Hardwood Floor Installing

Hardwood Flooring Installed

Hardwood Flooring InstalledWe just had hardwood flooring installed. So we thought we would write a post about the best ways to look after your hardwood floor. Keep it looking pristine for many years.

Now how do you take care of it and keep it that way without having to do a lot of work. You have invested a lot of money in your new floor. It will also cause your home to increase in value as well a great deal. If you maintain the floor, it will only continue to enhance your home’s value especially when it comes time to sell it.

Hardwood Flooring Installed

Protect your hardwood floors by taking care of your hardwood floors and also following a few simple rules which we’ve listed below:

Do not wear shoes inside your home, They track in dirt and grit which can scratch your floors and overtime leave a dull finish. This is probably one of the most important tips to remember.

Vacuum often to remove dust and also grit that makes it onto your floors from your clothes, from shoes, dust that is blown in from outside and even dust blowing in through the windows. Keeping your floors very clean will enhance the floors and keep them looking great for years.

Wipe up spills immediately before the liquid can ruin the finish on your floor and also fall between the cracks causing the wood to swell.

Place coasters under furniture feet to avoid pressure points from the feet of the furniture that leave indentations in your floor that cannot be easily removed.

Close blinds to decrease bleaching by the sun. It is truly amazing just how much the sun can bleach the floor leaving a two tone floor, one area where the furniture was and the other area where the furniture was not sitting.

Do not drag furniture across floors to avoid scratching the floor and leaving marks. Lift the furniture and carry it across the floor.

Wash the floors with a damp mop to remove in dirt and grit that may have stuck to the floor. Never allow any liquid to stay on the floor especially when you are mopping the floor with a mop. It should be only damp and not wet. Never use any abrasive material or any soap that could damage the finish on the floor.

Improve & Maintain Your Homes Value

Hardwood floors will last a lot longer if you take some simple precautions. They do not take a great deal of work. Your home will also be worth much more when it comes time to sell it. The hardwood floors should be in good to great condition. Prospective buyers are interested in gleaming and shiny floors that they do not have to have refinished. They want to avoid the work, the expense and the challenge of having floors refinished while trying to move in to their new homes.


Installation of Hardwood Floors

Installation of Hardwood FloorsInstallation of hardwood floors is made simple by hiring a hardwood floor installer who really knows what he is doing. The trick is to make sure that the guy you hire has experience. They will plan your floor out to make sure that it is done properly and looks great when it’s finished.

Learn the Basics of Hardwood Floor Installation

Knowing a little bit about installing hardwood floors can help you interview the installer. Also make sure that the guy that will do the job for you has experience and will do an excellent job. You should ask for recommendations from the store where you purchase your hardwood. You really want to go beyond just getting a recommendation from the hardwood floor store. Understand the best approach to laying out your flooring. Which direction should the floor run in? Across the joists that support the floor or along a hallway?

Ask for References

You might also ask for references and actually go and see the people to look at their floors. Discuss with them what their concerns and issues about their floor are. How it was installed. Are they totally satisfied or would they do something different? You can ask for references from the store. However hardwood flooring is so popular these days that many of your friends will have had some experience with installing flooring. Ask for their opinion and references as well.

We are all in hurry, especially once we have made the decision to go ahead with the purchase and the installation of the hardwood in our homes. If you know of an excellent installer, you may want to wait until he is available. Rather than go with another installer that you are not as confident with. Sometimes the wait is worth it to get the best installation that you can.

Installation of Hardwood Floors

The hardwood floor strips should run across the joists that support the floor. You can usually tell by looking at the direction of the joists in the basement to find out which direction they’re going. The hardwood strips should be placed across those joists on the upper floors. In addition there should be at least 5/8 inch plywood on the floors to provide maximum strength. This will avoid any squeaking or movement of the floor once the hardwood is installed. Some homeowners will also add additional nails or better yet wood screws to hold the plywood in place. This will prevent squeaking after the floor has been installed.

The hardwood floor strips should run the length or the same direction of the hallway. This makes the room look larger and not as narrow. We have two hallways that intersect, so we chose the longer and wider hallway to run the hardwood planks the length of that hallway. In the other hallway which intersects with the first we had no choice but to run then across the width of the hallway. This makes it look a little smaller. But it is a short one and not used as much as the first one, so we are more than satisfied with this decision.

Living and Dining Rooms

In the living rooms or dining rooms or family rooms the same rule should apply. The hardwood strip should run the length of the room rather than the width of the room. Installing the hardwood floor strips in this manner should also usually comply with the earlier suggestion, The hardwood floor strips be installed across the joists in the basement or in the second floor. Once your hardwood floor is installed, many people will place area rugs to enhance the décor. In addition this will protect the flooring in high traffic areas. This is a great way to add accents to the room as well as complement your furniture. It brings everything together from a color perspective.

