Installer - Meet the expert
Meet Mike the installer! For the record Mike is a real guy.
Mike has been installing hardwood flooring for 15 years. Over the years, Mike has mastered the art of hardwood flooring installation and has become an expert in the selection, installation and maintenance of hardwood flooring. This expertise makes Mike a perfect ‘go to’ person for all of your installation questions. Several frequently asked questions are listed below. However, Mike is also available to answer your specific installation-related questions. You may send your questions to Mike at Mike@hardwoods4less.com
What are the top three things a customer should know about the installation of their new hardwood floors?
1) Read and carefully follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Manufacturer guidelines do vary and failure to follow them can cause damage to your floors and/or void your warranty.
2) Water and wood do not mix! Excessive humidity, wet basements, wet sub floors, fridge/dishwasher/bathroom leaks, sponge mops, etc. can all result in damaged hardwoods. Many times, the only fix is to tear out and replace the damaged hardwood. Treat your hardwoods like a cigar by maintaining consistent moisture levels. If they become too dry they will tend to be brittle and want to splinter, crack and split. If they become saturated they will tend to swell and cupping will occur.
3) Do you have a third item that would be a good thing to know?
What are your favorite wood species and why?
1) I love Brazilian Walnut and Teak. Both are very dense, moisture resistant and durable. When you install these woods, you know they will be around for a long time and will remain in the same condition as when they were originally installed. The superior durability of these woods is why you will frequently find them installed on luxury yachts.
2) Quarter sawn White Oak is another favorite that has a very elegant and classy look. Quarter sawn wood is cut with a vertical grain while most hardwood flooring is cut with a horizontal grain (plain sawn). This vertical grain provides beautiful grain patterns. In addition, when this wood absorbs moisture, it will lift up, rather than moving out like plain sawn wood. This prevents cupping and swelling, which means less movement in the floor. Oak flooring also accepts stains better than other wood species.
What are the most important installation lessons you have learned in your years in the hardwood industry?
1) Really, the biggest is that water and wood do not mix. I follow the NWFA guidelines for floor installation. Moisture levels for the hardwood should ideally be around 7%. It is important to ensure there is not more than a 3% moisture difference between the sub floor and the hardwoods and the sub floor should never exceed 12%.
2) The hardwoods must acclimate in your home for 3-5 days before installation. This allows the wood to adjust to the climate and humidity of its new home.
3) Sub floors need to be flat and clean of all debris before the installation. For a stable floor, butt joints should be 6” apart and contain no H joints.
If you have additional installation-related questions, you may send them to Mike atMike@hardwoods4less.com