(Missed out on how to choose timber for your house flooring? Click here to read our last article about it.)

So you’ve now chosen a type of timber for your floor. The next step is putting the planks down there. Either you can hire contractors to do the work for you, or you can do it yourself. DIY methods would not only save money, but it’s also a nifty project to do on the side, especially amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

wood planks and floor brush

If you’ve decided to go the DIY route, read on for a few things you need to know.

1. Acclimate your flooring

If you have just bought the timber, it isn’t a good idea to stick it onto the floor right away. If it is solid wood, you first need to let it adapt to the environment of the room.

To acclimate the wood, here is some advice for our team: Put them inside the room and leave them for several days with the boxes opened and slightly raised above the ground. This way, the moisture content of the timber would adjust to that of the room. In turn, the floor would not shift too much due to humidity changes.

Engineered wood, on the other hand, does not require any acclimation. However, it should still be done regardless.

2. Find out the proper way to install the flooring

Not all types of wood can be installed in the same way. For solid timber, you need to install a wooden ‘subfloor’ first, to which the planks are hammered or stapled. But for engineered wood, you can just glue it or even mount it as a ‘floating floor’ without any adhesives. 

As a general rule, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions. That way, you would know the proper installation methods for your chosen flooring.

3. Prepare the room

If the room is new and has not had any flooring yet, first check the subfloor. Make sure it’s dry, clean, and flat. When installing over existing flooring, ensure that doors can still open and close freely. Also, check that appliances and worktops remain level.

The next step is measuring the room. It is recommended to add 5% to the figures as a cutting allowance. Apply chalk lines too as guides for balancing the room. If you will nail the flooring, then mark the positions of the floor joists as well.

4. Install the timber

Before installation, read the manufacturer’s instructions first. Watching a few installation tutorials also helps a lot. We advise caution when using nails or glue. These kinds of hardwood installations take time, precision, and know-how. To make the most out of your investment, be extra careful when installing the planks.

Before laying down the flooring, you may need to roll out some underlayment first. Then, position the planks parallel to the longest wall of the room. Additionally, you may use spacers to give a little allowance in case the wood expands later on.

Also, different bundles of planks may vary slightly in colour. Some may be darker, while others are lighter. Thus, mixing and matching wood from different bundles can help you achieve a consistent colour scheme. 

sydney blue gum flooring

5. Apply the finishing touches

The last few planks may need some modifications. For instance, you may have to trim them lengthwise so that they can fit those smaller gaps beside a wall. After every plank is secured, the final steps are to remove the spacers and add some coving.

These finishing stages are crucial, so you also have to do them carefully. If done well, your floor installation will look as if it was done by a professional.

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