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Service #6:

Hardwood Floor Installation Los Angeles... brand new floors!

Looking to have hardwood flooring installation done by a professional Los Angeles hardwood flooring contractor? We can help. We've been installing all types of wood floors for over 15 years. Installing new hardwood flooring is one of the best home improvements you can do. From solid wood flooring to engineered, glue-down and nailed, we have you covered.

Nail down wood floor installation
Glue down hardwood floor installation

Here at CMC Hardwood Floors, we specialize in installing site finished wood flooring.

Unlike pre-finished flooring, site finished floors give you a seamless, flat, bevel free surface. They are much easier to clean (no dust in the bevels), can have maintenance coats applied if you choose a hardwax oil like Rubio Monocoat, and you have much more freedom for customization.

You can sand and stain custom colors, install custom flooring designs like parquet flooring, or herringbone or chevron patterns, and add intricate inlays and borders. Plus you have a huge choice of finishes and sheen levels compared to pre-finished hardwood flooring.

The installation process...

Below you'll be able to see the various steps involved in a full hardwood flooring installation in Los Angeles. Down the bottom of the page we have links to the most common questions we are asked about the process of wood floor installation, which can be a little different here in Los Angeles CA verses other parts of the country.

STEP 1Flooring
delivery and
acclimation

After you select your hardwood floor, 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 more about the acclimation process in one of the question links below.

Delivering wood flooring in Los Angeles

STEP 2Monitor
moisture
level

We will keep a close eye on the hardwood flooring's moisture content over the following days. Once it's acclimated properly and the moisture is right, we can start the installation. If it's installed before it's acclimated properly, you'll have issues with your wood floors down the road.

Checking floors for moisture

STEP 3Removal
and sub-floor
preparation

Once the hardwood flooring is acclimated, we start preparing your sub-floor. (If you have an existing floor covering like a laminate floor, carpet, tile or vinyl flooring, we can arrange to have it removed for you.) The subfloor is checked for flatness. If there are highs or lows, we grind down or fill in those areas to ensure a flat surface to install over.

removing worn finish from floor

STEP 4Sub-floor
primer
applied

Most sub-floors we work on here in Los Angeles CA also need to be primed with specialized products to ensure proper adhesion, as in the case of a glue down hardwood flooring installation over concrete. Some need specialized underlayment, for example our clients living in condos.

Moisture barrier and primer on concrete floor

STEP 5Floor is
measured
and racked

Everything is thoroughly measured so all the boards are spaced out well in all your rooms. The hardwood flooring is sorted through and ugly floor boards are discarded. Cutting and racking begins, care being taken so there are no 'H' joints. It's small details like this that differentiate a professional hardwood flooring contractor and installation from an amateur one.

Racking floor to install

STEP 6We begin
installing
your floor

Once the racking is done for a substantial part of the floor, the installation begins. The method of installation will vary depending on the type of hardwood flooring material you selected as well as the type of subfloor you have. The glue down method is the most popular installation we do here in the Los Angeles California area.

Glue down wood flooring installation

Other important info...

There are a lot of misconceptions about high-quality engineered wood floors vs solid hardwood flooring. Yes there is some very low quality engineered products out there that a hardwood flooring contractor or salesman at certain hardwood flooring companies, or a big box store may try to push on you. We strongly recommend against using these cheap wood floors in your home. Many of these cheaper products have a very thin wear layer. If the wear layer is too thin, then they won't be able to be re-sanded, leaving your hardwood floors practically useless once the wear layer is worn through. It's because of these cheap, nasty engineered floors that all engineered flooring has a tarnished reputation.

Most of the wood floors we install, (98%) are engineered floors. But unlike some wood floor installation contractors in Los Angeles CA, we use very high-quality engineered flooring. It is superior to solid wood hardwood flooring, and more suited for the Los Angeles California market, in a number of ways.

The engineered flooring we use has 6mm of wear layer, which is the same as most solid wood flooring. This means they can be sanded and refinished as many times as a solid hardwood floor. How many times you can do hardwood floor refinishing is a huge factor to consider when choosing your hardwood floor.

