Most people recommend that you get professional help when installing hardwood floors, and not the psychiatric kind. It is true that often it is best to rely on an expert to handle a big job like installing hardwood floors, but this doesn't mean it is impossible to do it yourself, if you enjoy these type of projects. Often, people opt for a professional service for the simple reason that they don't have the time to allot to a project of such magnitude or they simply do not like doing the work themselves.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with having someone install your hardwood floors, especially since they will also provide you with a warranty and if something goes wrong then you are safe. On the other hand, there's nothing quite like the pride you will feel when you tell family and friends that you installed the hardwood floors yourself after all the oohing and aahing over how lovely your floors are.
However, before you get stuck in, you will definitely need to do a little reading, especially if you have never doen this before. In fact, there are plenty of do it yourself DVDs showing exactly how to install hardwood floors and it's much easier to understand the whole process if you are shown what you need to do rather than just reading about it.
Before you do anything, you need to decide on the type of hardwood floors you want to install, in other words, what type of wood you want. Generally, the stronger and the sturdier the wood, the more expensive the floor will be. For example, oak is one of the more expensive hardwood materials exactly for this reason. Of course, there are other types of wood that are also quite expensive due to their rarity, such as tropical woods. Once you have picked out the type of wood and it is delivered to your home, it will need a minimum of 36 hours in your home before you begin installation because it needs time to acclimate to the temperature and humidity in your home.
In the meantime you will need a number of tools and other materials such as a pry bar, a hammer, a drill and bits, staple gun, a tape measure and many more, so make sure you have everything before you start. There's nothing that can delay a project like poor planning, so make sure you go through your checklist so that you have everything available. Don't overlook the importance of safety either. You will need goggles, a breathing mask or respirator, and gloves. Working with wood can be dangerous and breathing in sawdust is not exactly healthy for your lungs.
Remember to measure the surface area of the rooms where you will be installing hardwood floors to make sure you order enough material. Make sure to order planks that are a minimum ten inches larger than your measurements so you have some flexibility. Also consider buying extra hardwood material to have some in storage in case you need some for future repairs.