How to Install Hardwood Floor

How to Install Hardwood Floor : Hardwood Floor Installation

Before proceeding to explain how to install hardwood floor, let me tell you that hardwood flooring installation is not very hard if you have prior experience in some DIY home projects. Most experienced Do-It-Yourselfers can install hardwood floor themselves. But if you don’t have any prior experience in any DIY home project, then I would suggest you to hire some expert for the job. Home owners with no such experience can make things messy and damage the floor.

Things Needed To Install Hardwood Floor

  1. Hardwood Floorboards
  2. Felt paper (Non-tarred)
  3. Saw to cut
  4. Snap Line (Chalk to mark straight line)
  5. Measuring Tape
  6. Nailer (To drive nails into wood)

Surface Preparation for Hardwood Floor Installation

The first step to start with is to prepare the subfloor for installation of hardwood floor. The subfloor must be level and firmly fastened to the floor joists. Check and Recheck. Fix screws if required. This will add strength to the subfloor and prevent creaking. Leave the hardwood floorboards for few days in the room where you plan to install it. This will allow the wood to adjust to the room temperature.

Step-By-Step Instructions to Install Hardwood Floor (wall-to-wall nail installation process)

  1. Make an underlayment of felt paper by stapling it to subfloor. This will prevent the hardwood boards from moisture and also reduce footfall noise.
  2. Check the space below the base of the door. There should be enough space to insert the wood planks. If required, cut the base of the door frames. Remove all edgings, quarter-rounds, baseboards and the door threshold.
  3. Decide the layout direction for the floor planks. As a general rule, planks should be laid at 90 degree or 45 degree to floor joists. It is upto you to decide how you want your floor to look.
  4. Using measuring tape, take measurement of the width of one plank. Note it down and add 3/4″.
  5. Based on the above measurement (Step-4), draw a guide line parallel to the starting wall using a snap line. Make sure the starting line is straight and square.
  6. Decide on arrangement of the planks. Use different shades and grains for different rows. This will give better look to the finished floor.
  7. Lay the first plank along the guide line. Select the straightest full planks for the first row. Measure the length of the second plank needed and cut if required. Keep in mind that wood is subject to expansion and contraction. So, leave a gap of about ¼” from the wall for expansion.
  8. Start laying the second row with the length left over from the end of the first row.
  9. Starting from the grooved side of the plank facing the wall, nail the first row. Keep a distance of about 5-6” between nailing.
  10. Align the first plank along the guide and nail.
  11. Lay the following rows and nail.
  12. When you reach the last row, leave a distance of ¾” for expansion. Cut the plank if required.
  13. Install the baseboards and quarter-rounds and you are done.

* Tips:

  • Nail the first and last row by hand.
  • Drill holes and fixed distance of 5-6” for nailing.

Video : How to Install Hardwood Floors

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