Wood Floor Installation Chicago, IL

There are several things to consider when deciding on a hardwood floor installation. For example: What direction do you want the floor installed? What width boards do you want? Do you want border work? Do you want flushmount vents? What kind of subfloor do you have? If you have existing hardwood floors, do you want existing floors refinished? Do you want the new floors to match or contrast existing floors? Do you want floors laid onto existing floors or transitioned? These are just a few decisions that you need to consider. We'll explain all of the options to you to help you make decisions that you will be happy with.

The Installation Process

Before we install a floor, we visit the jobsite usually during the estimating process to determine the scope of the project. Many areas that you wish to have hardwood flooring installed usually have existing flooring that must be removed prior to the installation process. Many customers choose to do their own demolition of existing flooring, obviously saving them money. We will instruct these individuals on how much needs to be removed and various ways to make the process easier.

There are a few situations where your new hardwood floor can be installed over the existing floor; however, we do not recommend this due to the height difference you may encounter at a later date if you choose to continue that hardwood flooring into other areas.

If you choose to have us remove your existing flooring, it will be included in the estimate. We do not haul away debris. However, we can arrange for a dumpster at an additional cost or the home owner can make arrangements for disposal. There are situations that can be discovered during the removal process that could not be detected during the estimate and may incur additional costs. An example of this may be subflooring that has rotted due to water damage. If there are situations that require additional work we should have noticed during the estimate, they will be performed at no additional cost. Your new wood floor will follow the contours usually due to structural issues. If you want to correct these structural issues, you will need to contract a carpenter, as this is beyond the scope of our services.

Once existing flooring is removed, the subfloor is checked for squeaks and re-nailed as necessary. Most squeaks are caused by the subfloor not being secured to joists. However, there are other things that can cause squeaks such as conduit, heating vents, and structure attached to the joists. We make every effort to rid your floor of squeaks prior to installation. It is possible for squeaks to develop over time due to traffic and movement of sub floor.

Our wood products come from moisture controlled warehouses, which is important because they maintain the moisture content of the wood at constant levels that are compatible with the living conditions in most homes. We check the moisture content of compatibility. The most common problems with moisture occurs in new construction. The environment controls (heating and air conditioning) should be activated and consistent with normal living conditions for at least two weeks prior to the wood flooring being installed.

Most of the time, new floors can be installed at the same level as existing floors by removing existing flooring or by installing under-layment to build up the subfloor. In a few rare cases where an addition was built or a concrete subfloor is flush with a plywood subfloor could be exceptions to this. Some customers want the new floors laced into existing floors while others don't mind having a transition. Transition boards can be installed at existing floors so that the existing floors do not need to be refinished and so that individual floors can be refinished at a later date without the need to refinish all the floors. This is also less costly than lacing in.

Lacing in new floors to existing floors will provide a continuous original look. Here are some things to consider when deciding on a lace in. It is costlier due to the additional labor that is involved. The existing floors that are being laced into have to be refinished. If the floors are very old and have lots of gaps, you may want to consider a transition board. If the existing floor is gapped, the new floor must also be installed with gaps. You may also experience color and grain differences especially on maple flooring. We have successfully laced in hundreds of new floors to existing floor and refinished them with great satisfaction.

Installing hardwood flooring over a concrete flooring is possible but usually not without considerations. Prior to installing solid 3/4" nail down hardwood over concrete, 3/4" plywood subfloor must be shat and glued to the concrete. This will increase the level of the floor 1 1/2". This could be a problem with exterior doors, levels of other flooring, and appliances. Many times customers decide to have a floating laminate or veneer floor installed over a concrete subfloor.

The direction in which your new hardwood floors are installed depends on the way that your floor joists run. Hardwood flooring must be installed the opposite direction of the floor joists or on a 45o angle. In some homes the flooring has to be installed in two different directions because the floor joists switch direction. This is also common in additions. Installing flooring on a 45o angle is costlier and can appear "busy" especially in smaller areas.

Wood flooring is available in a variety of widths. The most popular width is the traditional 2 1/4". The flooring comes in random lengths from 1' to 8'. Flooring in widths up to and including four inches is nailed down. Wider widths such as 5" and up must be glued and nailed. The wider the plants you choose, the more movement you may experience with expansion and contraction. Some customers decide on a mixture of different widths.

If you are installing new floor adjacent to existing floors, consider some of these things. If you are not planning to refinish the existing floors, we will try to match the color as close as we can. We cannot guarantee an exact match. Flooring finishes change color and sheen with age. Reference sanding and finishing section. You can contrast the new floor by using transition boards in lays/borders and varying the species of wood. If you are not planning to refinish the existing floors, the new floors cannot be laced in. We must use a transition board or threshold.

Issues You May Experience

There are a few things that customers may experience with hardwood flooring installation. There is movement (expansion and contraction) in all hardwood flooring. To minimize this, homes should be kept at consistent temperatures and humidity levels. During winter months when the weather is dry and heat is constantly running, you may experience more gaps in your flooring. These gaps should diminish in the summer time when the humidity is higher. Cupping or crowning is caused by high moisture levels. This in not normal and indicates a water or moisture problem in the home. Before your raw hardwood floor is sanded and finished, you may notice high spots, chips and nail holes at wall lines. These things will be resolved during the sanding and finishing process. During the installation, it is impossible to tell how a board will appear after it is stained. Wood is a natural product and variations add to the beauty.