How To Install Oak Flooring

Things you will need to install any hard wood flooring are a rubber mallet, a circular saw or a miter saw works best, a pneumatic flooring nailer and nails, a chalk line, pencil and framing square, stud finder, a box of 16 penny nails, cats claw, tape measure, dust mask, matching wood putty, spacers, a sander, a hammer, and a nail set, a tapping block, and finish nails.

When installing any hard wood flooring always let the flooring product acclimate to the climate in the room you are installing it in by placing it in the room for 3-4 days, it's best to open the boxes.

Before installing the flooring the floor needs to be prepped. The sub floor needs to be at least 3/4" (OSB) particle board. If particle board is already in place drill a small hole to determine the thickness of the particle board, and look for ratings that are usually printed on the particle board. The sub floor needs to be fairly even. Nail any locations on the sub floor to the joists that seem weak or make creaking noises. Sand the floor. Lay down your underlayment, if required by your product.

Next, you need to determine if the base boards need to be taken up, replaced, or left in place. Typically the base boards already in place are a 1/4" or more from the sub floor. If you can, keep from removing the baseboards. If not, then you will need to use your cat's claw to carefully remove any baseboards. Be very careful, as you do not want to damage the walls. If you do have to remove the baseboards, check to see if you can salvage them; if not, baseboards are fairly inexpensive.

Take your framing square and determine the squarest wall. This can be done by placing the square in each corner. Take note of site lines in the room, and hallways. On the longest make a chalk line 1/4" away from the wall, this will be a guide for the rest of the room. Along side the chalk line face a section of flooring with the tongue side facing the room. Next, pre-drill a hole about an inch of the product on both ends and about 12 inches apart. Then hammer the finish nails into the guide, and use a nail set to set the nails. Make the guide go the entire length of the room. Take the wood putty and cover the nails.

Now place the section groove into the guides tongue use a shorter piece for this section to make the floor look staggered. Mix and match boxes to add color and randomness to your floor. Depending on the type of pneumatic nailer you may have to continue with pre-drilling and finish nailing another row, or you may be able to use your pneumatic nailer. Place the nailer against the product and hit it with a hammer. Mix the planks so, that it give a unique look to the floor.

For the last few rows you may need to pre-drill hole and use putty depending on your flooring nailer, since it will be hard to strike the nailer with the hammer without hitting the wall. For the last row measure the distance of the wall to the plank on the floor. Subtract an expansion gap according to the product. Cut the plank with a saw; make sure you use a recommended blade for the product you are installing. Using a piece of plank against the wall, use your pry bar and push into place. Install the transitions, base boards, and shoe molding.


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