Installing hardwood floor sounds like an easy task but it is actually an art. Doing this right can make the difference between having a beautiful, professionally installed floor or a complete disaster. The installation process has different steps but we will be specifically discussing “racking”
Racking is the talent of laying down hardwood floor in a way so that it looks uniform and beautiful. This is a very important step as it will give you the opportunity to see the floor layout and replace any imperfections before it is nailed or glued down.
Below are some tips to help you out in your next project:
- Take the flooring boxes to the job site at least 5 days before starting the new project so the wood will have some time to acclimatize to the environment.
- This step should not be overlooked. Measure the moisture on your floor and your subfloor. Be aware this will change depending on your location. Your wood flooring needs to reach a similar moisture content with its surroundings to avoid cupping or shrinkage.
- Be careful when placing your joints, don’t let them come too close, and even worse, touch each other. Keep in mind you need to align them at least every 2 rows.
- Avoid odd color variation by taking boards from different boxes and laying them out.
- Stand back and look at the overall appearance – can you see any imperfections? Do you see a damaged or misplaced plank? Replace any board if needed and have a second look.
- At this step, it is always a good idea to include your client and request their feedback. This is an opportunity for you to share how the final floor will look before finishing the job. This way you will avoid surprises and changes of heart.
Racking, at the beginning, can take a lot of time but it is always worth it. It is an excellent way to show your client the final design. This will avoid having awkward client conversations and flooring remorse.