How to install hardwood floors by Atlas Green Homes

Installing hardwood flooring is very much like putting a puzzle together. There are three main installation methods. These are nail-down installation, glue-down installation, and floating installation. It is assumed that you have a level subfloor that is wood for nail-down installation. Glue-down and floating installations can usually be done on both wood and concrete subfloors, but it must be level also.

Nail-down installation

1. Remove any baseboards or shoe moldings. Baseboard is used to hide the gap that you must leave for expansion and contraction of wood. So, you will want to make sure your subfloor is clear to the walls in order to have a place to come back and install the base and shoe molding later. The standard gap between the flooring and the walls is 3/16″ to 3/4″ depending on your manufacturer and style of flooring.

2. Screw down any loose or squeaky boards and undercut any door jambs to allow for the wood to be installed underneath. A helpful tip is to use the backside of one of your boards to determine the height needed to be cut off of your door jambs.

3. Start laying out the first row. Try to run the boards perpendicular to your floor joists if possible. You will need to either pop a chalk line or stretch a line parallel to your first wall. Make sure and account at this point for any out of square issues in your room. Once you start running boards they will appear as straight as the first board. You usually would measure from one side of the wall to the other and adjust any discrepancies with this first row. Make sure and predrill your first row or two for nails and face nail them into joists if possible.

4. Dry fit the next 3 feet or so. Make sure you are pulling your strips or planks from three separate boxes randomly so that the natural graining of the wood will vary slightly. This way your installed floor will have a more uniform look. Now you can layout all your boards for 3 feet or so and make your length cuts accordingly.

5. Nail down the next rows. Use a flooring nailer to nail through the tongue of the board. These are usually available for rent at most tool rental outlets. Using a rubber mallet to shoot the nail through the tongue. Make sure you adjust the nailer so that it countersinks the boards. Keep alternating nailing and dry-fitting boards to assure a proper fit.

6. Nail around any obstacles in the floor such as cabinets or pipes/fixtures that come out of the subfloor. Make sure you leave the appropriate gap around any of these obstacles.

7. Face nail the last few rows when you come to the edge of the room.

8. Next install your transitions and base moldings. Make sure you allow for a gap inside your transition. Also, make sure that you do not nail down the transition or moldings to the wood floor. You will need to nail the base moldings into the wall and the transitions into the floor in a place where it will not come into contact with the wood. Sometimes it is helpful to add some construction adhesive to the bottom of the transitions as these are usually high traffic areas. Over time this will prevent squeaking.

Glue-down installation

1. Remove any baseboards or shoe moldings. Baseboard is used to hide the gap that you must leave for expansion and contraction of wood. So, you will want to make sure your subfloor is clear to the walls in order to have a place to come back and install the base and shoe molding later. The standard gap between the flooring and the walls is 3/16″ to 3/4″ depending on your manufacturer and style of flooring.

2. If installing over a wood subfloor, screw down any loose or squeaky boards, Undercut any door jambs to allow for the wood to be installed underneath. A helpful tip is to use the backside of one of your boards to determine the height needed to be cut off of your door jambs.

3. Start laying out the first row. Try to run the boards perpendicular to your floor joists if possible. You will need to either pop a chalk line or stretch a line parallel to your first wall. Make sure and account at this point for any out of square issues in your room. Once you start running boards they will appear as straight as the first board. You usually would measure from one side of the wall to the other and adjust any discrepancies with this first row. Glue down this first row.

4. Dry fit the next 3 feet or so. Make sure you are pulling your strips or planks from three separate boxes randomly so that the natural graining of the wood will vary slightly. This way your installed floor will have a more uniform look. Now you can layout all your boards for 3 feet or so and make your length cuts accordingly.

5. Apply glue a foot or so out from the board and glue down the next few rows. Keep in mind the larger the room the less area away from your board you will be able to glue at a time. Make sure and keep some cleanup rags to try and keep the glue off the wood. Most manufacturers sell these as accessories. You can also use Acetone on a cotton or cheesecloth rag.

6. Glue around any obstacles in the floor such as cabinets or pipes/fixtures that come out of the subfloor. Make sure you leave the appropriate gap around any of these obstacles.

7. Glue down the last few rows when you come to the edge of the room.

8. Next install your transitions and base moldings. Make sure you allow for a gap inside your transition. Also, make sure that you do not glue down the transition or moldings to the wood floor. You will need to nail the base moldings into the wall and glue the transitions into the floor in a place where it will not come into contact with the wood using some construction adhesive to the bottom of the transitions.

By | 2017-12-28T03:19:40+00:00 December 28th, 2017|News|