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An Understanding & Appreciation of Hardwood Flooring Installation

In the average consumer mind hardwood flooring installation seems like another task to tackle. An aesthetic enhancement to a designated area of your home that helps boost appearance, rejuvenates space, and adds market value. If you are unfamiliar with the process of hardwood flooring installation than it is imperative that you familiarize yourself with the basics. Why? Understanding the basics of hardwood flooring installation will ensure longevity for years to come.


One of the biggest mistakes a DIY hardwood installation faces is forgetting to measure for moisture content. Whether it be engineered or solid hardwood flooring, each require an adequate time frame and temperature for acclimation. If hardwood flooring is not properly acclimate to its installation environment than there is a high chance for cupping development. Measuring for moisture content is an integral step of the hardwood flooring installation. Particularly during the preparation process.

Checking for moisture content – during the summer time there is usually plenty of moisture in the air. Therefore acclimation of hardwood flooring can be accomplished quicker. During winter time there is less moisture in the air and it may take a little longer for the hardwood to acclimate. Hardwood flooring is a natural product that requires care and nurturing.

Purchasing a moisture meter would be extremely beneficial. It can help you measure moisture content easier. Always refer to hardwood flooring manufacturer suggestions on moisture content levels.


Prior to hardwood flooring installation it is imperative to sand down the joist seams. In doing so you are ensuring that there will not be any humps or high spots across the floor. Especially in corners and open areas such as living room, kitchen, dining room, powder room, or even closets. Renting a 7″ Floor Edger from Home Depot will do the trick in ensuring seamless joist seam transitions from one to the other. Don’t forget the 24 GA sand paper to go along with it as well. You may need a few of those to get the job done. Usage will vary upon the square footage area you are working with.


Nobody likes a messy floor and neither does a fresh hardwood flooring installation. Before doing anything else consider a thorough sweep of the entire area. A stand-up scraper may be extremely helpful to assist with removal of any high spots, grime, paint, or anything else. It is extremely important to have a thoroughly cleaned and swept subfloor prior to commencement of the actual hardwood flooring installation.

Failing to remove any high spots from the subfloor may conflict with your hardwood flooring installation. As result will most likely create unforeseen delays, headaches, and sometimes stress. Be diligent with the cleaning process and give it the proper attention it deserves. Once and done!


Fresh installation of hardwood flooring on any area will require supportive underlayment. If you are installing solid or plank type of flooring you will definitely need some roofing paper. Home Depot, Lowe’s, Menards, or any other major hardware store carries this. Look for the #15 roofing paper. Hardwood flooring underlayment acts not only as a layer but also an isolator to help prevent any future squeaks.

If you are considering engineered hardwood flooring installation than seek wax paper. It is a much thinner roll of paper. Home Depot, Lowe’s, Menards, or a specialized flooring company will carry this type of product.

Tools & Material

Regardless of engineered or solid hardwood flooring installation, you will most definitely need the right set of tools to get the job done. This is where things can get a bit pricey. Here are a few of the commonly used tools for hardwood flooring installation that you will need:

  • Compressor
  • A hose…or two
  • Pneumatic gun (solid/plank hardwood installation only)
  • Staple gun (engineered hardwood installation only)
  • Top nailing gun
  • Nails (contingent upon the type of installation)

Well then! That is quite a bit of power tools to utilize in accomplishing a proper hardwood flooring installation. Seeking the help of an experienced hardwood installer will help you accomplish a professional installation and great looking hardwood floor. An experienced hardwood flooring installer will not only supply their own tools but also advise upon a recommended approach to a seamless installation.


So, your moisture content has been checked. Hardwood flooring fully acclimated. Tools and materials prepped and ready to go. Now what? Well, the installation of hardwood flooring is of course the key ingredient to job completion. Prior flooring experience is a must especially for a DIY approach. Otherwise you may be digging yourself a much bigger hole than you will be able to immerse from. Consult with VMV Inc. today for insight on best practices, recommended approach, and overall peace of mind.

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