those floors. A flooring installer will know how long to wait before opening a room with new hardwood flooring, to protect those floors from damage

Some wood floors also require onsite finishing. Finishing floors onsite refers to adding stain, paint, shellac, sealcoating, or other such coatings after installation. A flooring installer will note the best finishes to use, to create the vibrant color you want on your floors and to ensure proper protection for the wood.

Tips and Tricks for Wood Floor Installation

One reason that a homeowner might avoid managing their hardwood flooring installation is that professional installers know lots of tips and tricks for ensuring a secure installation, and for creating a beautiful appearance from those floors. Note a few of those tips and tricks, so you better understand why installation is not a DIY job!

  • A professional flooring installer will typically set out all the planks before installation begins. This step allows the installer as well as the homeowner to determine the best direction for the slats, and ensures that there are enough planks to complete the job!
  • A homeowner might choose prefinished floors for a more consistent color and appearance. However, there are still typically some variations in wood finishes between boxes or bundles of planks. Mixing up the planks from different boxes or bundles allows for a more natural and attractive look.
  • A homeowner attempting their installation might try to "eyeball" the direction of the slats as they work. A professional installer will usually add precise chalk lines to the underlayment instead, ensuring that the planks will be level and even.
  • The current floor might require sanding for a smooth and even surface. However, you want to avoid sanding any surface with lead-based paint or asbestos. A professional installer will know how to recognize or test for these substances before sanding or will add a layer of thin plywood over the flooring instead.

Solid, Engineered, and Laminate Flooring; Which Is Right for Your Home?

Even if you hire a flooring installer rather than trying to manage hardwood floor installation on your own, you still need to choose the floors themselves! A hardwood flooring company can typically assist in selecting the best flooring for the look and style you prefer, but note some information that can also help you choose between solid, engineered, and laminate flooring for your home

Solid hardwood, as the name implies, is a solid plank of a particular hardwood species. Engineered hardwood is a thin piece of your desired timber species glued over a section of less desirable material, such as plywood. Solid hardwood is more expensive to purchase, but because of its thickness, it can be sanded down and refinished more often than engineered hardwood

Laminate floors are not wood; laminate flooring consists of a high-definition photograph of a timber species, placed over a layer of plywood. A thin layer of protective plastic covers the photograph. Laminate flooring is very durable and is an excellent choice for basements, laundry rooms, and other spaces with too much humidity for real wood floors, but laminate flooring cannot be sanded and refinished

Can a Homeowner Install a Floating Floor?

A floating floor is not nailed or glued to the subfloor under it but is snapped together and floats or gently sits atop that bottom flooring layer. Floating floors are easier to install than planks or tiles requiring nails or glue, but this doesn't mean a homeowner should assume that they can install a floating hardwood floor!

One consideration to keep in mind is that solid hardwood is rarely cut into a floating floor. The tongue-and-groove design needed to snap floating planks together is difficult to cut into many solid timber species, whereas the underlying plywood of an engineered floor is softer and easier to cut. If you prefer solid hardwood for its durability and longevity, a floating floor might not be an option.

A floating floor also needs a solid surface under it, and a homeowner may not be qualified to assess the condition of their home's existing floors! A professional installer can examine the home's flooring and subfloors thoroughly, and determine if plywood or another material is needed before the installation of floating floors.

5 Essential Tips for Choosing Wood Floors for Your Home

Once you've decided between hardwood, engineered, or laminate tiles, you need to choose the right color and style of flooring. Note five essential tips for selecting the best color tone, species, and other such details when in the market for wood flooring

  1. Very wide planks have a more rustic and casual look but might overwhelm a small room. Narrow planks fit a modern décor and style but might look cluttered in an overly large room. Choose a plank size based on the style you want while also keeping the room size in mind as well.
  2. Opt for a timber species with a natural color close to your desired shade, whether that's a dark walnut or a lighter oak. When you choose wood colors closest to your desired tone, you won't need to paint or stain those floors, meaning less work and expense!
  3. Consider the availability and affordability of the timber species you choose, keeping in mind that some timber slats will eventually need replacing. An exotic, rare species might become very expensive in time, resulting in high replacement costs, whereas a locally grown species will typically be more affordable and available throughout the years.
  4. A softer wood such as pine is easy to sand down, something to consider if you're thinking of maintaining wood floors yourself over the years. However, softer timber will also be more prone to showing dents and dings from foot traffic, furniture movement, and the like. Be sure you consider your everyday foot traffic and wear and tear on the floors versus its needed maintenance when choosing a soft versus dense wood.
  5. When choosing the color of wood floors, be sure you consider the amount of light to which they'll be exposed. Dark walnut floors might seem very rich and elegant, but in a room without much light, they might create a cave-like look! On the other hand, light oak floors might seem overly casual and rustic or even a bit bland in a room with lots of light.

Why Choose Hardwood Over Carpet or Tile?

If you're concerned about the cost of having a professional install new wood floors, you might note some advantages of hardwood, engineered wood, or laminate floors versus carpeting and tile, so you better understand why wood floors are a sound investment for your home! One consideration is that wood floors are typically more durable than carpeting, so you may need to replace timber flooring far less often than carpeting over the lifetime of home ownership.

Note, too, that wood flooring is typically easier to keep clean than rugs and tile. Carpet fibers and the pits and pores of floor tiles tend to trap and hold dust, dirt, mud, and other such debris. A household vacuum and everyday mopping are typically not sufficient for removing these bothersome residues. Dense hardwood doesn't trap and hold dirt, so timber floors generally are cleaner and more hygienic for your home.

