Hardwood flooring installation info from National Floors Direct

What to Expect from the Hardwood Flooring Installation Process

Studies show that installing new hardwood floors has a 118% return on investment when it comes to the resale value of a home. However, this cost recovery depends on many factors, including the way that your hardwood floor was installed. 

Hiring a professional flooring installation company will give you the best results for your new floors! Do you want to learn more about the hardwood flooring installation process? 

Keep reading this guide for everything you should expect from flooring installation services. 

Wood Acclimation

The most important part of installing hardwood flooring is acclimating the wood in your space. This process conditions your flooring to the moisture content in your home. Wood acclimation is necessary because of how much moisture impacts wood!

Wood can easily absorb moisture in a humid room. It will also dry out and lose moisture in a dry space. 

If you install the flooring before the floor boards acclimate, they will either expand or contract after the installation process. This will lead to gaps in the flooring or boards that expand and buckle.

Your flooring installers will deliver your floorboards several days before the installation. Make sure they sit in the same room where they will be installed so they can properly acclimate!

Room Preparation

Once the wood has acclimated and is ready for installation, your installers will prepare your room for hardwood before they start the installation. This will ensure that everything is ready for installation!

First, they will start by removing everything from the room. This includes furnishings, wall hangings, and even the doors and baseboards. Removing all the belongings will ensure that nothing is in the way of the installers. 

Then, your installers can start preparing the subfloor for installation. The subfloor of your room may be anything from plywood to concrete, but it is essential that it is clean, dry, and structurally sound. 

If your subfloor is not completely dry before the flooring is installed, the moisture beneath your new flooring can cause your hardwood to warp and expand. 

Board Racking

What is racking for hardwood flooring? It is the process of determining where each plank of wood will be installed before you actually start nailing the boards down. Racking a hardwood floor will save you time and make the installation process go more smoothly. 

It will also improve the appearance of your finished flooring. This is because your installers will consider the wood grain, the wood tone, and more before placing each plank. This way, the color of your wood floors will flow smoothly and have a good color mix for your flooring. 

Board racking also will ensure that there aren't too many boards of the same size near each other. This way, there won't be too many joints in your hardwood flooring or boards of random lengths. 

When you hire a professional flooring installation service, they will do this for you to ensure that your flooring looks professionally installed and aesthetically pleasing. 


Next, they will start the actual installation. This is often the most disruptive step of the process. This is because there will be extra noise and traffic from the installers. Often, professional installers will use a nail-down installation method. 

They will install the first plank along the straightest and longest wall in the room. Then they will use nails or staples to nail down the board to the subfloor.

Once the first row of flooring is installed, they will place a spacer and start nailing down the next row.

Other methods of installation include the glue-down method and the click-lock installation method.

Sanding and Cleaning

Once the planks are in place and have been installed, your hardwood flooring installer will sand your new flooring. This will ensure that your floor is perfectly smooth and will help remove any imperfections. 

It also prepares the room for the staining and finishing process. 

Because sanding can be a messy process, your installers will also clean up the space before they stain and finish your wood flooring. This will remove all the dust and debris from the space and will keep it from spreading to the rest of your home. 

Staining and Finishing

Finally, your installers will finish installing your hardwood flooring by staining it and finishing the surface. You will likely have chosen the color of your hardwood floor, whether you want it to be stained light or drank. 

Your installers will carefully apply the stain and wait until it has dried completely to install a top coat. 

This topcoat will protect your flooring from damage and will keep your flooring in pristine condition. You can choose a top coat that is low luster and matte or you can choose a high gloss finish to make your floors look shiny and new. 

If your flooring gets worn out over the years, you can sand and refinish your flooring to adjust the color or to get rid of scratches or marks on your flooring. 

Looking for Hardwood Flooring Installation Services? 

Hardwood flooring installation can instantly transform your space while adding value to your home. To get the best results, it is necessary to hire a professional installation service. Learning what to expect from your professional installation company can help you prepare properly for your flooring installation!

If you need help installing your hardwood flooring, National Floors Direct can help! Our team provides professional flooring installation for hardwood, laminate, carpet, and more. 

Contact our flooring installers today to learn more about our services and to get a free estimate for your flooring installation!