If you’re a do-it-yourselfer and plan on installing a hardwood floor in your home this winter, Jim Vonch has a couple of tips for you to keep in mind.
Vonch is flooring sales rep at Schilling Design Center and Lumber Yard in Mokena. He speaks from experience. He has worked in the flooring industry for 17 years.
1. Before you start, he insists you acclimate hardwood-flooring products in your home.
“Acclimating is very important for the product,” Vonch said. “What that means is you have to take the product into the home and I usually open up the ends of the boxes. You want to get that in there—I like to do a minimum of three days.
“Get that in the home. The wood has to get used to your environment. It climate-izes to your environment. Wood can expand or contract. If you start installing before acclimating, you could get some peaking. It’s going to move a lot and could cause all kinds of problems.”
2. Is your house too dry? Are you running your humidifier?
“I get calls from customers, ‘Oh, my gosh, I have a gap in between my pre-finished floor,” Vonch said. “Well, you might want to get a little more humidity in there so that gap will close up a little bit.
“But in the spring, she will close up. So, don’t fill them. Don’t put any wood putty in there if they’re open. If they’re too big and they’re everywhere, that’s a whole different ballgame. Something’s not right.”
3. Get acquainted with how to clean your new hardwood floor.
“You don’t want to use anything abrasive,” Vonch said. “You don’t want to use anything oily or waxy—like they used to do in the olden days. You want to stay away from that in case you ever want to refinish your floor and you sand it and you can reapply polyurethane on it and have it work without it bubbling off because of the wax and oils.”
He recommends trying hardwood-cleaning products manufactured by Bona.