How to Install a Hardwood Floor in 5 Easy Steps


A hardwood floor installation can be an excellent addition to your current home renovation plan. This project can be completed without the assistance of a handyman or carpenter for there are many ways to approach it and deal with it on your own.

When finished (along with the builders waste disposal, which usually follows afterwards), it can be a rewarding accomplishment for those who enjoy working on their own home. Here are 5 easy steps to guide you through hardwood floor installation and turn it into an easy, quick and non messy (after all, you don’t want to devote too much to rubbish removal when finished):

1.) Measure the Room

Once the board width, colour, and wood type of the hardwood floor have been selected, it is time to determine the square footage of the room. Simply measure the length and width of the room, then multiply these measurements to obtain the square footage. When purchasing the flooring, it is important to order slightly more than needed in order to prepare for potential cutting mistakes or defected boards. Don’t be disturbed if more materials require more rubbish disposal later; at least you will have peace of mind and room for error.

2.) Prepare the Sub-Floor

Hardwood floors may be installed on a previous floor covering, an existing hardwood floor that is in good condition, a new plywood floor (at least ¾” thick), or a concrete slab. Regardless of the sub-floor option chosen, the sub-floor needs to be thoroughly cleaned and levelled. Do some junk removal and see to it that floor is prepared. If possible, identify the direction of the joists underneath the floor. After the sub-floor has been properly prepared, lay vapour barrier paper on top of the sub-floor to protect the hardwood flooring from moisture.

3.) Begin Installation

It is preferred to lay the flooring perpendicular to the direction of the underlying joists, but this is not a rule set in stone. Begin with installing the first row on the longest and straightest wall, which is often an exterior wall. Use long pieces of board for the first row and set this row of boards at least ⅜” away from the base of the wall. This provides space for the hardwood floor to expand in hot and humid weather. The first and last row of the flooring must be nailed down on the face of the board.

4.) Monitor Your Work

After the first several rows have been completed, make sure to monitor the project’s progress; check that the boards are straight and that the developing wood pattern is appealing to the eye. Once there is enough room for a pneumatic flooring nailer, it is best to begin using such to save time and alleviate the effort required to nail the boards by hand. Pneumatic flooring nailers are available to rent or buy at most local home improvement stores and they are going to save your energy, which you are later going to need for rubbish disposal.

5.) Install Last Row and Trim

Once the last row is ready to be installed, measure ⅜” from the base of the wall as done for the first row. It is possible that the boards of the last row will have to be cut in order to ensure that this gap is present. After the last row is installed, the final step is to install the shoe trim and base moulding to give the hardwood flooring a complete and professional look. Final stop is builders clearance, which concludes the process.

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