Hardwood Flooring Installation

Hardwood flooring installation is often left to the professionals. But if you are handy and careful, you can do your own installation. If you are clueless, as I am, you are better off hiring a professional. This article only talks about the installation steps, not the floor preparation or the sanding and sealing needed for unfinished wood floors.

Hardwood flooring adds warmth and beauty to a home or office, making it a popular choice for remodeling and new construction floor choices. Many people assume that they cannot install hardwood flooring themselves, but with the increase in technology and information, you can indeed install your hardwood flooring with just a little time and effort. Hardwood flooring installation is not easy, but it can be well worth the time and effort that you put into it. From increasing the value of your home to increasing your enjoyment of the home, hardwood flooring can give your home new life. What do you need to know before you begin installing your hardwood flooring?

  • Get the right tools. The right tools for the job will make any job go smoother and more quickly. The tools that you will need for your hardwood flooring installation are dependent upon the type of hardwood flooring that you have chosen, so you first need to know what type of flooring you have. If it is tongue and groove flooring, it can be set into place with a hammer (for click and lock flooring) or nailed down. Some types of hardwood flooring are secured with glue as well, so be sure that you understand what type of flooring that you have before you begin the installation process.
  • Lay the right foundation. If you are installing your hardwood flooring over concrete floors, you will want to apply a moisture barrier before you begin installation. This moisture barrier will help to protect your floors from any moisture that can come through the concrete. If you are installing the hardwood flooring over existing flooring or a subfloor, make sure that the area is perfectly level and free of dirt and debris to ensure that the flooring that you install will remain secure.
  • Get it straight. Getting the right start is essential with any project, but most especially with your hardwood flooring. You want the floors to be symmetrical, so you will want to choose a focal point of the room where you are going to begin. Snap your chalk line for straightness and begin laying out your flooring as directed. Take time to measure and get the boards straight so you get the results you want.
  • Choose the right fit. Now you are ready to start laying down your hardwood flooring boards. By taking the time to make sure that they snugly fit, you will have a much more pleasing floor to the eye and you will not run into problems further into installation. Staggered the joints to give the flooring greater strength and a more interesting look. When cutting the boards, cut them short enough to leave a little gap between the floor and the wall. Snugly fit boards may buckle during the natural course of and contraction.

By following these above tips, you are sure to find that your hardwood flooring installation is something that you can do yourself with a little time and effort. This can save you a lot of money over the price of having the flooring professionally installed and it can give you a tremendous amount of pride for a job well done.

4 thoughts on “Hardwood Flooring Installation

  1. I am wondering if it is possible to nail, staple brazilian walnut hardwood flooring over sturdy, level particle board subfloor? I plan to lay underlinement on top of the subfloor.

  2. Hi, you mentioned leaving a small gap between the floor & the surrounding wall. how much of a gap exactly? Also, I’m nailing 3/4″ Brazilian Tiger-Wood on OSB. but the builder said it’s 3/4″ OSB so I should be ok. I wish it was plywood, but I can’t raise the floor anymore – the tiles would be almost 1″ lower and I don’t want to use a reducer. Am I ok with nailing 3/4″ hardwood on top of OSB?

  3. Hi Rishi,
    Yes, you are ok with nailing 3/4″ hardwood on top of OSB. I’ve included portions of a response from a previous post below:
    The best way to minimize the expansion and contraction associated with wood flooring products is to let it acclimate to your house, specifically to the rooms it’ll be installed in. Manufacturer’s recommend 2-3 days of acclimatizing, but I have found that longer is better.

    To be sure you are getting a good tight “seal” you could nail/staple a bit more frequently than usual — though you don’t need to over do it.

    Start at one edge of the room with a chalk line, line the first board along it, nailing as you go, and work your way across the room. Be sure to keep about 1/4″ gap all the way around the room for some expansion.

    Once you are finished with stapling the flooring down, clean it, sand it, clean it and seal it with low VOC sealant. I personally like the Urethane Diamond Coat Polyurethane product for floors. You can visit their site at http://www.flecto.com/CBGBrand.asp?bid=12

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