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Old 10-18-2017, 10:59 PM   #1
Steve in Denver
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Mile High City
Posts: 897
New hardwood floor install...questions.

I am having new hardwood floors installed in my house. I considered doing it myself, but I'm not sure I would get a good result with applying the finish...and that's assuming I'd do a good job sanding...and installing.

It's a very straightforward floor...2-1/4" (or something like that) red oak.

Questions are:

1. How much time is needed to acclimate the wood before installing. I've read and heard many different things, ranging from "it's a waste of time" to "10 days at a minimum" I have also read that you need to acclimate one additional week after installation before filling/finishing. Three local installers have told me 3 days minimum, maybe as much as 7. One suggested that it wasn't really necessary but he does it because that's what the manufacturer recommends.

2. What type of finish? Advice on this is all over the map. Cost of the finish is not much of a concern - the overall job has a high price tag, so an extra $500 wouldn't be an issue. I'm looking for a durable finish that looks good. The house isn't occupied, so if a stinky oil based finish is better, I can wait for it to cure and stop smelling bad...but I'm not in any way opposed to the water borne finishes either. Specific brand and product recommendations welcomed...If I had to pick something myself I'd probably go with Bona traffic HD.

3. One installer said they could install the wood in either direction (parallel or perpendicular to the joists), another installer said he would only install perpendicular (unless I signed a waiver). Subfloor is 17.5mm OSB in serviceable condition, but definitely not new. Joists are I-joist 16" on center. In one area (top of stairs) parallel to the joists would be the "natural" way to do it. Is there a rule on this? I might be able to install a second layer of 1/2" ply, but that might be problematic. I might be able to remove the existing subfloor and install something new (and slightly thicker) if that would make things better...not sure if it would be worth all the hassle, though.
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