Wood Flooring Installation

Wood Flooring Installation

Tools & Materials Tools Pneumatic Flooring Nailer Drill with Drill Bits Drill Bits Hammer Nail Set Nails Circular Saw, Miter Saw or Table Saw Pry Bar Tape Measure Utility Knife Wood Glue Safety Glasses Work Gloves Safety Mask Knee Pads Materials Hardwood Flooring and Accessories Floor Moulding and Transitions Product costs, availability and item numbers may vary online or by market. Missing anything? Shop Online About Solid Hardwood Flooring Solid hardwood flooring has a rich, attractive appearance that adds value and style to your home. It’s considered mostly for installation in the living room, the kitchen, bedroom and dining room. Good to KnowWhen buying hardwood flooring, carefully consider whether or not your manufacturer offers a warranty. A lifetime warranty, as defined by the manufacturer, is key when shopping for a solid hardwood floor. Before You Install Solid Hardwood Flooring First, make sure your subfloor is level and your hardwood flooring is acclimated to the room’s humidity and temperature according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. To learn how to do this, watch Prepping Plywood Subfloors. CautionYou cannot use a glue-down installation method with solid hardwood flooring. Please refer to manufacturer’s installation instructions for planks 5 inches or wider. Getting Started Step 1 For your first row, you’ll want the straightest planks, arranged with the tongue side facing the center of the room. Place spacers inside the expansion gap – the space between the wall and floor that allows for wood expansion from heat and humidity. Pre-drill nail holes 1/4 inch from the narrow side of the plank at 1/2 inch from the wall. Continue at 6-inch intervals for the length of each board. Good to KnowMix boards from each box of flooring to ensure the finished product has a blended color and finish without patchiness. Step 2 Because the pneumatic nailer is hard to maneuver near the wall, face-nail the first few boards in place. Countersink the nails with a nail punch and fill the remaining hole with matching putty. Then, blind-nail at a 45-degree angle through the tongue. Make sure to countersink the nail so it doesn’t interfere with board-to-board connection. Good to KnowBlind-nailing is a method of concealing a nail using the next board that is installed. For tongue-and-groove flooring, drive a nail at a 45-degree angle through the tongue, then conceal it by engaging the groove of the next board. Be sure to countersink the nail – drive it slightly below the surface of the wood – to prevent interference in the joint. Step 3 On the second row, lock the tongue and groove and tap them together with a mallet and block for a tight fit between the boards. Stagger the ends six inches between adjoining boards, cutting the end board if needed, to create a stronger, more attractive flooring pattern. Step 4 Blind nail the second row through the tongue and repeat the process until you’re able to use the flooring nailer. The flooring nailer requires room to work, so it typically cannot be used until two to four rows into the floor. When using a flooring nailer, be sure to install the nailer’s protective boot to protect the flooring. CautionAs you move forward with the floor, maintain the expansion gap on each end of the room. Step 5 When you get to the last rows, switch back to nailing by hand. On the last row, cut the pieces to fit, measuring the distance from the wall to the board – not the tongue – and minus the expansion gap. If the final piece is 1 inch wide or less, apply a small amount of wood glue to the tongue and groove and insert the piece with a pry bar and piece of scrap wood to protect the wall. Otherwise, face-nail the final piece, countersink and fill the hole with matching putty. Step 6 Install the transition pieces according to the manufacturer’s instructions and remove spacers. Cut the underlayment and re-attach baseboards and shoe mouldings to the wall, not the floor.
wood flooring installation 1

