Why pay someone to install hardwood floors in your home? Maybe you don’t have the tools, or possibly you aren’t confident in your woodworking skill? Even more likely, you probably don’t have the time? Well, why not call the local handyman who has a few of the necessary tools and can rent what he doesn’t have? The answer is simple, when you make an important investment, you want to make sure it’s done right and the best way to make sure it’s done right is to hire a specialist!!!
At Natural Accent Hardwood Floors we promise that it is worth your money and time to hire our company to install hardwood floors in your home. However, instead of taking our word for it, we decided to show you exactly what makes our hardwood flooring installs stand out from the rest and, even more importantly, last for generations!
Quality Products: A great hardwood floor starts with a great product. If you are choosing a prefinished floor, you may already have access to many reviews to point you in the direction of a great product, but if you are leaning in the direction of a site-finished floor, you are most likely at the whims of the contractor. We use only the best unfinished flooring form companies such as WD Flooring, Aacer Flooring, Robinson Lumber Company, Cumberland and others. We know that these companies deliver an exceptional product that was dried and milled with care so the wood will not end-check, will conform to national hardwood grading definitions, and have a tight tongue and groove for minimal play and over-wood.
Acclimation: The three most important aspects of starting an installation are acclimation, acclimation and acclimation! We can’t stress this enough. Acclimating is the process of your hardwood flooring obtaining moisture equilibrium in your home. In other words, since wood swells and shrinks as it takes on and loses moisture, you want your hardwood flooring to have the correct moisture content for your home. The only correct way to achieve this is to bring the wood onto the site (ie. in the home) when, and only when, the home is heated or cooled under normal living conditions. Depending on the species, this can take form 4-5 days to 2-3 weeks This means the flooring should not be acclimated, for example, during the drywall and painting process when humidity can be around 80%. Typically, homes in the Fargo and Moorhead will be around 40-55% humidity depending on the time of year.
What happens if you don’t acclimate the wood prior to installing it? In a few weeks to a few months, you will have gapping or cupping in your newly purchased hardwood floors. If the company you used to install the floors didn’t find acclimating the wood to be important, will they be willing to fix the problem???
Header Transitions: A header transition is board that is run between the door jambs and transitions to other floor coverings. Although these transitions take longer to install than just butting the flooring up to the next floor covering, they are a mark of quality. They also allow us to taper down or ramp up to floor coverings that don’t have the same height as the hardwood flooring. This way, you don’t need a separate transition molding since the header seamlessly transitions to the adjacent floor covering.
Flush Frame Vents: Flush frame vents are wood vent coverings that fit over heat vents and are installed, sanded, and finished with the floor. Typically they have a frame that is installed into the floor and an insert that can be removed for cleaning of the vent. Since they sit flush with the wood floor, they add a nice feature to your hardwood flooring without being an eyesore.
Stair Nosing (Landing Tread): A stair nosing, or landing tread, is used to transition hardwood flooring to a set of steps or a step-down in the floor. As with the header board, installing landing treads that are perfectly scribed, cut, and fit seamlessly between the two walls leading down the steps takes time and skill. Would it be faster to butt the flooring up to the area of the steps? Of course, but would it look nice? Of course not. At Natural Accent Hardwood Floors, we use stair nosing on all transitions to steps or step-downs whether it be a 36″ transition or a 20′ transition.
Groove, Glue and Spline: Almost all quality hardwood flooring comes tongue and grooved. This way the installer can blind nail into the tongue and the groove of the next board can slip onto the fastened tongue. A simple concept that yields a well-fastened floor without having to see the thousands of fasteners that were used to hold down your floor. But what happens when a custom transition needs to be fabricated such as a header board or stair nosing? Or what happens when a flush vent needs to be cut into the middle of a board? The proper way to deal with these situations is by using a grooving bit on a router and route a custom groove on the two joining piece of flooring. Then use spline (or slip tongue) to connect the two grooves. The spline should be glued into at least of the the pieces of flooring. Pretty simple once you think about it!
At Natural Accent Hardwood Floors, no two pieces of wood flooring get joined without tongue and groove. Have you ever noticed a hardwood floor where there are areas of excessive board movement at floor transitions. The floor is literally coming apart at the seams!!! This is due to the flooring never being glued and splined. Yes, this process adds time to the project, but it also adds decades to the life of your floor. Yes, you read that correctly. A properly grooved, glued, and splined transition will make your floor last much, much longer. Think about how much weight is on top of a stair nosing that is overhanging the floor by a 1 1/4″. Think how often the stair nosing is walked over. Without a proper groove, glue and spline job, the nosing will start to move after being walked over just few times.
We also use industrial strength sub-floor adhesive under all our transition boards. This way, years down the road, our header boards, stair nosing, and flush vents still don’t have movement in them and your floors last much longer!