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Friday, January 22, 2010

What is "Racking" a Hardwood Floor

“Racking”… Some might think this term refers to some medieval torture device.  Some of my old Army buddies might think I am going to sleep… Racking is also something we use in the hardwood flooring world when we are installing a new floor.

After preparing your sub-floor and rolling out a moisture membrane, an installer will completely lay out the floor that will be installed in the room.  By “laying” out, I mean completely cover the sub-floor with the flooring material that will be nailed down.  Racking is a very important step in the installation process because you get a chance to see how the final floor covering will look after it is nailed in.  This helps a great deal because if there are boards or areas that don’t look quite like you want them to… replace them.  A heck of a lot easier to do before you nail it down.

 After racking out all of the floor covering, go ahead and start making your cuts at the walls.  Something else that makes nailing and actually installing go a lot faster.  No waiting for your cut person to run outside, cut it and bring it back.  Efficiency!  The key to making money in any business.

I have had other contractors tell me that racking takes too much time.  Granted… it does take a little time, but it is so necessary to view the final floor covering before you nail it all down.  For me… It is worth the extra time and honestly, the more you rack floors, the faster you get at it.  Thus, actually saving time.

It’s that simple.  Racking a hardwood floor is not rocket science, but a very necessary and important step in the installation process.

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