Some consumers will also hire decorators to help them with this step to make sure that everything is color coordinated and looks great.


Wood Flooring Installation

Hardwood Floor InstallersPlanning a new hardwood floor is part figuring out which type of hardwood to install. Then what color to install in your home and then who to install the floor! Most people spend a lot of time on the type of hardwood and the color. They want the end result to look really nice of course. Also to create the right look and atmosphere in their home and match it with their existing furniture.

For most consumers this is the tough part. They give little consideration to the actual installation. They assume that the installer knows his business and will do a good job completing the installation. Sometimes the store were you purchase the hardwood will recommend an installer that they like to deal with. This is probably your best choice. Since he is associated with the store . You can take advantage of this relationship if there is any kind of problem with the installation itself.

Consumers may want to learn more about the installation so that they can save themselves some money. In addition also ensure that they are totally happy with the installation when it is completed. For example the biggest complaint that many people have after their floor is installed is about squeaks the floor makes when you walk across it. As the floor dries out the floor will move a little bit and gaps sometimes form. When a person walks across the floor, the wood will move and make that squeaking noise that can be irritating to some. There are methods consumers can use to minimize the squeaks.

Wood Flooring Installation – Eliminate Squeaking Floors

You can never reduce or eliminate all of the squeaking. But you can certainly reduce the amount of squeaking if you take appropriate steps. Make sure that the sub floor is strong enough to support the wood floor that is being installed. Also that the sub floor is securely nailed to the joists below. For example your sub floor should be at least 5/8 inches in thickness to support the hardwood floor. It also should hold the nails that will be used to nail the wood floor to it. Assuming that the thickness is sufficient, consumers should make sure that the sub floor is nailed to the joists securely. Place a nail every 12 inches to make sure there is no opportunity for the sub floor to move. Many people will screw nail the floor as well.  Place a screw nail beside every nail.

If your sub floor is not sufficient thickness, you may have to add additional sub floor. Screw nail or nail it to the existing sub floor. Adding an additional sub floor layer and then the hardwood floor on top of that adds additional height to the floor. Which can be a problem when matching to other floors in other rooms. Consumers should take this into account when they are making their decisions. Discuss these requirements with the hardwood flooring stores. There are products that can be purchased that will bridge between floors . They will gradually slope from one floor to the other to provide a more gradual interface. Instead of an abrupt step from one floor to another.

Discuss How the Floor Will be Laid Out with the Installer

Discuss this issue and others with your flooring provider before you arrange for hardwood flooring installation. Also before the installer begins his installation, discuss how he plans to lay the floor out. A key decision is for the grain of the wood or the planks of the wood to be lain across the joists in the floor rather than in the same direction of the joists.  You may have to confirm by looking in the basement to see which direction they are running. Also the boards should run the length of the hall rather than across a hall. This makes the room look larger when viewed from the beginning or entry point into the hall.

All of the above items that were discussed  are easy to control and implement. It can make a huge difference in your long-term enjoyment of your new hardwood floor. For more information about installing hardwood floors, click here.

Hardwood Flooring Contractors

Consumers who have decided to install hardwood floors in their homes must also decide what hardwood flooring contractors they will hire. In most cases the store they purchase the hardwood from can also provide installation services for them. They are providing a list of subcontractors that have been vetted by the store. Most hardwood stores will only recommend hardwood flooring contractors that they have experience with and who they can count on to do a good quality job and who also stand behind their work. After all their reputation is on the line as well, since if they have a dissatisfied customer, it will not matter whether it is with the material or the subcontractor, the store is still going to get a bad reputation.

However everyone has to begin somewhere and this is also true of hardwood flooring contractors. They need to gain experience and sometimes will work under another professional hardwood flooring installer to learn the trade. They may work together until the contractor has sufficient experience that they feel they can go out on their own and take on their own contracts. The questions for consumers is whether you want to be part of the training period when you are probably spending thousands of dollars on a new hardwood floor.

Questions for Hardwood Flooring Contractors

We put together several questions that will hopefully help consumers when they are hiring hardwood flooring contractors or even just going with the contractor that the store recommends.

  • How Long have you been laying hardwood floors?
  • How many installations have you completed on your own?
  • Can you provide references that are willing to speak with us?
  • Do you warranty your work?
  • When will the work begin?
  • When will you finish?
  • Will you stay on our contract until it is finished?
  • What precautions do you take to avoid dust in our home
  • What precautions do you take to avoid damage to other parts of our home
  • Do you clean up all sawdust and board ends that may be left over

Squeaky Floors and Hardwood Flooring Contractors

You may have other concerns or questions that you also want to ask the contractor that we have not listed. let us know what they are and we will add them to the list for other readers. Some home owners will request the contractor to explain how they will go about the installation, which way will the grain of the floor flow, how does the grain flow relative to the joists underneath and so  on. For example, your floor will gain maximum strength of the hardwood strips flow across the joists underneath the floor. this can be very important if you want to minimize squeaks in your floor. Most floors will squeak at some point and in one or two locations. In fact our floor squeaks in the winter time when the humidity in the house is the driest and the wood shrinks a bit because it is so dry.