Timber flooring also offers flexibility in its color tone and shade. If you want to change the overall look of your home's wood floors, you can have them sanded and then repainted or stained. You can then go from light and rustic flooring to one that is dark and rich, or vice versa, much more easily than trying to change the look of carpeting or tile floors

Related Questions

What is reclaimed wood and is it durable for flooring?

Reclaimed wood refers to timber pieces taken from jobsites, demolished homes, and the like. Some flooring companies treat and finish reclaimed wood to create new flooring planks. Wood planks can last for decades if not centuries, making reclaimed wood a durable choice for residential flooring

Are hardwood floors noisy?

The underlayment placed underneath wood planks will help absorb noise. Tile, carpeting, or another flooring underneath a floating floor also works as an insulator. If you're concerned about noise, such as for second story rooms, discuss your insulating options with a hardwood flooring company.

May 19, 2023
Top 7 Flooring Types for Dogs that Pee on Them (Stain Resistant Flooring Guide)

It’s not unusual for dog owners to end up searching for flooring for dogs that pee! Even the best pet training doesn’t eliminate the risk of accidents, especially for puppies just learning the “ins and outs” of housetraining and older dogs struggling with medical conditions and slowed reaction times.  The good news for pet owners […]

Read More
May 19, 2023
How to Make Hardwood Floors Look Like New & Bring Them Back to Life!

If you’ve recently searched online for how to “make my hardwood floors look like new without refinishing,” you’re certainly not alone! Hardwood floors are tough and durable and designed to take a beating, but everyday wear and tear, as well as spills and other such damage, can ruin even the most stunning hardwood. To make […]

Read More
May 31, 2021
Cost-Effective Carpet Replacement Project in Blue Springs

When you've enjoyed living in your home for several years, carpet replacement in Blue Springs is a home improvement project that Kansas City Flooring Pros is eager to assist you with. Admire your living spaces again with our expert installations, affordable prices, and high-quality products coming straight from the manufacturer. Kansas City Flooring Pros is […]

Read More
May 31, 2021
Luxury Carpet Installation Project in Kansas City, MO

Kansas City Flooring Pros leads the industry for carpet installation in Kansas City. We have respectful, professional, highly-skilled flooring contractors on our team that have knowledge in installation carpet of all styles. We know that there are specific tools and techniques required to ensure the rug stays flat with no bumps. With our 100% satisfaction […]

Read More
May 31, 2021
Beautiful Shower Tile Installation in Lenexa

The highly-trained professionals from Kansas City Flooring Pros are available to provide you with the bathroom tile installation or flooring installation in Lenexa you've been dreaming of. Your bathroom is already the busiest place in the house, so turn it into your most-loved room in the home with gorgeous new ceramic tile today. Kansas City […]

Read More
May 31, 2021
Kansas City Ceramic Tile Installation Project

Kansas City Flooring Pros is a flooring company in Kansas City that has been in business for many years. Through our experience, we've discovered the highest-quality products available for ceramic tile installation in Kansas City. Our expert flooring contractors are trained extensively in following the proper methods to ensure a flawless installation that lasts for […]

Read More
May 31, 2021
Timeless Oak Flooring Installation in Olathe

Kansas City Flooring Pros has several color and style options at different prices to suit every budget if you're looking for hardwood flooring installation in Olathe. You can trust in our many years of experience to get it done for you flawlessly, and everything is covered by our WARRANTIES. At Kansas City Flooring Pros, we […]

Read More
May 31, 2021
Elegant Pine Flooring Installation Project for a Kansas City Home

Pine flooring installation in Kansas City done by the highly-trained experts from Kansas City Flooring Pros adds style instantly to any room in your home. Paint or stain your tile to suit your existing decor easily for a custom look at a reasonable price. Call for a FREE quote today! Kansas City Flooring Pros have […]

Read More
May 31, 2021
Cherry Wood Flooring Installation in Independence

At Kansas City Flooring Pros, we have highly-experienced flooring installation contractors that know the methods and products needed to complete cherry wood flooring installation in Independence efficiently and without any defects. We start every project by having a comprehensive in-home evaluation of the room we're going to be working in, and then offer the customer […]

Read More
May 31, 2021
Natural Bamboo Flooring Installation Project in Kansas City, MO

When you want something uniquely different for your home, call the Kansas City Flooring Pros. We offer a vast selection of bamboo flooring installations in Kansas City that delivers a look of luxury you won't find anywhere else. Bamboo flooring installation done by our experts is fast, affordable, and eco-friendly. The flooring contractors from the […]

Read More
May 31, 2021
Modern Laminate Flooring Installation Project in Shawnee

The design specialists at Kansas City Flooring Pros know all there is to know about laminate flooring installation. If you're considering revamping your living space, we want to go over all the selections we have for laminate flooring installation in Shawnee today. Start enjoying your new look the same day! Laminate flooring installation in Shawnee […]

Read More
May 31, 2021
Professional Kansas City Hardwood Stair Installation

The Kansas City Flooring Pros specialize in hardwood stair installation in Kansas City that creates a level of appeal to your living space you didn't even know was possible. We have every type of product for hardwood stair installation that you can think of from oak to bamboo and more! With the many years of […]

Read More
Copyright © 2024 Kansas City Flooring Pros. All Rights Reserved.
twitter-squarefacebook-squarephonepinterest-squareyoutube-squaretumblr-squarehouzzcrosschevron-downchevron-down-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram