Once you’ve decided to install timber floorboards - and you’ve found the best floorboards for your home - it’s time to get them installed. Here’s the process you can expect when you work with a professional timber flooring installer:Area preparation
Before your new floor can be laid, the area will need to be fully prepared to give the best results. This will change slightly depending on the materials underneath and the type of floorboards. The floor underneath needs to be dry, clean, and stable. Ideally, all skirting boards, doors, and door frames will be removed at this stage, too. Also, timber floorboards usually require some level of acclimatisation before being laid to adjust to the temperature and moisture levels to prevent warping and shrinkage. So, you’ll need to leave the boards open in the room where they’ll be laid. This process can take up to a week.Installation
Before installing your floorboards, your timber floor installer will lay your choice of moisture-proofing and insulation material. Insulation is important to reduce the noise of floorboards and help regulate the temperature of the house. Once the underneath layers are in place, the new boards will be installed. The method of installation will vary with the materials chosen - solid timber floors need a substructure underneath that they can be secured to, whereas engineered boards can be laid directly over tiles, concrete, or other wooden boards. The boards are usually installed parallel to the longest length of the room, or is visible from the front door, perpendicular to the door.
Before laying the boards, your installer will usually plan out the layout to make sure the lengths, colours, grades, and variations in the timber are spread throughout the floor. They’ll glue or nail your floorboards in place, allowing for a small gap around the perimeter (that will be covered by skirting boards) for expansion.Cutting & shaping
Once the bulk of your floor has been laid, your installer will carefully measure, cut, and install smaller board sections around corners, cupboards, and doorways. This ensures a tight finish that blends with the overall design.Cleanup & finish
If you’ve chosen solid floorboards, they may need to be sanded to a level finish, stained, and sealed with a top coat to protect the wood from scratches and damage. This process might mean you can’t finish the installation and cleanup for a few days. If you’ve chosen engineered floorboards, they are usually pre-sealed, leaving them ready to use. Once the floors are ready, the doors, skirting boards, and door frames are all attached and painted if they need a fresh coat. Then your contractor will clean up the room and any work areas that were used for cutting and painting.Repairs & restoration
Over time, wooden floors can get damaged from water, pets, furniture, high heels, and even dirt. If the damage is minor, you may be able to refinish the surface with light sand
, a new coat of sealant, and polishing. More extensive structural damage may need a professional floor repair specialist
who can assess and fix the problem correctly.