It also squeaks in the hallway and nowhere else for some reason that we have not been able to figure out and only in the winter time as we explained. This is one of the weird things about our home and it will be a different location and even a different time of the year for your home. Having the contractor explain how he will install your floor will tell you a lot. If he does not mention installing across the joists, then you may want to add some probing questions of your own to see if he really knows what he is doing. Another point is that I like the contractor to set up his saw outside to minimize the dust in the house.

Leave Comments

Feel free to leave comments for our readers about your own experiences and any suggestions that you may want to leave for our readers. We can all assist each other to avoid situations that are less than what many people would like to experience with hardwood flooring contractors.

Hardwood Floor Installation

Hardwood Floor InstallationHardwood floor installation is actually pretty straight forward. Once you have properly planned out what you are doing and made all of the decisions regarding what kind of flooring, it can be easy.  What should you do about the sub floor and who should complete the installation for you? There are lots of sites that discuss the actual installation work of installing a hardwood floor. However in this post we are going to focus more on the practical side of all of the decisions that need to be made. When you consider a hardwood floor and hopefully provide a few guidelines or ideas for you to consider.

What Rooms will Hardwood Flooring Be Installed In

Will you install hardwood flooring in the entire house, on one level, in one room? What about the stairs. Some people prefer to have several rooms carpeted and the rest with hardwood flooring to provide contrast. Some people want the entire house flooring to be hardwood. There are practical considerations to take into account in making these decisions in addition to the cost. Matching floor levels from room to room may be a concern if you want to avoid uneven floor interfaces. The stairs can be the most expensive part of the flooring due to the additional labor required especially if it is curved. More information on both areas in a moment.

Preparation of the Floor

Obviously the existing floor material needs to be removed. The sub floor underneath needs to be cleaned of all debris and any nails or staples also removed to leave a smooth surface to work with. It is also a good idea to run over the floor with a vacuum to clear away any dirt and dust that may be left. This will mean less dirt will be stirred up when you are installing the new flooring. Use a broom to dislodge any dust that is sticking to the sub floor.

Installing Additional Sub Floor Support

If your existing sub floor is less than 5/8’s inches or you want to make sure that your floor is really tight with no squeaks. If not you may want to add another sub floor and screw nail it down into the joists. Alternately you can also screw nail your existing floor wherever there are existing squeaks. Test this by walking all over the floor and screw nailing into a joist at that point.

Direction for the Floor to Run

Most installers will recommend that you install the floor with the grain of the wood running lengthwise in the room instead of across the room. This approach has the impact of making a room look larger than it actually is. Once you have chosen which way the wood grain will run, maintain this approach throughout the house.

Color or Stain of the Floor You will Choose

This is an entirely personal choice that will be made by you the customer. Something to consider is obviously matching the décor of the rest of the house and matching your planned decorating ideas. Also if you plan to sell the home anytime soon, you may want to choose something more neutral in color so that the floor will appeal to more potential buyers when it comes time to sell your home.

Who Will Complete the Hardwood Floor Installation

Most people will usually go with the installer recommended by the store where you purchased your flooring from. Many consumers will do it themselves in an effort to save money as well. Like any project that you take on, take the time to learn how to do the installation properly and plan it out so that no mistakes are made. Once the floor is nailed to the subfloor it is pretty hard to take it up to do any rearrangements or make corrections.



Hardwood Floor Contractors

Hardwood Floor ContractorsHow does the average consumer hire hardwood floor contractors or should they try to install the hardwood floor themselves? These are the types of questions that most consumers ask themselves when they are considering installing a new hardwood floor. If they are thinking about hiring a hardwood floor contractor, should they use the one recommended by the store they are purchasing the wood from? Or should the go and find one on their own? We will spend a few minutes discussing these issues. Hopefully our comments will help readers make up their minds regarding which approach to take.

Store Recommended Floor Contractors

Most stores have a number of hardwood floor installers on contract that they can refer their customers to.  Some of the installers will actually be employees if the store is large enough. However most will have several contractors that are known to them and have a reputation for doing excellent work. They will not refer work to contractors unless they do have an excellent reputation. Since any work that is not satisfactory will reflect badly on the store. This is just common sense and makes really good business sense to operate in this manner.

Stores that hire the contractors for you will usually warranty the work these contractors do. If they refer contractors to you and you hire them, there is no warranty from the store for the work the contractor does.

Signing Contracts with Hardwood Floor Contractors

It also depends on who your contract for floor installation is with. Pay really close attention to this point. Just because you pay the store for the hardwood material and installation, you could actually be signing two contracts. One for the hardwood material and a second one for the installation. It is always a good idea to clarify this point. If you have an issue with the installation of the flooring, who do you turn to for resolution and warranty? Will the store stand behind their product and their services which includes installation?

