Hassle factor. Make no mistake about it: installing hardwood floors is invasive and disruptive. Even before installation begins, the wood planks may need to “acclimate” to your surroundings. This means that stacks of boxes will stay in your home for up to two weeks, so the wood can adapt to temperature and humidity. The existing floor covering must be torn off. The furniture must be removed. Unfinished wood has to be cut to fit and sanded, producing huge amounts of sand dust, similar to an exploding glitter bomb, Shipwash says. “Then you have to stain the wood, wait for it to dry, and then sand and seal the wood three times, which allows the finish to dry between coats,” he adds. “You can’t walk on the floor and some people are sensitive to sealant fumes, so you may have to leave your home for a week or more. While it also needs to acclimate, prefinished wood cuts installation time in half or more. Once it’s down, it’s good to go.