Tools needed for a DIY hardwood flooring installation
... comparing laminate flooring with natural hardwood flooring.
There are hosts of flooring options available now and this abundance of flooring choices has made installing hardwood flooring in your home by yourself a much more viable option. DIY hardwood flooring installation is one popular way to cut the substantial cost of owning hardwood flooring. But just because you're not having hardwood flooring installed by a professional doesn't mean you need to skimp on quality. There are two main things that a professional installer has that you don't and they are know-how and tools. You can find out more about the process of how to install your own floors (here). Right now I want to talk about the tools.
Chalk Line: These are a great tool for marking measurements. You can use these over a longer distance than you could with a straight edge or anything else.
Nails: This all depends on what type of hardwood flooring you're installing, but chances are, you'll need nails in some shape of form or another. Usually any type of nail should be fine for use. They do make nails to be used specifically with hardwood flooring and you can also look for these are your local hardware store.
Power Floor Nailer: Then of course you'll need a nail gun to drive the nails. There are a few nailers available specifically for hardwood flooring. They'll make the going much easier and are almost a must due to the fact they'll do a more efficient and safe job than most peopleï's arms. They're a bit pricey and unless you're planning on redoing all the floors in your home you may be able to find one for rent at a hardware store.
Hammers: You'll still need these, just in case you have to nail some flooring down in an area where the power floor nailer may not be able to reach.
Power saw: You can opt for the manual kind if you don't mind putting a little extra elbow grease into your work. Depending on what type of wood you're working with you may need a special type of saw, especially when cutting some of the harder, exotic, trade woods.
Underlayment: Underlayment is vital to most hardwood flooring and they can be a deciding factor in how long your flooring lasts and whether or not it warps. There is a large difference between the underlayment used in soft flooring such as carpet and the underlayment you would use for hardwood flooring. What underlayment does for hardwood flooring is that it absorbs a lot of the imperfections in a sub floor to provide the hardwood flooring with a better base. It also provides the floor with moisture protection. Moisture is one of the leading causes of hardwood flooring warping so it's vital to protect against it. Underlayment is also available with specialized soundproofing which is helpful for installation on upper floors.
Miscellaneous: These items may be miscellaneous but they are just as important as everything I listed previously. If you'e opting to float your flooring or glue it down then you'll need special flooring glue. It's important to get the glue specified by the manufacturer for that type of wood since it's usually specially made for it. And depending on what type of wood you're working on you may need a breathing mask, goggles or even a full protection suit.
This is just a rough list of items that you will probably need when installing hardwood flooring by yourself. I implore you to do even more research, especially after you purchase your flooring since installation instructions can vary greatly from product to product and from wood species to wood species. Here at FloorsUnlimited.com, we always help the Do-It-Yourselfer, and offer a floor installers directory in case you decide to give in and hire a pro.
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