Installing Hardwood Flooring
To Install wood floor products like a pro is not difficult. Like
anything else it mostly requires good "how-to" information.
Here's some ideas, designed to answer the most common questions,
specifically on how to install a standard 3/4" "nail
down" strip hardwood flooring,
If you haven't already read up on the steps necessary to
prepare your room for hardwood floor installation, then
before you leave this site it might be a good idea to scan that
article as well.
This is not meant to replace a professional installer, only to
offer a little help for the motivated, brave sole that wishes
to install the flooring themselves.
Here's some ideas...
Where to start your hardwood flooring?
Pick the longest, most visible wall to start your installation.
Start by laying down a chalk line 1/2" from the wall and
extent it the full length. This is where your first row of flooring
Remember for maximum performance strip flooring must be nailed
down at opposite directions to the floor joists.
How do I nail down the first few rows? My nailer
hits the wall so I can't use it.
The first few rows must be face nailed (from the top surface
of the wood down), with the groove facing the wall and the tongue
side facing the room. You must predrill a hole into the wood,
close to the groove side, then using a 2" spiral finishing
nails, attach the flooring to the subfloor, following along your
Use the longest, straightest boards for the first row. Once they
have been nailed in place, go back and nail the same boards through
the tongue, predrilling and nailing at an angle. After the third
row or so is in place you can use a Manual or Pneumatic floor
A floor nail or cleat should be set into each floor joist, assuming
16" spacing and an additional nail between each set. This
should result in a spacing of every 8" to 10" as recommended
by the National Flooring Association. Each board must have a minimum
of two nails each.
Lay out multiple rows ahead of you. Remove any boards you are
unhappy with and use them in a closet. Never cluster darker boards
under a bed. The bed may get moved later on! Assure that no two
boards end in the same place. Alter lengths, to stager joints
Inspect each piece for defects. Most quality manufacturers are
careful in cutting out any damage, but humans are sorting the
wood and can miss a piece. Some defects don't always show up right
away, and develop in transit, so all manufacturers put the responsibility
on the installer to do the final inspection at the job site.
What do I do when I hit the far wall?
The last 2 or 3 rows will have to be hand nailed in the same
way as you started the floor. Often the last row will not fit
a full strip of flooring. You must cut to width enough flooring
to hand nail the last row, leaving enough space that when all
is said and done there remains a 1/2" expansion space between
the wall and the wood.
Well that is all you need to know to install a wood floor...
good luck, have fun
Hardwood Floor Installation
a Hardwood Floor