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Common Sense Lost on Hardwood Floor Installation - How to Avoid by Donna Altomonte

Common Sense Lost on Hardwood Floor Installation - How to Avoid a Renovation Disappointment
By Donna Altomonte

There is nothing like a beautiful new hardwood floor to bring out the life in your home. Here are a few tips to consider before having your hardwood floor installed because what may be common sense to you may not be to your hardwood floor installer.

The first thing to note is that the company where you buy your floor from does not necessarily have to install the floor for you. You can simply order the floor and hire your own contractor to install the floor. Always ask for references. Do not go with the assumption that the floor supplier has competent installers. Trust me I am speaking from experience. Our installer attempted to cover our cold air return. Luckily my husband was home to stop him in his tracks. The installer also scratched the floor as he was literally dragging his staple gun from board to board.

I know time can be an issue for many people but make sure you are home when the floors are being installed. There are things you should look for. Your flooring will likely be shipped to you in boxes. In these boxes there will be many different lengths of wood. The flooring should be laid out prior to installation in order to mix in the shorter pieces with the longer pieces. Our installer put all the small pieces in the most visible part of our floor and placed the longer pieces around the perimeter of the room where you couldn't even see them. What ever happened to common sense? Unfortunately we took this as a 'no brainer' and didn't watch to see how the installer was laying down the boards.

At the time of purchase we believed we were buying a Maple hardwood but today we are not convinced it's what was shipped to us. The floor scratches very easily and a hardwood should not, hence the term "hardwood". Our cats have scratched the floor which really surprised us. So make sure the company where you buy your floor from is reputable and don't forget to ask for references.

Another thing you might want to do is to find out exactly where the wood is coming from. This was a big issue for me. I did not want an exotic wood from a Rain Forest. In fact what I really wanted was Bamboo but at that time there weren't a lot of colours available so we went with Maple. Bamboo has come a long way since then so we will using Bamboo when the time comes to replace our floors upstairs.

Choosing your colour is important as well. We went with a beautiful mahogany colour and it really does look good...when it's clean. It has turned out to be a very high maintenance floor because every little bit of dust and dirt shows up very easily. A lighter floor colour is much more forgiving, but if you like the look of a darker floor just be prepared to put a little more work into keeping it looking good.

There are a lot of things that I wished I had known before purchasing our floor. Knowing what I know now I would definitely do things differently next time. Installing a new floor is an investment. So take the time to do your homework and be very selective who you hire to install the floor. We were disappointed with the end result but you don't have to be if you learn from our mistakes.

I hope you find these tips helpful.

Donna Altomonte

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This article was published on Saturday 28 February, 2009.
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