How to Fit Hardwood Flooring Around Radiator Pipes and Other Obstacles
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There are several ways to give your home a facelift and one is to install hardwood flooring. Hardwood flooring is a premium addition to any home and will add both aesthetic and financial value. Not only does it look great, but it is very durable and can come in a variety of options from oak to cherry.
If you want to cut down on costs, one way to save money is to fit the hardwood flooring yourself.
3 Common Tricky Obstacles When Installing Hardwood
This feature comparing DIY and professional hardwood flooring installations explains that all you need is a miter saw, floor stapler, and compressor. That is, if you're installing conventional flooring. Easiklip Flooring is much easier to install - you won't need the stapler or compressor!
Unfortunately, going the DIY route also means you are likely to encounter trouble spots, or areas that have "obstacles" that make flooring installation a bit trickier.
Three of the most common obstacles you'll probably face are:
- Corners, and
- Unnaturally shaped walls.
Fortunately, there are work-arounds that'll help you deal with each one.
Check Your Radiator For These Issues Before Installing Hardwood
Invariably, working around your home’s radiator might prove to be the trickiest and most challenging part of this DIY. Yet before you start any work, now is the time to check that everything is working correctly with the radiator.
The last thing you want to do is to pull up your newly fixed floorboards after discovering your radiator needs fixing or replacing. A HomeServe Living guide to diagnosing common radiator problems outlines the different things you should check for.
Here's a quick list of the things your should check with your radiator before beginning a hardwood installation around it:
- the boiler and timer,
- the radiator valve,
- the lockshield valve, and
- the diverter valve.
If unsure, call a professional to check – it will be cheaper than tearing up the floor.
How To Fit Hardwood Flooring Around Your Radiator
Once you’re done scrutinizing your radiator, you can start working around it. An SFGATE article on laying wood floors around a radiator notes that the process will, in most cases, require you to remove the radiator first, especially if it is a cast-iron one.
An alternative will be to jack it up enough for you to slip the hardwood flooring underneath. Another work-around is to mark a rectangular perimeter encasing the base of the radiator, and using it to install the flooring around your home’s heating system.
Whichever option you take, give your radiator a final look-over just to make sure you didn’t damage anything while installing the flooring.
For some further help, take a look at this short video that will guide you through fitting your flooring around radiator pipes:
How To Fit Hardwood Flooring Around Corners
Corners are common obstacles when installing flooring. Lay out the boards first without nailing them, making sure that the board you place approaching a given corner extends a few inches past the corner's edge then mark and cut accurately. This way you won’t fall short, which will require pulling up the floorboard or adding a smaller piece.
Here's a handy video that demonstrates the process:
Installing Hardwood Around Unnaturally Shaped Walls
Another obstacle you might encounter is a curved or unnaturally shaped wall. In this case, push a piece of paper against the wall and cut it to match the curved shape. When you're done, lay out on a flat surface the number of boards that would sufficiently cover the curve. Place the cut out piece of paper over the laid out boards, trace the shape of the curve using a marker, and then cut each board along the trace. Afterwards, proceed as you would, but starting from the curved spot and working your way out.
This can be quite complex and time consuming. Here's a video that explains it in great detail:
Finishing If All Off With Moldings
When you've got the above trouble spots covered, you'll need to make sure that your floor is even throughout. In particular, you must check doorways or anywhere the floors of two rooms meet. This is where T-molding installation will come into play.
T-molding is one of the most common transitions in doorways, and is also used to join hardwood floors in large areas due to expansion gaps caused by expansion and contraction. With those gaps filled and the above obstacles cleared, you'll be well on your way to giving your home's floor a stunning facelift.
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- Ashley Marks