Yes, you can install Hardwood yourself. A lot of people do. You would need a nailer which you rent at Handyman Rental or a place like that, and a table saw or chop saw. As for cost on a 13.5ft by 18 ft. room. (243 sq. ft.), you would be looking at about 4.00 per sqft.($972.00) and up. It depends on species, grade and things like that. There are also some other things to know about hardwood, such as what kind of sub floor, humidity levels in your home, and what to expect from your Hardwood.
You can put pre finished wood on stairs. You will need a stair nosing to hold the tread and the riser together. You should glue the tread and the riser. If you do not like the look of the stair nosing you have to go with a solid stair tread with a nosing and the pre finished wood on the riser.
There are lots of different laminates out there today. There are many differences between them and if you're interested in laminate, you should have a professional show you the difference.Some things to consider are density of core, overall thickness, moisture protection, quality locking system, quality accoustic underlayment, availability of mouldings and of course, your favorite look.Some features you will find are textured pieces, bevel edge products, laminate that looks like tile and high pressure laminate (high impact resistence).We carry a number of the top name brands in laminate including Pergo, Armstrong, Wilsonart, and Alloc among many others.Myth Buster: Not all laminates are the same. You have to determine if the features that a particular laminate offers is right for the application in your home.Myth Buster: Laminate underlayment is not a cusion or an insulator. Because a laminate is a "floating" floor, it does not sound solid or "built in" without an accoustic underlay. Concrete subfloors need a moisture barrier as well.Myth Buster: Moisture warranties do not mean the laminate is water "proof". The core of laminate is made of various types of MDF or HDF. Nearly all HDF core matterial is manufactured differently but it is still a wood product. Take great care to remove spills from your floor immediately.I hope this addresses some things for you John. I'd love to give you a tour at the store sometime if you want to get a closer look at what's available.My name is Ryley Haskins and you can contact me at 1-800-667-3989
Yes, however consider the fact that particle board is not as enduring as the hardwood that is being installed above. It may be worth the time and money to install a better quality subfloor.
See if you can get some Varsol. This works great when clean old hardwood floors prior to waxing (if the floors are in relatively good condition). Varsol is applied with a rag and emulsifies the old wax and remove dirt. Then you apply paste wax to the desired luster. It is a bit of work but will give you super results.
Particle board is not an appropriate subsurface for hardwood flooring. There is too big of a difference in the expected lifespan of the particle board versus the hardwood floor. I would recommend having the particle board taken up and a new layer of 5/8" plywood installed. This will give you better results. Hope this helps.
The best way to get a square line is to find the middle of the area in which you are working to mark your line. Measure the diagonal distance between the two opposite corners to find the mid-point of the room. Then, measure off of your sidewalls the same distance marking points to draw the line across the room. Double check for accuracy and you should be ready to start laying flooring.
Hardwood flooring match up is a problem. If you are using prefinished flooring, you may want to consider defining the foyer flooring as a contrast to the hardwood you can find to go in the living room. This could be done with a strip that acts as an inlay.If you are using unfinished flooring, you might need to replace the foyer flooring with the same hardwood as the living room and have all of it finished the same.
The most common finish applied to hardwood in our area is a water based urethane finish. There are other types of finishes on the market, one being WearMax for example.
Typically, hardwood floors underneath carpet have a waxed finish. These floors can be stripped and a new wax finish reapplied. Most hardwood floors today have a polyurethane finish that is easier to maintain than waxed floors. In order to apply a polyurethane finish all of the wax must be removed with a drum sander. This is a process that Home Floor Center does not provide but I recommend that this process be done by a professional in order to get a beautiful lasting finish.