Wood flooring looks beautiful, and it's usually easier to clean than carpet. If you want to install your own hardwood floors, you need to prepare the area carefully. For the best results, keep these tips in mind.

1. Always Buy Extra Flooring

To determine how much flooring you need, measure your room carefully. However, keep in mind that due to how the flooring fits in your room, you may end up cutting some of your pieces and not using them all. To ensure you have ample amounts of flooring, always buy a bit more than you think you need. This is especially important if your flooring is special ordered. 

2. Clean the Subfloor

To ensure that the underlayment and the hardwood flooring fit tightly against your floor, you need to thoroughly clean the subfloor. Remove as much as you can buy hand, and then, you may need to use an electric sander to remove stubborn adhesives, waxes, and sealers from your old flooring. 

3. Check Moisture Levels

Because subfloors tend to be made from plywood, they hold some moisture. Hardwood flooring can only be near certain levels of moisture. Check the manufacturer's specifications on your flooring, and then measure the moisture of your subfloor with a moisture reader to ensure you have the right environment for your flooring. If your floors have too much moisture, you should contact a hardwood floor installation professional to help you address the issue.

4. Repair Subfloor Issues

If you want your hardwood floors to stand the test of time, you need to give them a solid base. To that end, take some time to repair any subfloor issues. Replace warped subfloors as well as wood with cracks or holes. 

5. Check Clearance Under Doors

Before you start to install your hardwood floors, you need to ensure that they can fit properly underneath your doors. Take your underlayment, moisture barrier, and hardwood floor and stack them all together. Then, place this stack on the floor and see if you can open your doors. If not, you can trim the bottom of your doors.

6. Don't Forget an Expansion Gap

Hardwood flooring needs expansion gaps so that if the wood expands over time, it doesn't buckle. To create an expansion gap, remove the baseboards from around your room. When you install the hardwood flooring, leave a small gap between the flooring and the wall. Ideally, your baseboards should cover that gap so it's not visible. 

7. Consider Professional Installation 

Your hardwood floors are an investment in your home, and if you want to ensure they look great, you may want to avoid the DIY approach and hire a professional. To learn more about hardwood flooring, contact a company in your area like All Brite Floors, Inc.