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How Long Does It Take To Install Hardwood Floors

by Arizona Hardwood Floor & Supply • February 24, 2023


Installing hardwood floors is one of the most popular and cost-effective home renovation projects, which can drastically improve the look and feel of any home. While the project may seem daunting and time-consuming, with proper planning and execution, it can be completed in less than a week. For example, a thousand square feet of hardwood flooring generally takes about a week to install.

Let's explore how long it takes to install wood floors, from preparation to completion.

Wood Floor Refinishing
 

First Steps To Installing Hardwood Flooring

Before you can install hardwood floors into your home, your wood floors need to acclimate, which takes approximately 2-7 days. Acclimation is the process of letting your flooring get "acclimated" in its new home. After that, it's essential that all "wet work," like spray painting, stonework, etc., is completed before moving on to floor installation.

Making sure the furniture is out of the way will make the installation process go quicker.

On the first day of installation, the existing flooring is removed, and the installers check the concrete for "flatness." More often than not, the subfloor needs to be flattened to accept hardwood flooring. This is done by either grinding the concrete or pouring leveling compound.

The compound usually takes approximately 12-24 hours to dry completely to allow hardwood flooring to be laid on top of it.

Dos And Don'ts Of Hardwood Flooring Installation

Do:

  • Pick a species of hardwood that works for the climate you live in
     
  • Make sure your subfloor is within flatness standards
     
  • Assess how your wood floor will transition to other surfaces like tile and carpet
     
  • Find a National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) certified installer
     
  • Use the correct products to clean and maintain your hardwood flooring

Don'ts:

  • Clean your floor with too much water or use an inappropriate cleaner
     
  • Use the wrong adhesive to glue the flooring down
     
  • Buy wood flooring at different times and expect the dyes to match (If you want the same color throughout your home, buy the proper square feet of wood at the same time to ensure it's the same color)
     
  • Expect hardwood floors to be scratch-proof (A wood floor is very durable, but it's still wood and can get scratches)
     
  • Lay a hardwood floor over an improper subfloor

Does Type Of Hardwood Affect Installation Time?

Yes, if you choose a prefinished floor, it will be a faster install than a custom hardwood floor that needs finished onsite. What is known to help speed up the installation process is installing over a flat concrete slab, as it reduces the "around-to-floor" prep that needs to be done.

Hire Or DIY

When it comes to installing wood floors, it's often better to hire professional installers. Professionals have the tools, skills, and expertise necessary to ensure that the job is done correctly. They also understand the complexities of hardwood floor installation and can help you avoid costly mistakes. However, if you're confident in your own skills and have the necessary tools, you may be able to install wood flooring yourself. Before you start, keep in mind that if it goes wrong, you'll have to pay someone to fix it, which will be costlier than having a professional do it in the first place.

Wood Types

Choosing the right type of wood flooring is an important decision when installing your new floors. Consider factors such as durability, moisture resistance, and ease of installation. Hardwood choices such as oak, maple, and cherry are popular for residential installations due to their classic look. If you're looking for a more modern style, bamboo or engineered wood may be a better option. Additionally, you can also choose from various finishes and colors to find the perfect fit for your home. Ultimately, you should choose the type of wood floor that best meets your needs and fits within your budget.

Wood For Wet Rooms

Hardwood flooring in a bathroom or other wet rooms is not recommended. The humidity and moisture levels in the area can cause the wood to swell or warp over time, and the moisture can cause mold and mildew to form.

Hardwood Flooring Acclimation

Before installing hardwood flooring, it's necessary to allow the boards to acclimate to the environment of the room. This involves laying them out in the space for a period of time so that they can adjust to the temperature and humidity levels. The exact amount of time needed will vary depending on conditions, but generally, it's recommended to leave them in place for anywhere from 2-7 days. During this time, check regularly and make sure there are no signs of warping or discoloration. Once this process is complete, you can proceed with the installation process.

Sealing After Installation


If you did not choose a prefinished hardwood floor, once your floor is installed, you will need to apply a finish to them. The type of finish you choose will depend on the look and feel that you want for the floor. There are several finishes available that provide different levels of protection, from light coats of wax to more durable polyurethane sealers. Make sure to research each type and select the one that best fits what you want. You should speak with a professional about which type of finish is best for your particular flooring material. This way, you can ensure that it is properly protected and maintains its beauty for many years to come. Keep in mind sealing is used for custom, unfinished wood flooring.

At Arizona Hardwood Floor Supply, most of the floors we install are prefinished and don't require sealing after installation. We do offer custom finish onsite options as well as refinishing options for existing hardwood flooring, you can learn more about that here.

Contact Arizona Hardwood Floor Supply Today

We are ready to answer your questions and provide expert advice on hardwood floor installation. We invite you to visit us at one of our 3 Valley locations or give us a call at (623) 742-9663 (WOOD) to speak to one of our friendly estimators or click here to contact us.