Hardwood Floor Installation Tips

Hardwood Floor Installation Tips

If you’ve installed any type of floor before or have average DIY skills, you can learn how to install hardwood floors successfully. All you need is the right floor system, preparation, tools, and installation instructions. If you don’t have any flooring installation experience, you may want to consider a lock-and-fold hardwood installation. This floating floor system is the fastest and easiest to install without glue, nails, or staples – boards simply lock together and fold into place. From leveling the subfloor to installing trims and moldings, there’s a lot to know when it comes to how to install hardwood floors. Fortunately, a hardwood installation project can be broken down into three manageable steps: preparation, installation, and finishing. Hardwood Floor Installation OverviewPreparation – Before you begin, carefully read the detailed installation instructions on how to install hardwood floors included with your product. Watch hardwood installation videos available online to see exactly how it’s done. You may even want to take a DIY flooring skill assessment to determine your DIY level. Gather together the recommended tools and materials. Be sure the subfloor is dry, clean, and flat. Gently remove wall base, millwork, or trim you’ll re-use. Properly acclimate the hardwood according to the instructions. Installation – Have all your materials and tools easily accessible. Roll out the underlayment recommended for your hardwood floor. Lay floor pieces parallel with the longest wall in the room. Begin on the left side and work right, with the small tongue side facing the wall. Use spacers between boards and walls to allow for expansion. Finishing – The finishing details can make or break the success of a professional-looking job, so don’t cut corners here. For the last row, you may have to cut boards lengthwise. Trace for contours to be cut and fitted according to installation guide. After installing the last row, remove spacers. Attach trim and moldings. For more detailed instructions, download the flooring installation guide for your product. There’s nothing like the warmth and beauty of a hardwood floor. Learning how to install hardwood floors can be a challenging but rewarding DIY project.
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Hardwood Floor Installation Tips

Next Up How to Install Prefinished Solid-Hardwood Flooring Laying a solid-hardwood strip floor is easier and faster if you choose a prefinished product to avoid the extra work of sanding, staining and finishing. How to Install an Engineered Hardwood Floor Engineered wood floors are easy to install and resistant to moisture, making them a great alternative to traditional hardwood floors. Use these step-by-step instructions to install engineered hardwood floors in your home. How to Install Hardwood Flooring Learn how to install cherry hardwood flooring in a master bedroom. Installing Hardwood Floors With a few careful preparations, elbow grease and a weekend, you can have beautiful new floors. Installing Hardwoods How to Install a Floating Wood Plank Floor Easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions show DIYers how to install a floating wood plank floor for a dazzling new look. Installing Hardwood Flooring Over Concrete Hardwood floors are durable, low maintenance and easy to clean. Read manufacturer’s directions before installation to maintain warranty coverage. How to Install Engineered Wood Over Concrete Engineered wood flooring offers the timeless look of hardwood, but is perfect for basements and other areas where moisture can be an issue. Follow these steps to install an engineered wood floor in your home. How to Install a Heated Hardwood Floor A heated floor is a great addition to a kitchen. Adding an in-floor heating system under hardwood flooring is simple with these instructions. How to Repair Hardwood Floors Learn how to replace broken boards, fix loose boards and fill in gaps on hardwood flooring.
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Hardwood Floor Installation Tips

How to Install Prefinished Solid-Hardwood Flooring Laying a solid-hardwood strip floor is easier and faster if you choose a prefinished product to avoid the extra work of sanding, staining and finishing. How to Install an Engineered Hardwood Floor Engineered wood floors are easy to install and resistant to moisture, making them a great alternative to traditional hardwood floors. Use these step-by-step instructions to install engineered hardwood floors in your home. How to Install Hardwood Flooring Learn how to install cherry hardwood flooring in a master bedroom. Installing Hardwood Floors With a few careful preparations, elbow grease and a weekend, you can have beautiful new floors. Installing Hardwoods How to Install a Floating Wood Plank Floor Easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions show DIYers how to install a floating wood plank floor for a dazzling new look. Installing Hardwood Flooring Over Concrete Hardwood floors are durable, low maintenance and easy to clean. Read manufacturer’s directions before installation to maintain warranty coverage. How to Install Engineered Wood Over Concrete Engineered wood flooring offers the timeless look of hardwood, but is perfect for basements and other areas where moisture can be an issue. Follow these steps to install an engineered wood floor in your home. How to Install a Heated Hardwood Floor A heated floor is a great addition to a kitchen. Adding an in-floor heating system under hardwood flooring is simple with these instructions. How to Repair Hardwood Floors Learn how to replace broken boards, fix loose boards and fill in gaps on hardwood flooring.
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Hardwood Floor Installation Tips

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.

Hardwood Floor Installation Tips

Hardwood Floor Installation Tips
Hardwood Floor Installation Tips
Hardwood Floor Installation Tips