Unlike engineered flooring, solid wood floors are far more affected by temperature and humidity. This causes them to expand and contract, especially in the changes of seasons we have here in Los Angeles California. This is the reason a lot of solid wood floors have gaps at different times of the year. The engineered wood flooring we use is far more stable because it has 11 ply crisscrossed layers of high-quality birch as it's base. And because the base of the engineered flooring we use is so stable, it can be installed where solid wood flooring is not suggested for an installation in Los Angeles, such as areas with a lot of moisture like a bathroom, kitchen or basement.

There is another thing to look out for when choosing wood flooring in Los Angeles: If you have a concrete subfloor, and want solid hardwood flooring, then you will need to install a plywood layer to nail it to. This will raise the height of your floor. It may not be an issue in a hallway, bedroom or dining room, but it can effect appliances and cabinets in a kitchen. There is nothing worse than not being able to install your dishwasher because the floor level is too high. The engineered hardwood flooring we use can be glued directly to the concrete, which keeps the floor level lower.

On top of those benefits, engineered hardwood flooring is also very environmentally friendly. Because the top wear layer is the only solid wood part (such as Maple, White Oak, European Oak or Brazilian Cherry) , 4 times as much flooring can be produced from the same tree.

So, not only does quality engineered flooring have the same amount of wear layer that can sanded and refinished, it keeps your floors height lower, is far more stable... and is much better for the environment.

When we come out to measure up your floors and provide a free in-home quote, we will show you samples of each so you can see the difference for yourself. We will explain the hardwood flooring installation process with you in detail, show you color samples and help you choose the perfect new floor for your home in Bel Air, Pacific Palisades, Beverly Hills, Hollywood or surrounding Los Angeles California areas.

We have some more information about the hardwood flooring installation process and difference between flooring types in the links below...

QUESTIONS... and detailed answers

  • The most significant difference between these two types of flooring is the following: Solid wood flooring is the same type of wood all through the 3/4 inch flooring, tongue, groove, everything. Engineered wood flooring is solid wood on the top layer above the tongue, and plywood on the base layer, the tongue and below.

    As far as the number of times each can be sanded and refinished, most people assume solid wood flooring has engineered flooring beat. And in many cases, they are correct. The wear layer on solid wood floors is about 5/16 inch or 8mm before you get to the tongue and groove. This gives it a life of around five sandings in its life.

    Many engineered floors have a very thin top wood layer. Some have just a veneer. You can only sand these thin layers once, twice, or some not at all.

    However... the engineered wood floors WE install have the same thickness wear layer as solid wood flooring. They have the same 5/16 inch wear layer and can be sanded multiple times, just like real wood flooring. You would never be able to tell the difference in looks and usage verses solid wood flooring.

    The engineered flooring we use also has many benefits over solid wood floors for the Los Angeles California area:

    1) Engineered flooring doesn't require a plywood sub-floor to be installed first. This is a significant advantage if you have a concrete subfloor. The flooring can be installed directly over the concrete. This saves money, as well as avoid height issues with doors, cabinets, and dishwashers, etc.

    2) Engineered flooring is far more stable. It doesn't expand and contract as much as solid wood floors. This means fewer gaps through your floor with our seasonal weather changes here in Los Angeles, California. You can install it below grade, such as a basement, where solid wood floors can't be. And because of its stability, we can install it over radiant heat, which is not recommended for floors made from solid wood.

    3) Engineered flooring is better for our old-growth forests. Solid wood flooring takes 100 percent old-growth wood to make. Three-quarters of it is under the tongue and groove, the part that never gets walked on or sanded. With the engineered floors we use, only the vital wear layer uses old-growth trees. The sub-layers are made from plentiful and fast-growing trees. That means you can get 3 to 4 times the amount of flooring out of the same old-growth tree.

    Ninety-eight percent of the floors we install here in Los Angeles, California, are high-quality engineered floors. They have the same care and maintenance requirements as solid flooring to keep your floor looking great. We have installed them in beach houses in Santa Monica, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, and Redondo Beach. Over in-floor radiant heat in homes and living space in Beverly Hills, Bel Air, and Pacific Palisades. And in residential and commercial properties throughout North Hollywood, Burbank, Laurel Canyon, Van Nuys, Sherman Oaks, Pasadena, Studio City, Cheviot Hills, and many other LA areas.