If the store wants you to sign a separate contract for installation, they may be just processing the contract. Also collecting a finder’s fee for passing along the work to the contractor. In a situation such as this one, the store is not taking any responsibility. Consumers should be more careful in this situation. You may want to ask for references before you proceed. The onus is on you the consumer. Hence you may as well hire someone who you are comfortable with after having done your research.

Do It Yourself Hardwood Floor Installation

At this point a basic decision regarding whether you should hire a contractor or do the work yourself is in order. If you are handy and take the appropriate courses or read blogs like this or watch the many Youtube videos on the subject, customers can save a lot of money. The money you save will pay for the tools you need to buy or rent and you will have the satisfaction of having done the work yourself.

There are many good contractors around and they can be hired at a reasonable price. Check out the criteria for hiring contractors on our website. If you have the time and are not afraid of work and learning how to lay a hardwood floor, most consumers will give it a try. Most hardwood floor contractors, at least the good ones will provide references with no problems at all. They will also have pictures of some of their work that you may be able to take a look at.

If you are not happy with the work discuss it with the contractor right away. Monitor the work during the day the floor is being laid and let him know right away before the floor is completed. It is a much bigger job to correct a defect after the floor is finished, rather than when it is in the process of being laid.


Hardwood Flooring Installers

Hardwood Flooring InstallersGood hardwood flooring installers sometimes can be hard to find. Home owners who are looking for hardwood flooring installers should know a little about the installation process so that they can evaluate the installers that they may be hiring. Otherwise you are simply hiring someone that the store may have recommended or who has installed a floor for a friend of yours. He may do a fine job and then again he might not. By knowing something about the process, and assessing what approach the installer will take with your floor, you can increase the odds of a fantastic job that you will be satisfied with for many years.

Hardwood Flooring Installers – Summary

The following are a summary of the steps that an installer would follow to ensure a quality job that everyone will be proud of:

  • Hardwood Floor Preparation
  • Considerations for Wood Floor Installation
  • Getting Started
  • Layout and preparation of Your Hardwood Floor
  • Cutting and Fastening Your Wood Floor
  • Install the Baseboards

Hardwood Floor Preparation – always ensure that the sub floor is clean, smooth and structurally sound. Either screw nail the existing sub floor to the joists underneath or add a 5/8 sheet of plywood to the floor and screw nail it to the existing sub floor to avoid any possibilities of a squeaking floor when someone walks across it. Adding an additional subfloor will add some sound proofing, but will also raise the floor by 5/8 inches, which will have to be adjusted for when it meets other types of flooring. You may also have to shave 5/8 inches off the bottom of doors as well at entry points. Concrete floors should be handled in a different manner.

Considerations for Wood Floor Installation – hardwood floors come in different varieties such as engineered or solid wood flooring. Engineered flooring will not warp or twist, however there is only a solid wood veneer on the flooring over layers of wood. Solid wood flooring should be acclimatized to the home before being laid and it can be sanded many times to renew the perfect look you want after many years of high traffic use. If there is a crawl space underneath, protect the flooring by installing a vapor barrier and also ensure that the crawl space is properly vented.

Getting Started

Planning is everything and do it yourselfers need to investigate and plan how they will start.  Determine the direction of the floor joists and install the wood floor planking perpendicular to them. Begin with the longest and most visible straight wall. Most walls in homes and rooms for that matter are not perfectly straight nor are the rooms square. Starting with the most visible and longest will ensure that your rooms floor aligns with the most visible portion. If you need to install a vapor barrier, install it first, and stable it to the floor to hold it in place. Using a chalk line mark a line that is ½ inch from the wall. This is the location of the first board that will be put in place. Mark the locations of the joists so that you will nail this first board at all joist locations.

Layout and preparation of Your Hardwood Floor

Once you have the chalk line in place, pre-drill holes in the first board close to the edge that will be against the wall. Nail your first board along the chalk line and counter sink the nails. The holes will be filled with wood putty later to cover the holes. Complete the first board and then step back and check for alignment to the wall, straightness of the first board and confirm that this critical first step has been done correctly.

Cutting and Fastening Your Wood Floor

The next rows can now be installed. Cut boards in such a manner that the joints do not line up with joints in previous rows. This will add strength to the floor and also  add texture and beauty to the floor. Begin installing the remaining rows using a hardwood floor nailer, making sure that all boards are securely in place before nailing.

Continue laying the rest of the hardwood floor using the nailer until you reach the other wall. These boards will need to be hand nailed using the predrilled approach and wood putty to seal the holes.

