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A Short Guide on Installing Hardwood Floors

Walnut, maple, Brazilian cherry, oh my! The variety of choices, starting from the domestic select-and-better, red oak to the exotic tigerwood, are endless (sarcastically speaking), but the install process is always the same. Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

Article title "A Short Guide on Installing Hardwood Floors" with a kitchen with hardwood floors in the background

Hardwood flooring and kitchen remodels go hand in hand; they could be considered close relatives (in terms of interior projects). In other words, if you are considering a kitchen remodel, then you are most likely considering having your contractor install new, hardwood flooring. We will leave the installation details to another article, but knowing the process of installation will prepare you for your upcoming project.


Interior of home that has been partially demoed

Out with the old and in with the new. Flooring remodeling projects always start with demolition. On this project, we removed all of existing flooring, removed a wall, relocated electrical as necessary, and hauled away the debris. Demo generally takes 1-2 days to complete.


Interior of the home after demo is complete as well as neatly cleaned and organized

The next step in the flooring install process is prepping the subfloor. This includes inspecting the subfloor for level and being intact. Pieces of the subfloor will be replaced as necessary. Also, a layer of underlayment will be installed. This process takes 1 day.

In addition, between finishing demo and starting prep, you will want to have the hardwood flooring delivered and brought inside the home, so the hardwood can acclimate to the temperature of the inside of the home. This takes 3 days.

Pro Note: After hundreds of residential remodeling projects, we have found that maintaining a neat, clean, and organized work environment is essential to a project's speed. Plus, the installers and you - the homeowner - find the remodeling experience much more enjoyable. So, "keeping it clean" is a rule for us.


The final phase of the remodel is installing the hardwood planks. Natural hardwood (like 2-1/4" red oak) is packaged in 20 square-foot bundles with varying lengths of planks. For instance, one plank may be 24" and another may be 12". When the install is finished, the varying lengths create a beautiful, random mosaic.

Once the install is finished, the stain needs to be applied and a top-coat of poly as well. There are a myriad of stain color options available from dark walnut to cherry to natural oak. The stain colors the wood and the poly protects the wood from being easily scratched and damaged by water. The poly also provides a shine.

The install, stain, and poly process takes about 5 days to complete.

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