Hardwood Floor Installations
Looking to have new wood floors installed? We can help. Installing new hardwood floors is one of the best home improvements you can do. We’ve been installing all types of wood floors for over 15 years. From solid wood flooring to engineered. Floating, to glue down to nail down floors. Pre-finished and site finished floors. We have years of expertise in all types and styles of wood floor installations.
Unfinished reclaimed barnwood engineered flooring acclimating before installation
Concrete slab just before we started levelling it
Well into the installation. This product is being glued down to the concrete slab
Reclaimed barnwood floor all finished after installation and refinishing work
The Installation Process
STEP 1: After you select your flooring, we will arrange to have it delivered to your home. It then needs to undergo acclimation (adjusting to the rooms environment) before we can install it. You can read about the acclimation process here.
STEP 2: Once the floor is acclimated we start preparing your sub-floor. (If you have an existing floor covering like carpet, vinyl flooring, laminate, we can remove it for you too.) We clean the sub-floor and check for flatness. If there are highs or lows, we grind down or fill in those areas to ensure a flat surface to install over. If this process is not done correctly, you can end up with a squeaky, loose, unstable floor.
Some subfloors also need priming with specialized products to ensure proper adhesion, as in the case of a glue down install over concrete and gypsum.
STEP 3: Installation begins. The method will vary depending on the type of flooring material you selected as well as the type of subfloor you have. Our most popular installation methods here in the Hilton Head Island area are glue down for engineered flooring and nail down for solid wood. The installation methods are the same for both pre-finished and site finished floors.
What is the difference between site finished and pre-finished flooring?
The biggest difference is that with pre-finished flooring, the finish is already on the floor. This means the time frame from install to ‘ready to walk on’ is much shorter compared to a site finished floor. Once the installation is finished, your floors are ready to go. No sanding, no finish is applied, no waiting for anything to dry. Your furniture can be moved back in straight away.
And because the finish is sprayed on and UV cured in a sealed factory setting, it is tough, smooth and flawless. There will also be zero fumes and VOCs as this process is all done in the factory.
The biggest drawback to this is the bevels on the edges on most pre-finished flooring. The bevels are needed to compensate for variances in both the product thickness and the sub-floor. A lot of people don’t like this look verses a bevel-less, sanded flat, site finished floor. The grooves also gather dust so extra cleaning is needed. Also, if you ever need to re-sand your pre-finished floor, you will need to remove a lot of wood to level out the bevels.
Site finished floors, on the other hand, will give you a seamless, flat, bevel free surface. They are much easier to clean and you also have much more freedom for customization. You can choose custom stain colors, intricate inlays and borders, plus a huge choice of finishes and sheen levels.
The drawbacks to site finished floors are they take extra time. They need to be sanded, coated and left to dry. This usually averages out to about twice as long compared to a pre-finished install. Also, because the flooring isn’t sanded, and the finish isn’t applied, in a climate controlled factory environment, there will be signs of handcrafted work in a site finished floor.
In the end, it will come down to the look you want and the timeframe you have to work within. As we sell and install both pre-finished AND site finished flooring, we have no bias to either. Both have their place. When you pop by our showroom in Ridgeland SC, or have us come out for a free estimate, we can discuss the options for your flooring project in greater detail.
We have some more information about hardwood floor installations in the links below…
Further Information:What is the difference between solid and engineered flooring? Are all engineered floors made the same? I have a concrete slab, what type of wood floor can I install? I have a gypsum sub-floor. What type of wood flooring is possible to install? What type of wood floor can I install over a plywood sub-floor? How long does the flooring need to acclimate before you install it?
We had Kevin and crew do two jobs for us-new flooring in our new home and a re-finish in our old. They were professional and dependable. The floors were done beautifully and I would highly recommend Specialty Flooring to anyone looking for hardwood floors... We will definitely use them again should the need arise!Erin Dean – Hilton Head Island | 5 Star Review on Facebook
Hilton Head SC
Palmetto Bluff SC
Hilton Head Island