Prior to my attempt at fitting wood flooring, I had a whole heap of comments from family and friends saying how many times they have seen flooring fitted by an amateur that bows and rises in the middle. In fact one builder that was on site the day I started to lay my first ever flooring said that he once turned up to a house where the wood was literally at knee height in the middle!
So once you have taken delivery of your genuine solid oak flooring it is important you acclimatise it, now I was originally was told the let it sit in the room you will be doing for 24 – 48 hours, but being a stickler for noising around the web I found out that 72 hours is the ideal. It certainly gives you time to get yourself in the mindset to do the job.
Remembering that you also need to lay the underlay prior to fitting the actual floor, you might well get tempted to skimp on the underlay, my word of advise is DON’T! You can get suckered in like I did on my first job and think that cheap underlay and flooring will do just fine, in reality both lack quality meaning it takes more of an effort to put together, a lesson I learned the hard way! I was quite luckily I had a carpenter working on another project to lift my spirits after I finished the job, he was the one who gave me the advice to always buy better quality as it will reduce the workload!
When picking the underlay I went for sound absorption as well as some thermal assistance, mine was silver lined but you can get all sorts. So once you have laid the underlay you can focus on the main job! You could quickly get carried away with putting the flooring down blissfully unaware that the flooring actually needs some breathing space away from the wall in order for it to expand and contract dependent on the temperature of the house. An easy way to ensure that the flooring has enough room is to use some spacer devices, they are cheap – well you could in fact use a couple of off cuts of wood!
Like I have mentioned before I have never laid solid wood flooring and can only relay my interaction with the laminate I have put down, I do however intend to upgrade and buy engineered oak flooring, if only to see what the real difference is like!
I found that after being quite disheartened from my first job it took me a few weeks to gear up to the next one, which was a room double the size. You have to bear in mind it took me two days to do the first room! But amazingly I managed the whole just in just six hours, although I will admit I had the help of youngest who was six at the time! Either way it boosted my confidence and I get quite excited now at the prospect and laying flooring! (Don’t let the Mrs know or I wont get any brownie points!)
Its also worth noting that in the winter months, the flooring is cold so either get a rug or a snug pair of slippers! (or just keep your shoes on!) You can however do as the Mrs does, send me to the kitchen to fetch a cup of tea and slice of cake meaning you don’t have to leave the comfort of the blanket and couch!