Preparing To Install Hardwood Flooring In Your Home

The flooring in your home significantly influences the overall visual appeal of your interior decor. Ratty carpet, ugly tiles or damaged laminate can mar the appearance of rooms, drawing the eye away from your furniture and walls. If you are tired of looking at your unattractive floors and decide to invest in hardwood material for a more natural look, you need to prepare your home for the new flooring. The following primer can help you get ready to install hardwood flooring.

Removing Old Flooring

Removing old flooring can be a demolition DIY project or you can hire a contractor. You need to remove the old flooring as well as furniture, curtains and paintings from the room before you can install hardwood floors.

You should also unhinge doors that swing into the room and bi-fold closet doors.

The removal process includes cutting and slicing through carpet, linoleum or vinyl. Tools that are essential for this task include a utility knife, putty knife, rubber mallet, hammer, pry bar and a cold chisel. You may also need an electric sander to remove glue and other material from the subfloor.

Make sure to wear protective gloves to protect your hands from coarse carpet backing and sharp tack strips that secure the old flooring.

Preparing the Subfloor

When you remove old flooring, the room's subfloor will be exposed. The subflooring may be uneven with dips, moisture damage and mold. If you notice any rotting or severe mold infestation in subfloor plywood, you need to replace the material before installing your new floor. You may be able to file a claim with your homeowner's insurance to cover the costs of repairing damaged subflooring.

If there is no damage to the subfloor, the cleanup process will be simple.

  • Vacuum the subfloor to remove any dirt and fine dust.
  • Sand uneven areas.
  • Clean wood subfloors with mop and natural cleaning solutions or a commercial product from a hardware store.
  • Clean concrete subfloors with hot water and powder dish detergent along with a mop or towel.
  • Let the subflooring dry for at least three days after washing.

Acclimating the New Wood

Depending on the type of wood you choose, your new flooring material will need anywhere from two days to two weeks to acclimate to the temperature and humidity of your home. Acclimating new hardwood will prevent the material from contracting or expanding and developing gaps after installation.

To acclimate the new flooring, you can leave the wood pieces in their original boxes. Place the boxes flat across a floor with the ends open. You can also take the hardwood pieces out and place them flat on the floor where you will install them.

UV Protection and Insulation

Over time, the sun's ultraviolet rays will fade or darken some types of hardwood. It is important that the windows in your home have UV protective film to protect your floors, furniture and drapery from sun damage. Louvre blinds can also help to keep harsh sunlight off floors. You can direct the sunlight off the floor so the UV rays do not damage the wood.

You should also rearrange your furniture periodically so different areas of the room can receive sunlight and the appearance of the wood will stay consistent over the years.


Installing hardwood floors can be pricey. The overall cost will vary depending on the type of wood you choose and the number of rooms that need new flooring. However, many suppliers of residential flooring offer financing options for customers. You may be able to spread the payments for your new flooring over several months.

Once you install hardwood floors, you instantly increase the value of your home. Furthermore, if you ever put your home on the market, it will sell faster than similar properties that do not have hardwood floors. Consequently, your investment in new flooring from a site like will be worth every dime you spent.