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Hardwood Installation and Finishing


Before We Begin

1. Remove All Furnishings We DO move furniture when it’s arranged in advance (priced per room by your sales rep), however we do not move furnishings like China cabinets, pianos, curio cabinets, antiques, etc.

Remove fragile items from shelves and frames from walls. Hammering, nailing, sanding all create a lot of vibration in the home and can cause items to fall from shelves and break. We recommend doing this even in areas below (like a basement) because of potential vibrations causing those items to fall as well.

We are not professional movers and we cannot be responsible for items in our work area. Even though much care is taken, items can be accidentally damaged while the wood and equipment are being moved in and out of the area.

If there are any appliances in the room such as stoves, dishwashers, or refrigerators, you should contact professionals to disconnect gas and water lines and reconnect them once the work is completed. This will minimize the potential risk to you, your family, and our employees.

2. Remove Carpet and Pad unless you agree to the charge for tear out from River City Flooring. Carpet and pad removal is included in the price of carpet installation.

This includes all staples and tack strip.

3. Fix Those Annoying Squeaks 

Please be aware that some squeaks only appear when humidity levels are low.

4. Clean the Area

Take the time to remove debris from the room and sweep the floor or sub floor if necessary. This will minimize or eliminate any additional charges for routine prep that you can do yourself.

5. Environmental Control

The HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems should be in operation and the temperature and relative humidity should be at normal living conditions. All windows and doors should be in place and all other trades such as painting, grouting, etc. should be completed.

6. Ask Your Questions

Be sure to understand each aspect of the process, from the estimated timeline (and how it’s only an “estimate”), to which direction the floor will be installed, to how the floorboards may vary in appearance. Keep in mind that wood is a natural product and no two floorboards will be identical. Variations in appearance are normal and will add to the beauty and charm of real wood floors.

During the Process


1. Cutting Door Casings

We have to cut the bottom of the door casing to allow the new wood flooring to slide under the casing and trim. Because we are cutting in your home, this WILL create some dust.


2. Cutting the Wood

Our installers will need a dry place to cut your wood flooring during installation. We normally make our cuts on the front or back porch. If raining, we will need to use the garage if a covered porch is not available.


3. Dust and Debris

If your floors are being sanded and finished on site, you need to be prepared for some noise and disruption. Although our machines are equipped with dust and debris collection mechanisms, there will still be some dust to deal with so you may want to cover or remove items you want to keep dust free. Of course, newly installed factory finished floors will not need sanding on site, but the installation process will create some dust and debris.


4. Finishing

When your floors are ready to have the finish applied, be sure you know what type of finish (matte, semi-gloss, or gloss) you want. If you don’t like shiny finishes, you may want a flat (matte) finish, so be sure you have selected the finish you expect.

No matter the type of finish, things will move very quickly once the finishing process begins. Because this is a critical phase, when the finish is being applied to your floors, you won’t have access to the room until the finish is completely dried and has had time to cure. The time required will vary depending on the type of finish being used, humidity levels, and temperature. Pets should be contained and all family members should be kept out of the room for the duration. We will let you know when you can walk on the floors and furniture can be put back in place.

After We’re Done


1. Prevent Scratching

Place felt pads on the bottom of any furniture that will come into direct contact with your floors. This will help minimize scratches and dents in your new floors. To further prevent scratches, place rugs at all entrances. Finally, avoid walking on your wood floors with cleats or high heels in disrepair. These can cause scratches in the finish or even dents.


2. Color Changes

As your wood ages, you should expect some color changes to occur. Because wood is a natural product it is prone to changes in appearance, though in most cases the change is quite subtle. Direct sunlight, furniture, and rugs can cause color changes as well, so try to move your furnishings and rugs from time to time to minimize color variations.


3. Environmental Changes

Be prepared for spaces to appear and disappear between boards during seasons of low and high humidity. Being a product of nature, wood breathes and reacts to changes in humidity and temperature. This can cause temporary spaces in your floor. Generally, anything less than the width of a dime is considered normal. In most cases, these changes will fix themselves when conditions are more favorable. You can help minimize this situation by maintaining consistent humidity levels in your home within 20 percent from season to season.


4. Cleaning and Maintenance

Finally, to keep your wood floors looking their best, you will need to properly care for and maintain them. Be cautious of using floor cleaning materials (even those marketed as “wood friendly”) that you purchase at your local store. Many cleaners that claim they will give your floors a shine really just leave a film that is almost impossible to overcome. These products may contain chemicals that could damage your finish and possibly prevent future coats from properly adhering. We provide a FREE bottle of Bona cleaner at the completion of every project with free refills for life.

You should keep the cleaning tools (brooms, mops, etc.) that you use on your wood floors separate from those you use for your other floor coverings. Broom sweeping (soft bristles) and damp mopping are the only techniques advised for hardwood flooring care.

If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact our office at 502-261-8233.