Doing any kind of home improvement can be a long and daunting task. Especially if you are going to be doing it yourself. Recently my grandmother, Tresia, wanted new hardwood floors installed in her home. She got a few quotes and the average cost of her home would have been eleven grand or more depending on who did it. Not wanting to spend this much we volunteered to be first-time hardwood floor installers and help her save a ton of money.
So, Tresia bought the hardwood and we got to work and after about 3 days we were able to finish the entire house. During those 3 days, we made a lot of mistakes and learned a lot about installing hardwood flooring. We spent a lot of time learning and finding a few tips to make the process easier. So here are 10 things that helped us when installing our hardwood floors.
Water flows into glass
Water is going to be an absolute necessity for any kind of physical labor especially installing hardwood flooring. It is going to get very hot and tiresome during the project. So, drinking water constantly and staying hydrated will help you stay refreshed and focused until you finish the project.
2. Knee Pads
Varying Knee Pads
About 2 hours into installing the flooring we realized we made a huge mistake. Our knees were starting to hurt from shuffling around on the ground and hardwood. While an afterthought, knee pads are a life saver for this kind of work. They allow for comfort and less breaks so you can finish the project faster as well as be in less pain after finishing the install.
3. Pergo Outlast+ Flooring
A big thank you to the Pergo Outlast+ for helping make this project easier as first time installers. Pergo's boards simply snapped together with a tapping block and a hammer or rubber mallet no nails or nails guns needed. The boards simply snapping together made it incredibly easy to get going and finish the project faster than we thought. If you are installing hardwood yourself I highly recommend Pergo Outlast+ as their product made it easier on us as first-time installers and do it yourself people.
4. Extra Flooring
When ordering the boards for the project we made sure to get extra boards as mistakes (for us a lot of them) tend to happen if you are doing it yourself. Everyone makes mistakes and having extra boards allows you to continue the project instead of having to stop and go buy more boards slowing you and the project down. Even if you don't use the extra boards it is better to be safe then sorry and you can return the extra boards that you don't use.
Underlay is important in allowing the hardwood to wear properly instead of wearing out quickly as well as proper stability. In this photo you see a tarp being laid down instead of underlay because our Pergo Outlast+ boards have underlay under them already making installation even easier.
Patience is very important for a project like this. Getting frustrated or impatient leads to mistakes, making the project taking longer, leading to more frustration and impenitence. Staying calm and patient will allow you to complete the project faster and do it the right way.
7. A Handy Grandpa
My Handy Grandpa
While not a complete necessity, having a handy person that can cut boards safely is always a huge benefit. In this case my grandfather was a huge help by cutting boards straight and the right length (most of the time) allows you to save time.
8. A Team
Me and my Father
Doing a big project like this by yourself will take forever. A small team of family or friends will save you a ton of time and energy. Having company also helps the project feel less overwhelming and fun.
9. Furry Friends
Betty, Na Na, and Bing on the couch
While furry friends are not necessary, they are adorable and for me and my family, they were a nice comfort and good fun during lunch and break times.
A few of the tools during our install
You are gonna need quite a few different tools that will help with the installation. Things like markers, saws, measuring tape, hammers, razor knifes, tape, and a floor installing kit are all necessary and make the installation go smoothly and possible.