The laying of hardwood floors is not the terribly complicated of a process. In reality it only requires a good eye, good judgment, and a great sense of balance in addition to rudimentary carpentry skills and a couple of specialized tools such as miter saws, jamb saws, and floor nailers. All the tools necessary to lay hardwood floors can be found for rental at most tool rental places.
There are certain things you should do before you begin laying your hardwood floor. The first thin is to examine the layout of the floor. Most hardwood floors are laid parallel to the longest wall. It is up to you whether or not you follow tradition or go for a unique look that is all your own. The reason most choose to lay it parallel to the longest wall in the room is to make the room appear larger than it is.
Before you begin working on the floor, you will need to remove the baseboards along the wall. If you aren’t planning to replace them, take extra caution when removing them not to damage them or the wall. You might also take advantage of this opportunity to install vapor barriers. If you elect to install barriers be sure that they are overlapping about four to six inches apart and that they are glued down with mastic. You should insert spacers around the room in order to provide room for the boards to expand and contract, as they will do over time.
Begin by laying pieces in the doorways. You should fit longer pieces first using shorter boards later in the project. If you are working with random lengths of flooring try to alternate shorter and longer pieces outward towards the edges of the room. If you are fortunate enough to be working with interlocking pieces you can cut them in order to make them fit.
It’s a wise idea to use a chalk line in order to insure the straightness of the first row when laying the planks in place along the perimeter of the room. You should use nails that are at least long enough to penetrate the sub floor by a minimum of one inch and place the nail so that it will be hidden by the baseboard.
If you are hoping to save time during the installation of your hardwood floors, you might want to consider the value of a pneumatic nailer. Most people find that simply tapping the planks into place and staggering rows accomplishes a very natural look.
After you’ve finished laying your floor be sure to check for nails that may be sticking out between the boards. Sometimes it takes a few days to show up, as they will appear once the floor begins to settle. Simply pound them back into the floor so that they injure no one.
Rob Buenaventura has worked in the home improvement industry for several years. Learn more about hardwood floor refinishing , installing hardwood floors and other Do-it yourself home improvement tips at HomeImprovementTouch.com