You have finally decided to get a new floor, but you don’t really know what to expect. Selecting the right flooring materials is just the beginning. For you to really enjoy your purchase, the floor must be installed properly with all of the necessary steps taken to assure that your investment is completed professionally.

The first step is to find a qualified installer. Licensing by the state of Hawaii assures customers that a business has the skills needed to render its services within its claimed specialty area. It also is required for businesses to carry insurance for the customer’s protection, and participate in a system, which provides services for recovering damages, should something go wrong.

After you have made your selection, here are a few highlights of what you can expect and things to watch out for.

Pay attention to demolition. The old flooring usually needs to be torn out, but in some cases you might be able to go right over existing wood, stone or vinyl. A lot depends on the condition of the existing flooring and if the increase in height, due to layering, would cause any problems. Except for carpet, the next step, if your subfloor is on grade or close to it, is to do a moisture test to see if water vapor levels are excessive. Then, address those conditions before moving forward.


The flatness of the floor needs to be considered. Low spots need to be filled in and high spots ground down. Working with a flat surface ensures the stability of your floor. The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) standards require no more than a 3/16 inch variation for every 10 feet. Any more than this will lead to soft spots and creaking.

Follow NWFA, North American Tile Council (NATC) and manufacturer’s installation instructions. Stone and tile is laid in a bed of thinset mortar. Wood flooring, depending on what type, could be nailed, glued or floated. Laminates and vinyls are all floating floor systems. With all of these flooring options, there may be concerns about having a good aesthetic transition, but a more important concern is safety. For wood, laminates and vinyls, baseboards or other perimeter moldings would be needed to cover the expansion gap.

As you can see, there is a lot to know about flooring and its installation. For more in-depth information, Kahala Pacific Floors’ monthly Wood and Stone Flooring 101 seminar is an excellent source of reliable information for the informed consumer. Call 847-7711 to reserve your seat at the next session Saturday, March 14 at 10 a.m.

contact // 847-7711
address // 926 Kohou St.
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