Wood floors are beautiful, but where do you begin? This blog will help you learn how to install hardwood floors to enhance your home.
One of the simplest yet most important choices a homeowner should make when undergoing a renovation is the flooring option because it serves as the foundation for all other considerations. Despite the wide range of choices – from carpet to terrazzo – one material is the prevailing standard: hardwood.
Hardwood Floor Installation Guidelines
1. Select Hardwood and Measure Material Requirements
There are three ways to install hardwood floors, and each requires a different amount of time and supplies. You should first measure the area where you plan to lay hardwood floors. Add 5% for cutting after measuring the area, or up to 10% if you are installing hardwood flooring on a diagonal surface. When purchasing hardwood floors, round up.
2. Let Hardwood Adapt
It takes time for hardwood flooring to adapt to the environment in your house, especially with the varying weather. Retailers advise letting hardwood lie for five days at 75 degrees with 30% to 55% humidity before installation. The hardwood will be less likely to expand or compress.
3. Prepare the Area for Installing Hardwood
Pulling the baseboards will allow you to evaluate the subfloor for levelness and smoothness. You'll need to install a subfloor if you don't already have one. Put underlayment on the floor and mark the location of the floor joists. To prevent moisture and shield flooring and subfloors from spills and water vapor from the ground below, use a 15–30 pound asphalt-soaked felt, silicone shield, or vapor barrier paper.
4. Put in Hardwood Floor Planks
For the first two rows, choose the straightest boards. With an air floor nailer, the first rows must be fastened through the board's face while the remaining rows can be nailed through the tongue. If you don't have an air floor nailer, you can drill a hole that is 1/32 inch in diameter and is placed 1/2 inch from the edge with the groove.
Lay the first board along a chalk line with the groove facing the wall. Place 34-inch spacers between the board's end and the wall and along its length to allow for expansion.
Pound nails into pre-drilled holes. The best flooring nails are 6d or 8d.
Tap the following board into position and secure it with a blind nail using a mallet. Through using a nearby board, a nail can be concealed by blind-nailing. When installing tongue-and-groove flooring, you can hammer a nail into the tongue at a 45-degree angle and hide it in the groove of the following board.
Using a nail punch, countersink nails (drive them just below the surface to eliminate interference in the joint) and fill the hole with matching putty.
Leave a 34-inch margin for expansion after cutting the board to fit at the end.
Along the length of the row, nail at a 45-degree angle on the tongue edge of every floor joist.
To begin a new row, insert the groove into the tongue of the preceding row and tap a tapping block into position. At the end of the row, space the joists six inches apart and nail them into position.
Install the remaining hardwood floor planks, spacing the joints and leaving room for expansion by utilizing boards from other boxes. After the third row, use a pneumatic floor nailer to drive nails through the tongue and then tap them with a mallet. To fit the boards around items, you might need to use a jigsaw.
On the tongue side, face nail the last two rows. Drill pilot holes with a 1/32-inch diameter and a half-inch from the edge. Use a drawbar to join the boards together, followed by a face nail, after cutting the length of the boards to suit the final row and leaving a 34-inch gap for an extension.
Sand, stain, and trim any extra underlayment. Use matching wood putty to fill in nail holes.
5. Change The Baseboards
The expansion gap will be covered when the baseboards are reinstalled. The baseboard should be fastened to the wall with nails so that the lower edge is level with the top of the floor. The baseboard is then secured using shoe moulding. The shoe moulding shouldn't be nailed to the subfloor or the floor.
6. Install Transition or Threshold Strips
You'll need to install threshold or transition strips to conceal any areas where the floor's edge is visible.
Time To Consult A Pro
Asbestos may be present in the old flooring material in older homes, so it can be prudent to call a professional early in the process. Calling a professional is always the best option if you have no experience with wood floor installation and want to ensure that you won't lose money on the materials if you make a mistake.