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Installing Hardwood Floors: DIY Gone Wrong

We bought our home in Nashville this past June and it is definitely a fixer-upper. Before we moved in Jared refinished the 1.5 inch white oak hardwood floors on the top floor, which are original to the house. (They're beautiful, by the way. But that's to be expected, right?) Built in 1968, our home also has a walk-out basement that features some pretty awful laminate floors. We knew we wanted to replace them with hardwood floors some day, but that's years in the future. We have many other things to do first, so for now we gotta live with the ugly.

Owning a flooring company has its advantages, the biggest one being that we (and by we I mean Jared) actually have the tools and knowledge to install a floor properly. We're even in the first stages of designing a completely custom floor that no one without Jared's expertise would ever attempt. But when it comes to a simple hardwood floor, there are many DIY enthusiasts out there who get it all wrong. Very, very wrong.

Case in point: the previous owners of our home. Before we moved in our inspector told us that the previous owner had obviously done some work on the house but hadn't done a good job of it. The exposed electrical wiring downstairs was a dead giveaway. The second clue was the floor "transition" from the basement area to the bathroom (in addition to there being no door or trim.)

Do I really need to say anything else?

Not really, but it's sorta my job, so I will. This, I'll say is an extreme example of 1) lack of knowledge and 2) laziness. I do not lump all DIYers into the same group as this guy, because I know plenty of people do much better work than his. In fact, there are many who do a decent job of installing prefinished hardwood floors in their home. But I'm here to tell you that things can go downhill quickly when it comes to floors, and it's not easy or cheap to fix.

There are so many variables that come into play when installing ore refinishing a floor that it's difficult to name them all. Sub-floor issues. Moisture problems. This week Jared has been leveling a concrete sub-floor before he can even begin the real work. Sounds fun, huh? Not having the knowledge or tools to fix these problems can cost so much in the long run that it's worth at least getting an experts advice before you dive in.

Otherwise, you could end up with that, and it ain't pretty.

Need expert advice? Call us at 615-416-9039 and we'll be happy to answer any and all flooring questions! If you live in Nashville, Brentwood, or the surrounding area we can also schedule an in-home consultation to determine the best solution for your floors.

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