Racking hardwood flooring

Installing hardwood flooring sounds like an easy task but it’s actually an art. Doing this right can make the difference of having a beautiful, professionally installed floor instead of the possibility of a complete disaster. The installation process consists of different steps but within this blog we will be specifically discussing “racking”.

Racking hardwood flooring is the talent of laying the floor in a way so that it looks uniform and beautiful. This is a very important step as it will give you the opportunity to see the floor layout and replace any imperfections before it is nailed or glued down.

Hiring a contractor

We’ve listed some tips below to help you in your next project:

  • Take the flooring boxes to the job site at least 5 days before starting the new project so the wood will have enough time to acclimatize to the environment.
  • This step should not be overlooked. Measure the moisture in the air, on your floor and your subfloor. Be aware that this will change depending on your location. Your wood flooring needs to reach a similar moisture content with its surroundings to avoid cupping or shrinkage.
  • Be careful when placing your header joints, don’t let them come too close, as this can create a weak point. Keep in mind you need to align them at least every 2 rows.
  • Avoid odd color variation by taking boards from different boxes and laying them out. Mix them evenly but avoid putting extremes of color right next to each other.
  • Stand back and look at the overall appearance, can you see any imperfections? Do you see a damaged or misplaced plank? Replace any boards if needed and have a second look.
  • At this step, it’s always a good idea to include your client and request their feedback. This is an opportunity for you to share how the final floor will look before finishing the job. By doing this you’ll avoid any surprises and changes of heart.
  • Racking, at the beginning, can take a lot of time but it’s always worthwhile. It’s an excellent way to show your client the final design. This will avoid having awkward client conversations and flooring remorse.