Install the Baseboards

The last bit of wood to be put in place are the baseboards. You left a ½ inch space between the hardwood floor and the wall for expansion. The base boards will cover this space nicely. Many people will paint the baseboards first before installing them. Fill nail holes with wood putty and then touch up with paint to finish the overall look.

Junctions with doors and other floors should also be considered, however this is the subject of another post.


Hardwood Floors Installed

Hardwood Floors InstalledOnce hardwood floors are installed they look fantastic. However the decision process leading up to their installation can be difficult for many consumers. There are so many decisions to make. They include  color, quality level, to installer to flooring support. Don’t forget edging that will match or merge with other floor coverings in the home. Some consumers can find this a daunting process. Many will turn to home decorators that will assist consumers in their selection process. In some cases floor covering stores will have decorators on staff. Consumers need to be aware that not all sales people have this knowledge and experience. However they will imply that they have a great deal of experience, and tell you what they think you want to hear in an effort to get your business.

The Selection Process for Hardwood Floors Installation

There are lots of decisions to make regarding hardwood floors and the best approach is to start with the easy decisions and narrow them down until you have made a decision. Here is a list of the things that consumers need to think about when they are going through the process of arranging for hardwood floors to be installed:

  • Type of wood – maple, oak, birch etc
  • Color of wood – stain, natural etc
  • Finish – glossy, natural
  • Areas in home that will have hardwood, including the stairs
  • Where will area rugs be placed
  • Color of paint on the walls to match furniture and flooring
  • Furniture changes to meet overall décor
  • Protective pads for all furniture
  • Installation – contract or do it yourself
  • Pricing of the hardwood
  • Adding additional support to the base floor to reduce squeaks

Ask for Help

These were not written in any order of priority, however we suggest that help from an interior designer would be appropriate, since there are many decisions concerning color and furniture design that can enhance the flooring or actually take away from the overall look of the room. We suggest that prior to selecting the flooring that wall color and furniture choices should be at least planned to ensure overall satisfaction with the choices.

Prior to Hardwood Floors Being Installed

Consumers can save money by removing the existing flooring and arranging for disposal. Once the old flooring is removed, vacuum the floor and remove any staples and smooth rough areas to provide a level floor for the installer. This is the time to test your floor for squeaks. Consumers can either screw nail the existing sub floor to the joists in locations were the floor is squeaking or install added sub flooring to act as an additional stabilizer for the floor. Some people feel that a squeaky hardwood floor adds to the character of a home. Other consumers cannot stand the sound of a squeaky floor, so pay attention to this step if this bothers you.

The installers will install the sub floor and they will install the hardwood floor for you. Once this is completed the next step is to install the corner round around the perimeter of the floor and paint it whatever color you select. We suggest that the corner round should be painted prior to installation since it is much easier to paint a long strip of wood that is not attached to another surface of a different color. Nail holes and any other marks can be repaired once it is installed.

Paint First

We also suggest that if you do plan to paint the walls that this work be completed before the new floor is installed. The painting can be done much more quickly. Especially when there is no need to worry about paint droplets on the floor.

Once all of the painting is completed and the flooring installed, new window treatments can be installed. The furniture return to this room. Now you have a brand new floor that has been fully redecorated. It has a floor covering that will last for many years with proper care.


Hardwood Floor Installers

Hardwood Floor InstallersSkilled hardwood floor installers can install a new floor in record time with high quality and make it look easy. They know how to get started and they know the mistakes to avoid. Installers also know that every piece of wood must be accurately placed. Each one must be secured before you go to the next piece. It is very hard work, especially on the back. You are kneeling or bending all of the time. You are using a specialized nailer to knock the wood into place and nail it at the same time.

Acclimatize the Hardwood

Most hardwood stores and installers will tell you that the wood should be delivered a week ahead of time. It should be allowed to acclimatize to the home and the conditions in the home. This allows the wood to expand if needed. Also to also absorb humidity or dry out as the case may be. If your home is really dry or if humid, you may want to allow for more time.

Selecting Hardwood Floor Installers

When you purchase your material from a store that specializes in hardwood and other floor coverings they will generally have their own installers to install floors or at least a list of installers that they have had good experience with. These installers generally will take work from a number of stores to keep busy unless the store is so successful that they work solely for one store. These are generally good installers to go with and you can count on the store to make sure that they have people they refer to that have good reputations.

If you are still concerned, look them up on Google to see if there are any customer complaints that you should be aware of. People today do not hesitate to leave their comments about the stores they deal with or the hardwood installers that they have used. These comments can be invaluable to consumers who do not have a lot of experience dealing with installers.

Another suggestion is to request references from the store you are dealing with. Of course they are going to provide you with customers they know are satisfied with the material and the workmanship. However by talking with these customers, you may learn some things to be aware of and to discuss with the store before you make a decision about purchasing and arranging for the floor to be installed.

