Hardwood Flooring Installation For Lasting Beauty

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Hardwood flooring is a beautiful option to enhance your homes flooring. Many homes that are over 100 years old still have the original hardwood flooring intact. Even mistreated hardwood floors can be refinished to show the beauty of the original wood.

Here’s the basic hardwood flooring installation process:

Along the walls perpendicular to the floor joists, mark the joist so that the marks can be seen above the new flooring.

You will need a sturdy subfloor on which to install the hardwood floor. Cover this subfloor with asphalt felt. Most installers choose 15-pound felt and overlap all seems by three inches. The felt is stapled into place using an automatic staple gun.

Find the center of the room width wise and use a chalk-line to snap a center line parallel with the wall from which you intend to start. You will also need to snap lines between the joist marks.

Another line should be snapped about 1/2 inch from the beginning wall but parallel with the center line. The gap gives room for expansion and will not show as it will be concealed by the baseboard molding.

Hardwood Flooring InstallationFor the first row, you will need to find the longest boards or if your boards vary in width, the widest planks. Close to the wall where nail heads will not show since they will be covered, drill a pilot hole for each finishing nail. These holes should be at 90 degrees to the face of the floor boards. Nail into place at each floor joist. Set the nails below the surface of the board face using a punch or nail set.

Once the first row nailed near the wall the remaining nails will be set in a blind position so they are not seen. This should be done by hand for the first three rows. A pilot hole needs to be drilled through the exposed tongue at a 45 degree angle. These holes should correspond to the chalk line snapped to mark the floor joists and at ten inch intervals. One and one half inch finishing nails are used. These nails also need to be set.

Before nailing the second row or any other row after that, use a small piece of flooring that fits the exposed tongue to fit the boards together using a mallet. Boards should extend more than six inches beyond the end of any adjacent row and not over any joints in the sub flooring. Wide plank flooring may have special instructions for nailing due to expansion.

If you are flooring a large area, a hardwood flooring installation nailer makes the work go quicker. It slips over the tongue of the board being installed and a mallet is used to hit the plunger. A nailer can be used for nails or staples that are up to 2 inches.

For the last row, a block with a pry bar will work to wedge the boards together tightly. Once again you will need to drill holes perpendicular to the face of the board for nailing. Remember that these nails will be covered with baseboard. Once completed you’ll have a quality hardwood flooring installation you can appreciate for years to come.

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