    If you are looking for wood flooring in Los Angeles, we highly recommend this type of wood floor covering. When we come over for your in-home estimate, we will show you samples so you can see the quality of our engineered floors yourself.

  • No, definitely not. There are a few key differences you should be aware of. The first is the thickness of the wear layer. The top, real wood layer can vary from 1/32 to 5/16 inch (0.6mm to 7mm) between products and suppliers.

    The super-thin wood layers on cheaper products are either a rotary peeled or sliced veneer. They can't be re-sanded. Anything over 1/8 inch (3mm) can most likely be sanded and refinished in the future. This is especially important if there is any damage (like water damage or scratches), and you need to do a floor repair. Or have refinishing work done by a hardwood flooring contractor in Los Angeles down the road.

    The second difference is that a high-quality engineered floor has a base comprised of between 7 to 9 multi-directional layers of top-quality birch plywood. Inferior flooring products only have 3 layers, and they are made with inferior quality imported plywood. The more layers there are, and the better quality the plywood is, the more stable and durable the floor will be long-term.

    When it comes to engineered floors, you really do get what you pay for. They may cost a little more upfront, and you'll need an expert installer. But if you are going to remodel your home, office, or business, isn't it better to know you have a quality product that will maintain its appearance and durability long-term.

  • If you have a concrete subfloor, then engineered flooring is going to be your best choice. After the concrete is prepared and sealed, we can glue the wood flooring directly to the slab, without any need for a sub-floor. This works especially well with parquet flooring and other flooring designs like white oak herringbone and chevron patterns. It keeps the floor looking seamless throughout the living space as well because you don't need as many transitions compared to a nail down install. And if you have carpet crews, or vinyl or tile installers putting down other floor coverings in rooms the wood flooring will be adjoining, it will allow for a more level transition to those floor materials as well.

    You can also install solid wood flooring over concrete, but a vapor barrier and plywood sub-floor need to be in place first. The issue doing it this way is it will raise the overall height of the floor. As well as add a lot more cost to the project.

    Almost all of the Los Angeles wood floor projects we install are glued down installs (as per the manufacturers installation instructions).

  • You can install either solid wood or engineered flooring on an above-grade plywood sub-floor. (If it's below-grade, then engineered is what we recommend to our customers.)

    Your hardwood flooring contractor will give you a few choices for your wood floor installation: Glue down, nailed or stapled.

    What you choose will be based on a few factors. Is it being installed in a business office or showroom? A living room in a residential house? What are the installation instructions for the product? Down to the price estimates and quotes of the flooring businesses you are considering hiring. All will have a role to play in what you ultimately decide.

  • The length of acclimation for a flooring project depends on a couple of different things. The type of hardwood flooring being installed. The humidity level of the room. And the moisture level of the sub-floor.

    A professional hardwood flooring company installing hardwood floors in Los Angeles will always go by the manufacturers acclimation and installation instructions. No cutting corners on any Los Angeles wood floor they install. It's too risky.

    If there is a significant difference in moisture levels between the new flooring and the subfloor, there will be major issues with gapping, crowning, or cupping of the flooring material down the road. That means ripping them out and turning the family home into a construction zone all over again. Neither of us wants that to happen. We especially don't want that to happen on any of our hardwood flooring Los Angeles projects. Our small family owned and operated business is extra careful when it comes to acclimation matters.

    We will test the moisture levels of both the subfloor and the newly delivered flooring with a professional moisture meter. That will give us a good indication of how much time we need to wait before the installation can start. Usually, it will be somewhere between four days and two weeks.

PDFs to download...

5 Questions PDF

5 Important Questions You Should Ask Before You Start

The answers to these 5 questions could make the difference between a great flooring project and a disaster. Well worth a read...

pdf Download PDF Article

PHOTOS from past projects

HAPPY CLIENT feedback

We recently bought a 75 year old house that needed a lot of help. As such, we hired numerous trades... plumbers, electricians, painters, you name it. Among them, Marcos and CMC Hardwood Floors was, by far, the best group we worked with because of their quality, efficiency, trustworthiness and professionalism. An amazing job. I give Marcos my full recommendation. Frank L. - Los Angeles, CA | 5 Star Review on Yelp
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