Hardwood flooring choices: locking hardwood floors
Most people probably do not think of a floor as something that locks. Hardwood floors can do just that, however; a locking hardwood floor is a particular variety preferred by many installers because it is easy to work with. A locking hardwood floor may use the familiar tongue and groove arrangement to snap boards into place together, or it may have a more advanced proprietary locking system; this depends on the manufacturer.
Installation of a locking floor generally begins with the removal of baseboards; however, a spacer piece is necessary in order to keep the floor from jamming up against the wall. When all rows have been completed, the spacer piece is removed so that baseboards can be reinstalled. The use of the spacer helps to make sure that the flooring will not inadvertently occupy space needed for the baseboards later. As any homeowner knows, the addition of baseboards to a hardwood floor gives it an additional elegance that can be quite pleasing to the eye.
Locking floors offer some benefits over other installation methods such as using glue and nails to fix the boards to the subfloor. As a locking floor is free floating, it can contract and expand more as a single unit. As long as appropriate gaps have been left at the edges, this can help to minimise or even prevent buckling. This type of installation is also far simpler.
Locking hardwood floors will need periodic maintenance in the form of floor sanding and refinishing.