Do it Your Self Hardwood Floor Installers

Many consumers will attempt to install the hardwood floor themselves in an effort to save money.  This can be accomplished quite easily by most consumers. Provided that you take the time to learn how to install a floor and arrange to purchase or rent the proper tools. Regarding buying or renting, it really comes down to how long you will need to rent the tools and their cost to rent. Compare the price to purchase these tools and make a decision. Many consumers will purchase tools even if they will only be using them for this one job. They will then sell them later to recover some of their money. They come out ahead once they sell their tools to another person who is installing their own floors.

Some flooring companies also offer courses on installing hardwood floors to their customers. This is offered as an incentive to persuade you to purchase all of the materials from them. Consumers should take advantage of these opportunities and learn the tricks of the trade. Often there are lots of things that can make your job a lot easier, save you time and frustration. Also review Youtube videos of which there are more and more available that cover most situations that consumers will encounter. We find that there is a great deal of information available to consumers that will enable them to take on most jobs. This is true as long as they take the time to educate themselves sufficiently. They can save a great deal of money by taking on these do it yourself jobs!


Hardwood Floor Installation Cost

Hardwood floor installation cost varies a great deal depending on the layout of your home. How much cutting etc needs to be done while installing your floor is also a factor. Installation is the next biggest cost that you will need to consider. Installing hardwood in a rectangular room of some kind, is relatively inexpensive. On the other hand if there are hallways or curved walls the amount of cutting and fitting is going to increase.

Hardwood Floor Installation Cost – Issues to Consider

The following are a couple of issues to consider when deciding to install hardwood flooring.

Stairways are The most Expensive Per Square Foot

The same thing applies to stairs when installing hardwood flooring on stair risers. Stairs that are straight with each riser being exactly the same can be cut and installed relatively easily. The challenge comes when you install risers on a stairway that is curved. Each riser is a different size and will also be an odd size. The riser must be custom made to fit the step. Then it must be fitted into the step to match all of the other. This takes extra time to measure, manufacture and cut to the exact width and depth of the stairway.

Anyone who is planning to do their own installation may want to get help with a curved stairway. The measuring and cutting must be exact and you need to have the right tools to do this work. An experienced floor installer will be able to install the stairs faster. Select your floor installer with care. Confirm their experience before giving them the job of installing your hardwood floor on your stairs.

Minimize the Cutting and Improve the look of the Floor

Cutting and measuring is typically what takes all of the time when it comes to installing a hardwood floor. The choices you make in regards to which direction the flooring will run will play a big part in the labor cost. Let’s consider a hallway as an example.

To begin you must coordinate the direction of the floor with other rooms in your home, especially if all rooms and hallways will be hardwood flooring. Typically most people will run the floor along the longest direction. This has the effect of making the room look a bit larger from an optical perspective while at the same time minimizing the amount of cutting that needs to be done. Adjacent hallways may have the floor run in the same direction or they may run perpendicular to the room that the hallway connects with.

Consider Direction Carefully

Consumers will never want hardwood flooring to run across the hallway. It should always run parallel to the hallways length to make the hallway look larger and to also enable full appreciation of the floor.  This has the effect of significantly reducing the cutting and fitting required also. More cutting and fitting will take more time and increase your installation cost.

In situations where two hallways run into each other in a ninety degree corner, a choice should be made to decide which hallway will have the floor run parallel to the longest length of the hallway and which one will have the flooring run across the shortest width of the hallway. We had exactly this situation on our own home and chose to run the floor parallel with the longest hallway which was also part of the main entrance to our home. This gives a nice long view of the hardwood floor and makes the hallway look larger than it is. The other hallway leads to the laundry room and the garage and is not nearly as important in terms of the way the home looks. It is also shorter and did not impact the installation cost of the hardwood floor significantly.

Interfaces to Other Flooring Materials

You may have carpet in some rooms or tile or marble in entrance areas. Wherever the hardwood floor will meet these other flooring types and interface to this floor must be installed so that there is an easy transition from one floor to the other and the actual joint is seamless. These also take a little more time to install and require special materials to make them look perfect. Your hardwood floor provider can help you select these materials. Your installer will be able to install them with no problems. They do take a little more time and will add slightly to the cost of installing your hardwood floor.

When you request an estimate for installation, you may want the installer to break down all of these costs so that you can assess what is being charged for each area. Then you can make an informed decision regarding whether you want to proceed or not with your hardwood floor installation.

Hardwood Floors Installation

Most people will hire a professional to install their hardwood floors. It is just simpler and easier to have someone who does this for a living and will do it well to do the installation. Hardwood floors installation can be made easier and less costly. However there are some things you can do to lower the overall cost of the floor installation if you would really like to save some money. Saving money is always a good thing. You can use your savings for other things.

Hardwood Floors Installation

Before we talk about what you can do to reduce the overall cost, we would like to spend a paragraph discussing your choice of flooring. Many new homes used to come with wall to wall carpeting and many still do, however the recent trend appears to be hardwood as the preferred choice. In fact a real estate agent friend of ours tells us that older homes will always sell more quickly if they have been updated with hardwood flooring. Carpeting is out and hardwood is in.

