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Before Your Hardwood Arrives

Answers to: “How can I prepare for installation day?”

The topic here is hardwood installation. And it’s another flooring area where Baker Bros. shines like few others.

We manage hundreds of flooring installations every week. Week in and week out. The fact is, nobody knows installation better.

That’s why, when it comes to installing your hardwood flooring, we offer you…

More answers per square foot.

Answers that underline the fact that, with us, you never go it alone. And we have over 60 years of customer relationships to support that.

At Baker Bros., the place “Where Fashion Meets Flooring,” we have a reputation for always being there.

A history of helping customers through all the steps involved in shopping for and buying hardwood.

We also believe our guidance, and presence, doesn’t end at our store doors. It continues all the way through installation, and well after.

But our role now, in this section, is to help you be knowledgeable and prepared for the big day when new hardwood flooring will transform your home.

Being ready for the installation of your hardwood will make the entire process go faster, more efficiently, and hopefully eliminate any “surprises.”  For example, it is not recommended that hardwood flooring be installed in full bathrooms.

Knowing what to expect and being prepared will also be a lot less stressful on you, your family and your home.

So check out the information below, be flexible and anticipate, then look forward with confidence to the day your new hardwood comes home.

Our first advice is a recommendation.

Hardwood is a significant investment in your home. Installing hardwood flooring is hard, exacting -- detailed. We strongly recommend that you have it done by Baker Bros., seasoned, meticulous professionals with over 6 decades of flooring experience.

That way you can be assured of a beautiful, efficient and correct installation.

However, while installing hardwood flooring is a skill that is developed through years of experience, your understanding of the basics of installation will increase your knowledge of the process and enhance your confidence in the professionals working in your home. So let’s cover some of the basics.

There are four methods of installing hardwood flooring.

1. Glue Down: this method is all about adhesives.

The recommended adhesive is spread on with the proper sized trowel to adhere the wood flooring to the sub-floor.

You should know that engineered wood floors and parquets can be glued down. Solid strip floors and plank floors can only be nailed or stapled.

2. Nail Down: today’s solid method.

This process is typically used with the 3/4" solid products; however there are adapters available for thinner flooring sizes as well.

2" nailing cleats are used with a wood flooring nailer and mallet to attach the flooring to the subfloor.

Please be aware that Solid Strip floors or Plank floors can only be installed on wooden subfloors on grade or above grade, and thus are not recommended for the concrete slab subfloors of Arizona.

3. Staple Down: pneumatics at work.

With this method 1-1/2 to 2 inch staples are used versus nailing cleats to attach the wood flooring to the subfloor.

A pneumatic gun is used to drive the staple into the wood flooring and subfloor. Not all wood flooring manufacturers recommend the same staple gun so using our professional installers will insure that the right staple gun and right size staples are utilized.

4. Floating: padding and glue partner here.

With the floating installation method the floor is not mechanically fastened to any part of the subfloor.

A thin pad is placed between the wood flooring and the subfloor. Then, depending on the product and manufacturer, wood glue is applied in the tongue and groove of each plank to hold the planks together.

The padding has its advantages: it protects against moisture, reduces noise transmission, is softer under foot, and provides for some additional "R" value.

Some engineered floors and all Longstrip floors can be floated. This is a very fast, easy and clean method of installing your floor.

What to know and do before installation day

Furniture is job number one.

Remove all furniture and other objects and materials from the areas where the installation will take place.

Before moving, you’ll also need to empty the contents of china cabinets, closets and the like.

Be aware that the area of installation must be climate controlled (heated or air conditioned). Hardwood flooring manufacturers require that indoor humidity should be maintained between 45-65%.

What’s to be done with your present floor covering?

Please consider how your old floor covering will be taken up and disposed of. This can be a time consuming and messy task. We recommend that you check with us about the cost and the method of disposal.

If you prefer to remove your present floor covering youself, do it at least one day prior to arrival of your hardwood product to allow for cleanup and floor preparation. If removing old carpet, please leave tack strips in place and pull the staples out of the floor from the original pad.

Now turn your attention to the room’s trim.

You should know that, in many cases, moldings and baseboards need to be removed for hardwood installation. Our installers will do this for an additional charge but will not be responsible for damage or breakage due to dry or brittle wood.

Painted baseboards, woodwork and paint may need retouching after the installation is complete. If necessary, this is your responsibility.

Have a plan regarding the subflooring.

Your existing sub-floor may need to be prepared to receive the hardwood, or a new sub-floor may be required. The condition of your subfloor cannot be determined until the existing flooring has been removed.

The first step our installers take is to closely inspect your subfloor for any imperfections. Should your subfloor require additional labor to allow us to meet the manufacturer’s requirements for installation, we will discuss this with you prior to any additional work being done. Please note that most manufacturers require a level subfloor with a tolerance of 3/16” every 10 feet.

Don’t forget door operation.

When hardwood flooring is installed, there’s always the possibility that the doors, especially closet doors, basement and bedroom doors, may not clear the new hardwood flooring and swing free.

Our installers will remove doors in order to install the hardwood flooring and re-hang them. If there is a clearance issue you will need to arrange for a qualified carpenter to shave or cut down your door(s) after the installation of your new hardwood. If necessary, this is your responsibility.

Finally, think about the clean-up.

Installing new hardwood flooring will produce waste. These materials will be collected and disposed of by our installers.

What to know and do during installation day

Installation day requires your presence.

Be prepared to be at home the day of installation and be available in case our installation team has questions. Your presence will insure that the correct hardwood flooring is installed in the right areas. Because it is difficult to estimate the length and circumstances of each job, we may not be able to give you an exact time of arrival but we will provide a time frame.

With us it’s safety at all times.

Our installers will use a variety of tools and techniques that can make the work area hazardous. Please make sure that your children and pets are kept out of the work area on installation day.

Please walk through and ask away.

We recommend that, prior to the completion of the installation; you walk through the job with our installation team. This will give you the opportunity to ask questions and be clear on any final details.

What to know and do after installation day

Clear the air.

If you are sensitive to dust and odors, good ventilation should be established for 48 to 72 hours after installation.

Being prepared is the result of being informed.

We want you to be as well prepared as possible for the installation of your new hardwood floor. To that end we’ve assembled the most knowledgeable sales people and the most experienced installers to provide you with solid information, reliable resources and proven solutions.

Since 1945, Baker Bros. has helped thousands of customers prepare for installation day by offering them…

More answers per square foot.

Baker Bros offers:

Arizona Flooring

Flooring in Phoenix

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Phoenix Hardwood Floors

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