Tuesday, October 2, 2018

What You Need To Know About Installing Hardwood Floors At The Cottage

Installing new hardwood floors in your old cottage/chalet?

There are things that you should be aware of before you set the budget for this work;

How Level Is The Floor

There's a good chance that your floors are not going to be level and when you remove the old flooring whatever it is (carpet,tile, linoleum, hardwood) you are going to find more spots that are not level or at least not straight. These spots need to be fixed, either with floor leveler or with wood. Some spots can be fixed with floor leveler but that is only for spots that are not extreme or they are smaller area's. For larger area's or for parts of the floor that have siuk more dramatically you will need a more permanent fix.

Fixing larger area's means that you will have to sometimes remove the subfloor and raise the floor joist one by one with a jack from below. Depending on the problem like rot or structural failure you might have to replace the floor joist all together.

Floor leveler also does not work on older sub-floors that are not made of plywood, anything not made from plywood will allow the liquid floor leveler to leak through the joints to the space below.

Humidity or dampness

If the space below where the floor is damp or has high humidity then it is going to affect the floor above. If there is nothing you can do to change that fact then you need to take some steps to mitigate the damage that it could do to the floor above.
  • There is a floor glue that you can use that has a water proofing product in it. When applied properly it works not only to hold the floor in place but also to create a waterproof layer.
  • The old way of adding flooring paper does do some good to protect the floor but its more about allowing the flooring to slide together easier then protecting the floor from moisture.
  • Engineered wood flooring will survive better then full bed wood floors, the plywood backing helps stop the cupping from moisture.
Method Of Installation

Not all floors are installed the same way. The traditional way of installing hardwood floors by nailing them is still the most popular. It's easier to install a nailed down floor on older buildings where the sub-floor is not as straight.

But gluing down the floor especially engineered floors is becoming a lot more popular because of how well it works in holding the floor down and eliminating more of the squeaks.

There is also more and more people starting to do both nails and glues for maximum affect. The only difference is the cost of the labour to install as gluing makes the process longer.


Your hardwood floor should be delivered to your home and then left for anywhere from 2 days to a week before it is installed. This is called acclimatizing the floor.

Your home of chalet will have a different temperature and moisture level then the factory or warehouse that the floor is coming from. Doing this will ensure that the floor doesn't warp after it is released from its packaging and installed on the floor.


If your new hardwood is a re-install in an older home then you will have to decide what your going to do with your existing baseboards. You can either remove them and then try to re-install them after then new floor has been installed or you can leave them in place and run the floor up to them. Then you will have to add a piece of small trim like a 1/4 round to cover the left over gap.

Depending on the thickness of the floor you might have to cut back the trim that runs around the doors, if your new floor is thicker then the old floor then your door trim will be in the way and will need to be trimmed back to allow the new floor to slide underneath.


You are going to have to find some place to put your furniture when the floor is being installed. You either some other place in the house to put it or you rent a storage unit to move it too. The more times the flooring installers have to move your furniture the more labour time your going to have to pay for.

Installing new floors is like any other construction, its creates dust and dirt. Put in your budget for a good cleaning of the house when the floor is finished being installed.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

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