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Proper Preparation of Wood Floors Ensures Quality Flooring

You spend weeks researching the wood floors you will have installed in your home, but did you know that properly preparing the job site could have as much to do with the long-term performance of your floors as the species you choose?

If your home is new construction, wood flooring should not be delivered before all the wet trades are completed, such as dry wall and painting, the house is completely enclosed, the final grading has taken place, and the heating and cooling system is installed and functioning. Once these conditions are met, wood can be delivered to the job site.

After the wood is delivered, it will need to acclimate. The time required for this will vary depending on the type of wood flooring used, as well as the manufacturer's specifications, but generally, this process will take two to four days. Rushing this step could cause the wood to fail over time.

It's also important to understand that wood flooring will reflect the shape of its subfloor, so your contractor should make sure your subfloor is solid and flat. If there are high peaks, they should be sanded down. If there are low valleys, they should be filled in. Your contractor also should make sure that the subfloor is securely fastened to the flooring joists, which will prevent the floors from squeaking down the road.

Taking these simple, but important, steps to properly prepare the job site before your wood is installed will help contribute to the long-term performance of your floors. To learn more about the many benefits of wood flooring, visit the NWFA's consumer web site at, and click on the "All About Wood Floors" link. You also can find a wood flooring professional in your area by visiting the "Find a Professional or Product" link.

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