It is not just hardwood flooring, but it must be clean and in good shape as well with the right stain etc. Stick to a relatively neutral choice in terms of stain. Anything that is dramatic or wild will only attract specific buyers. You could be limiting the potential buyers if you are trying to sell your home. Updating your home from wall to wall carpeting to a new hardwood floor is one of the best investments that you can make.

Reducing the Cost of Installing a Hardwood Floor

Back to how you can save money when installing a new hardwood floor. Consumers can save the most money if they strike a good deal for the wood and install the floor themselves. However most people are not up to the job for a variety of reasons. So we will assume that you are going to hire someone to install your new hardwood floor. But there are things you can do to decrease the overall cost. Of course you can arrange for someone to do all of this work for you if you are not able or willing to do this work.

Hardwood Floors Installation – Prevent Dust in your Home

There is usually lots of dust created when a new floor is being installed. So several of the steps include dealing with all of this dust and how to prevent it spreading to the rest of the home.

Here we go:

  • Remove all furniture from the room were the new flooring will be installed
  • Remove all window coverings that either touch the floor or are within one foot of the floor
  • There will be lots of dust while the floor is being installed so you may want to remove all window coverings and pictures etc. that are hanging on the windows and walls.
  • Vacuum the existing floor to reduce the dust and dirt
  • Remove the existing flooring and arrange for garbage removal of the old flooring
  • Vacuum all dust from the exposed sub floor
  • If there are exposed nails or staples, either remove them or hammer them into the floor.
  • Ensure that the floor is smooth and make any repairs that may be required
  • Ensure that there is a clear pathway into and through your home to the room that will be worked on
  • If you plan to repaint the walls, now is the time to do it before the new floor is installed.
  • Protect other rooms from dust by closing doors and placing towels at the bottom of the doors
  • Shut the furnace fan off if you have central heat. This decreases the amount of dust spread through out your home.
  • You are ready for your new floor to be installed.

Dealing with Dust

Most hardwood floor installers will be careful and try to limit the amount of dust they create from cutting boards. However there is still lots of dust created just from the nailing of the hardwood to the floor. This dust seems to come from every where. Everything you can do to limit it will help you from a clean up perspective later after the floor has been installed.

Once the floor is installed and the new base boards are installed and painted a final cleaning of the room must be done to remove all traces of dust. Wipe the walls and windows with a damp cloth and vacuum everything. You can actually move the furniture back in immediately. However most people will want to wait until they have completely cleaned the room.

Cleaners can be hired, however this is another expense that you can avoid if your are interested in reducing your overall costs. Good luck with your hardwood floor installation!

Hardwood Floor Installer

The hardwood floor installer shown on the picture on the left is a power installer powered by an air compressor.  This is the professional version of the installer. It  is used by many hardwood floor installers to increase speed and decrease the labor required to install a floor. They work well, however most do it yourself weekend carpenters cannot afford to purchase this type of equipment.

The installer is triggered by the operator hitting the trigger mechanism with a specialized hammer. This action will cause the floor installer to push the board tightly into the groove. It places a nail at the appropriate location as well to hold the wood floor to the floor underneath. An electric or gas air compressor is required.

Hardwood Floor Installer – Equipment

This equipment can be rented at a local equipment rental company if you are planning a weekend job for example or have only a small area to install. Professional installers will have their own machines which they will use on a daily basis.

There are also mechanical hardwood floor installers which perform the same operation. However they must be hit slightly harder to trigger the nailing mechanism. A professional will usually have one of both. Preferring to use the air powered machine for most jobs with the manual installer for used in special situations or as a backup to his main installer.

Can You Install Hardwood Floors Yourself?

The answer is definitely yes. The previous post , “wood floor installation”, outlined the specific steps in detail for installing a hardwood floor by do it your self installers. The trick is to have all of the right tools available and to lay out your floor properly. Once you have that first row of boards laid down to your satisfaction, the rest is pretty straightforward. Review our previous post. Check out videos online that have been prepared by various hardwood floor materials companies.

In our previous post we talked about installing a hardwood floor. In this post we will discuss in more detail the process of preparing the sub floor.

Sub Floor Preparation

The first step is to remove the existing flooring. Even if you are having your floor professionally installed, removing the old floor yourself can be a great way to reduce some of the cost of installing a new floor. Remove the carpet, the underlay or linoleum flooring that is currently in place. Disposal can be arranged with the floor installation company you are using or other local junk removal companies.

Once the flooring is removed, you also need to clean the floor of any remaining debris and make sure that the floor is flat in all areas. Any protruding edges, staples or other material must be removed or hammered down into the floor.

