Having the right equipment is always advisable when starting any task. Have a think about what you, or your fitter, may need to help you to install your hardwood floor. If you are floating your floor then you may require underlay.
But choose carefully because some engineered floors have top layers so thin that they can`t be sanded and refinished in the future. Higher-quality products feature a thicker layer where you`re getting as much usable wood as you would out of a solid board.
The reason you need to do this is to give your hardwood flooring space to expand and contract with changes in temperature and humidity. If you fail to leave an expansion gap your flooring will have no space to expand and can easily become damaged.
It`s important to keep in mind that wood floors are natural and will be affected by the environment. While there`s no need to panic if you see some gaps develop between boards during dry seasons, if the wood doesn`t shrink back into place during humid seasons — July through August, then you should bring in a certified wood flooring professional to assess the separation.
Leave stilettos and tap shoes at the door to avoid puncturing the wood. While you`re at it, consider enforcing a no-shoe policy for all types of footwear to keep things extra clean.
As with any cleaning product, read the label before you buy to make sure it is suitable for the surface. A foolproof way to prevent damaging wood? Check out woodfloors.org, where a professional will help you choose the best product for floors that have different finishes.