Wood Flooring Installation

1 lay out the first row Mark the walls to show the location of the floor joists. Cover the floor with 15-pound felt paper. For strength, run the strip flooring perpendicular to the joists. Start your layout at the longest uninterrupted wall that is perpendicular to the joists. At each end of the wall, measure out the width of a floorboard, plus 3/4 inches, and make a mark. Drive nails into the marks and stretch mason’s line between them to lay out the first row. 2 Pre-drill holes for nails The first and last rows of flooring have to be nailed through the face of the boards. All the other boards are nailed through the tongue only. To prevent splitting face-nailed boards, drill 1/16-inch-diameter holes for the nails, 1 inch from the grooved edge. Space the holes so the nails hit a joist or as directed by the manufacturer. 3 Fasten the first board Align the first board with the layout line, with the tongue facing into the room. Put a 3/4-inch spacer against the adjoining wall, and slide the end of the board against it. Drive 6d or 8d flooring nails through the pilot holes and then drill additional pilot holes through the tongue. Countersink all the nails. 4 Continue the first row Put the next board in place along the layout line. Seat the end tongue and groove into each other and push the two boards together for a tight seam. Nail down the board, moving down the row until you reach the side wall. Cut the last length to fit, leaving a 3/4-inch expansion gap and nail it in place. 5 Rack the flooring Spread the boards from several bundles across the room. Mix bundles and mix shades, colors and lengths, using the natural variety in the wood to create a random pattern. Lay out the boards in the order you will install them. Pros call this “racking the boards.” Flooring bundles tend to be uniform in color and if you don’t rack them, you will create noticeable light and dark areas in the floor. Make sure you finish the process by arranging the joints so they are sufficiently offset across the floor. 6 Install the next rows Put the first board of the new row in place. Cut it, if necessary, so the end is offset from the end of the board in the previous row by a minimum of 6 inches. Put the end against a 1/2-inch spacer and seat the edge snugly against its neighbor. Drill pilot holes in the tongues and then nail and countersink them through the tongues (but not the faces) to hold the boards in place. Work your way down the rows, one row at a time. 7 Continue With flooring nailer Switch to a flooring nailer as soon as you can. After installing the second or third row, you will have enough room to get a flooring nailer between the wall and the board you are placing. Position the nailer so it will drive a nail through the tongue of the board, then hit it with a mallet to shoot the nail through the tongue. Adjust the air pressure as needed so the nail countersinks into the tongue. 8 Install the remaining rows Work your way across the room, row by row, power-nailing the boards through the tongue. Leave a 3/4-inch expansion gap between the end board and the wall. Stagger the ends of the boards in adjoining rows by 6 inches and rack additional bundles as you go. 9 Straighten any bowed boards Even the best flooring comes with pieces that are not perfectly straight. Set these aside initially; if these end up as extras, you won’t have to use them. If you must use a slightly bowed piece, drive a chisel into the subfloor and pry against the edge of the bowed strip to straighten it. If the piece is badly bowed, screw a piece of scrap to the floor about 1 inch from the strip. Tap a wood wedge into the gap, as shown, to straighten out the board. 10 Framing around obstructions Often a floor will meet an obstruction such as a fireplace or counter. If so, miter boards to create a border that frames the obstruction. Position the boards so the tongue or groove mates with the rest of the floorboards. Cut off the tongue if it is on the edge that meets the obstruction. Apply the rest of the floor as you normally would, fitting the pieces into the frame as you go. 11 Cutting corners to fit Where the flooring meets a jog in the wall or a similar obstacle, cut corners to fit. Snug the piece of flooring against the obstacle and lay out the cut by marking where the edge of the obstacle meets the board. Allow for a 1/2-inch expansion gap at the end of the board and a 3/4-inch gap along the edges; make the cut with a jigsaw. 12 Face-nail the last rows As you approach the wall on the far side of the room, it becomes difficult to use the flooring nailer. Once you don’t have enough room to swing the mallet, begin drilling pilot holes for face-nailing, but nail only when you have laid down all the boards. 13 Cut the last row to fit You will probably have to cut the width of the boards in the last row to fit. Measure the space and subtract 3/4 inch for the expansion gap. Cut the boards to width on a table saw. Put the boards in place. Pry against a piece of scrap on the wall to seat the boards and close any gaps between them. Face-nail to hold the boards in place. 14 Install the trim Install the baseboard and shoe moulding to cover the expansion gap. Keep the lower edge of the baseboard even with the top of the floor and nail the baseboard into the wall. Set the quarter-round shoe moulding on a piece of paper to keep it just a hair above the floor. Nail it to the baseboard, not to the floor or subfloor. Nail threshold or transition strips in place where the edge of the floor is exposed. Flooring in a hallway should run the length of the hall regardless of joist direction. If the flooring will meet wood flooring in other rooms, install the hallway flooring first, then work your way into the adjoining rooms. To make this work, sometimes you may need to join two boards groove edge to groove edge. If so, cut a strip of wood, called a spline, that is wide enough to fit into one of the grooves and about halfway into the neighboring groove. Glue it into one of the grooved boards and nail it to the floor. Slip the groove of the neighboring board over the new splined tongue.

Wood Flooring Installation

Wood Flooring Installation
Wood Flooring Installation
Wood Flooring Installation
Wood Flooring Installation
Wood Flooring Installation

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