How do you install hardwood floors?

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Wiki User
2010-04-16 21:28:50

You need to first Choose the Boards. Then Measure the Room,

Check for a Squeaky Floor, Roll Out the Vapor Barrier Paper, Start

Installation. Then you can, Place the Boards, hand-Nail the Rolls,

Staple the Boards. Then start Cutting the Baseboard, Fill in the

Gaps. Once you fit Last Board Into Place, Fill Holes With Wood


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Wiki User
2009-08-07 06:23:43

There are many types of hardwood flooring, allowing for many

possible installation methods. The most common is 3/4" solid

hardwood. Before starting your installation a few things must be

looked at. * Your floor is at least 3/4" plywood, OSB, or wood

plank. It cannot be installed over particle board or a wood

subfloor with a cement substrate that is closer than 24" from its

bottom. * You must be installing at or above grade * Floor joist

need to be 16" on center or closer * Level within an 1/8" in a 6'

radius * Wood flooring is not recommended for bathrooms or other

high moisture areas such as laundry rooms. Once you are sure your

projects are within these guidelines you are ready to continue. *

When purchasing flooring, you will need to add at least 5% waste to

the total square footage. Also these floors are natural products

and may have boards with small variations you will want to not lay.

* All rooms need to be completed with doors and windows. All

floors, paint, plaster, drywall, and wall coverings are completely

dry as to not raise the humidity level of the room. * Heat and

ventilation systems must be fully functional and room temperature

60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit and at 35% to 55% humidity. * The floor

will need to be in the room to be installed, unopened, for 3 days

prior to installation allowing it to acclimate to your rooms

humidity. * Have your substrate checked for any moisture problems.

The tools needed are not easily available to do it yourselfer's.

You will also want to have the following supplies. * Tape measure *

Chalk line * Broom * Rubber mallet * Pencil * Jam and band saw *

Crow bar or plank puller * Hammer * Knee pads * Pneumatic floor

nailer and corresponding nails Some manufactures require or

recommend roofing felt or red rosin paper. You will want to lay

this in advance if they do. Check to make sure if your room is

square. It is not uncommon for a wall that is 10' wide to be 10'2

at the other end. By compensating for this at the beginning your

boards will still look straight on the other side. Starting your

boards counter to your floor joists you will be leaving at least

1/2" expansion gap from the wall. This will allow your floor to

expand and contract with the different seasons of the year. The

first few rows will be pre drilled and faced nailed into place. The

nailer cannot fit that close to the wall. Later wood filler and

light sanding will cover the holes. You will want to work from

several boxes and "dry lay" the floor. Solid floors are normally

random plank sizes, so you will want to have a good mix of sizes.

This also allows you to mix natural color variations throughout the

floor. You will need to make sure no board is smaller then 8" and

that a seam does not meet closer then 6" within 3 boards in each

direction. This is for both stability and aesthetics of your floor.

Using the pneumatic nailer, begin laying the floor you have already

laid out. Working your way down the boards, use the rubber mallet

to tap the boards together. You will want to nail ever 8 to 10

inches with a minimum of 2 fasteners per board. At the ends of a

row you will cut the board, but the remainder can be used to start

another row later cutting down waste. At the end of a wall you will

again pre drill and face nail the last few rows. You may need to

use a crow bar to get the last row to pull together. The 1/2" to

3/4" expansion spaces will be covered with 3/4" quarter round or

wallbase. Clean the floor well with an alcohol based cleaner.

Remember to NEVER use water on your wood floor. Affix felt pads to

the bottom of all your chairs and furniture to protect it from


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