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Hardwood Flooring Dos and Don’ts

A traditional flooring option that has been relied upon for centuries, hardwood offers a high-end look that can be easily integrated into any interior design style. Along with its coveted appearance, hardwood flooring will also add structural strength to properties. Although it is a versatile flooring choice, hardwood does have some requirements. Take a look below at the most important hardwood flooring dos and don’ts:



  • Choose a hardwood species that will stand up to the type of foot traffic you expect in the area you wish to have it installed; the Janka Hardness Scale will inform you about this
  • Consult the terms and conditions of your purchase, including all warranty and maintenance information
  • Hire a professional installer if you have little or no experience installing hardwood floors.
  • With unfinished hardwood flooring options, consult contractors and manufacturer recommendations about which finish or stain is most appropriate for your choice of hardwood flooring
  • Choose an appropriate moisture barrier to rest between the subfloor and your hardwood flooring in order to add another level of protection
  • Expect color variations, as hardwood is a natural material.
  • Use DRY mops and vacuums to keep your new hardwood flooring clear of dirt and dust
  • See to your pets nails, spills, “accidents”, and other issues immediately


  • Install hardwood flooring in an area that will be subject to excessive moisture. This means avoiding an installation in “below grade” locations (like a basement for instance) or in bathrooms
  • Install hardwood flooring in an area that is not environmentally controlled all year long – say, in a cottage or summer home that is not constantly maintained
  • Use wax-based cleaners or harsh detergents that will dull the finish of the hardwood flooring
  • Use steel wool or any other abrasives to clean a hardwood floor
  • Use excessive water when cleaning a hardwood floor as it can cause damage
  • Walk on your hardwood flooring with athletic spikes or high-heels
  • Install hardwood flooring over radiant heat. For this, it is best to consider engineered hardwood flooring options that are designed to allow for the temperature variations resulting from radiant heat
  • Leave damp rugs on the surface of hardwood flooring for an extended period

For more detail on how to install and maintain a hardwood floor, it’s helpful to talk directly with the professionals. Valuable resources include contractors with experience installing hardwood floors, and BuildDirect’s knowledgeable product experts. Call 1-877-631-2845 or email sales@builddirect.com if you have any questions, we’d love to hear from you.

(14) Comments

  1. I like that you mentioned choosing hardwood flooring that will be durable enough against the type of traffic you’ll have. My sister is looking to get wood flooring in her kitchen. I’ll be sure to talk to her about getting the right type so it will hold up alright.

  2. Is it ok to have a bed on small castor wheels on a hardwood floor or di I need to take special precautions?

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team

      Hi Mike,

      Thank you for getting in touch! The wheel should be fine on the floor but I would still suggest using the foam pads underneath to avoid any scratching or scuffing. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  3. Thanks so much for your advice to hire a professional installer for your hardwood floors if you don’t have lots of experience installing this type of floor yourself. I imagine that even for someone who has handled a project like this before it would still be nice to have a professional handle it. The time it would save you could very well be worth more than the money you would spend.

  4. I’m glad that you can have an unfinished hardwood floor installed, as long as you apply a stain to it. My husband and I really like the look of unfinished wood in the house, so we don’t want to buy something that is all nice and polished. We’ll be sure to find a floor we like, and then talk to a professional about good stains that can be applied.

  5. This was a great list! I think one other Do that could be added is, Do make sure to acclimate your new hardwood floor properly before installing. Great article!

  6. These do’s and don’ts of hardwood flooring are really insightful. I’ve always been interested in having this type of floor installed in my home. Though I would agree that it’s helpful to talk directly with professional. It would probably give a better understanding of what option is best for you home.

  7. Thank you for the tips. These are really helpful. I think the Don’t list is an invaluable list to follow. Thanks for the information on not putting hardwood in basements. We were actually considering doing hardwood in our basement. I agree that it may not be the best idea. I love the look of hardwood floors and will do them in our upstairs.

  8. I thought these were some really great points to think about when considering hard wood floors. I know pretty much nothing about flooring so I would probably have to get a professional. I had never thought about considering the moisture factor, but it makes sense. So I’m glad I read this. Thanks!

  9. When I moved into my home, the first renovation that I knew I was going to make was change the old, green carpet into beautiful hardwood floors. That being said, you talk about how if you aren’t experienced in taking care of this project, it’s important to hire a professional contractor and installer because they will know what materials to put in and how to do it. Overall, I think that this is a really good idea because it will ensure that I get this project done right and I’m happy with how my house looks. Thank you for sharing!

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team

      Hi Lauren,

      Thank you for your feedback! We always suggest working with someone experienced to ensure you have the best outcome possible and we’re glad you agree! Please let us know if there is anything we can help out with!

  10. Great information shared about hardwood flooring. It’s a really big help knowing about this information because not only we know what to do so that we can maintain it, there are also useful tips on how we should install it and were it’s best to be put. There are even person and company’s to be contacted when we want to install it. Thank you for sharing this information.

  11. please inform me if you do installation in brampton ontario and what i9s the cost per sq. ft please also send me the phone numbers of the people or company who can give me an estimate my floor is approx 500 sq.ft.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team

      Hi Eric,
      Thank you for your question! We don’t currently offer installation services in Brampton, Ontario but some great sites to start your search for an installer are:

      The Better Business Bureau
      Angie’s list

      You can also check out this article here that breaks down the steps to selecting an installer. Thanks again!

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