How To Put Down Hardwood Floors

Using wood for flooring adds warmth, elegance and beauty to any space. It is a durable and beautiful material. If you are considering hardwood floors for your home, you have the option of hiring a professional wood floor installer or do it yourself. You will need some advanced skills but it can be done. If you will do it yourself, purchase wood that is pre-fabricated, meaning precut and pre-sanded so you just have to layer it on. Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Measure the floor area of the room or space where you will use the hardwood floor. Note down any recessed areas or protrusions. This will let you know how many planks of wood you will need to buy, depending on the individual width of each plank.
  2. Select the wood you want. It is best you purchase prefabricated wood if you will do the installation yourself.
  3. Purchase the wood you will need and have it rest in a stack for a few days in the room. Wood absorbs moisture in the air and expands and contracts accordingly. Resting the wood will allow it to get acclimated to the space. Also, rent out the floor stapler.
  4. Prepare your subflooring by placing a layer of 15-pound asphalt felt. This will help absorb moisture and noise.
  5. Mark the center of the room and find the position of your floor joists. The planks need to be installed perpendicular to the joists.
  6. Start to lay out the wood. It will be easier if you start on the longest wall of the room. Leave a half-inch gap between the wall and the first sheet of wood. This will be your allowance for expansion.
  7. Place the first wood by the doorway to demarcate the space your will place hardwood.
  8. You will need to drill holes for the strips of wood that cannot be stapled down. Using a 3/8 drill bit, drill a hole through the ends where you can secure the wood. Place it against the wall and cover the hole with the deck screws.
  9. Use another straight piece of wood to anchor the first strip. It must be perfectly aligned or the rest of your flooring will not be even. To set the wood in place, use a hammer and nail it sideways to push the wood sideways in a more secure fit.
  10. For the end, measure and cut the size of the wood strip to fill in the remaining space.
  11. Once you have secured the end piece, you can work your way through the rest of the room. Use a pneumatic stapler. Layer the wood tongue and groove style. Stagger the wood at about 6 inches or longer. Just make sure it’s about uniform.

This is a serious home project to do. It’s best you have help and it may take a few days to get this done. The most difficult parts will be under the doorways when you have to jigsaw the plank to match the cut of the doorframe. To hide any flaws and gaps on the perimeter, attach a baseboard to the wall. Once you get the job done, you can enjoy the beauty of your new hardwood floor!


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