If there are squeaks in the sub floor, now is the time to screw nail down the sub floor to the underlying joists. You should also verify that you have sufficient sub floor to support the hardwood floor you will be installing. Check with your supplier for the specifications, however at least 5/8’s inch is usually required. If the sub floor is thinner than this, there will be insufficient support for the floor and it may develop squeaks over time.

We often will also vacuum the floor to remove any dust and other particles of dirt that might have been on the floor. We even found cigarette buts from the time when the house was originally built. The original rug installers did not even take the time to clean the floor before they installed the initial carpet in out new home!

this is also the time to paint the walls if you feel that your walls need a new coat of paint. It is much easier to paint when you do not need to be concerned about spilling paint on the floor.

What Happens When the Hardwood Floor Installer Leaves

The installer will lay the floor and usually install the new baseboards as well. The base boards will be primed, however they will require another coat of paint. You should make sure that they also fill all nail holes in the base boards and the flooring before they leave. You will need to paint the baseboards with a final coat of paint. Give them a wipe first to remove any dust accumulation before painting.

Once the paint on the baseboards is dry, you will need to wipe down all of the walls and the floor. A lot of dust is usually stirred up during installation. It will come to rest on your walls and floors. All of this can be wiped up with a damp cloth. Avoid getting any water puddles on the floor to avoid water damage.

Once all of the cleaning is done, you are ready to move your furniture into the room.

Wood Floor Installation

Wood floor installation is not too difficult if you have the correct tools and the proper set up for your floor first. We will walk you through the basic steps to lay a wood floor in the following notes on this post.

This is a step by step process to prepare and install a new hardwood floor. Wood floor installation is actually quite easy if you follow the proper steps and take your time. Look for videos on line from one of the many suppliers. These are quite helpful and will go through the process step by step.

Wood Floor Installation – Basic Tools

You will need basic tools such as : hammer, spacers, saw, punch for counter sinking nails, nail hole filler, ruler, pencil, pry bar, nailer, and carpenters knife. The floor should be clean and all material from the former floor should be removed. Make sure there are no nails or staples left in the floor and that there is at least a 5/8’s inch sub flooring in place to support the wood floor. If not you may need to add a sub floor onto whatever is already in place.

Here is the step by step process to installing a wood floor:

  • Remove existing flooring – carpet, linoleum etc
  • Remove the base boards
  • Prepare sub floor
  • Assemble all of the tools that you will need
  • Bring the wood into the room for at least 72 hours to acclimate with the air conditions in the home
  • Check each piece of wood for warping and defects
  • Lay out the guidelines along the longest length of the floor about on inch from the wall
  • Using one of the longest boards, lay this board along the guideline with the tongue side away from the wall
  • Place spacers between the wall and the first board for the expansion gap
  • The first board will have to be face nailed with a hammer and nail
  • Wear safety glasses
  • Pre-drill  holes about every 12 inches in the first board along the wall side
  • Nail finishing nails into these holes and then countersink the nails
  • Later you can use wood putty to fill these holes in the wood.
  • Lock the groove of the next board into the board that you just nailed down
  • Use a tapping block to ensure a tight fit
  • Position the planks so that joints do not line up with joints in the previous row at least 12 inches apart
  • You may need to cut planks to line up the joints in this manner
  • Cut the planks face side down to get a smooth cut using the right blade for floors

Use a Nailer

  • Once you have enough rows you can use a nailer to nail the rest of the floor
  • Stagger and match the grains as you go to create the effect that you are looking for
  • Position and cut planks around obstacles such as vents and pillars
  • As you near the other side there may not be enough room to use the nailer, so these rows will need to be hand nailed in the same manner that you did for the first row.
  • The last row may require the plank to be cut lengthwise in order to fit.
  • Measure the width you need, making sure that you leave a space for expansion
  • Place  last piece in the space and use a pry bar to press the last piece into the groove
  • Save your wall by placing a piece of wood against the wall for the pry bar to gain leverage
  • Install transitions as needed to match other floors as per manufacturers instructions
  • Paint your base boards before installing them
  • Remove spacers
  • Install new base boards , counter sink nails and fill with putty that can be painted over
  • Baseboards should be nailed to the wall and not the floor to allow expansion and movement
  • Paint and / or touch up base boards as needed
  • Clean your floor following the manufacturers directions and you are ready to move in

That is the basic wood floor installation process to follow. Pretty much anyone can do it with the proper tools and taking their time. Good luck!


Hardwood Floor Installation Cost

Hardwood Floors Installation CostWhat is the hardwood floor installation cost? Doing a hardwood floor installation estimate must take into account a lot of items. The final hardwood floor installation cost really depends on the agreement that you strike with the installation company and how much work you are willing to do yourself.

Our last post discussed all of the components and now we will talk about those items you can easily do yourself to minimize the hardwood floor installation cost and save you hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars depending on the size of the job.

Hardwood Floor Installation Cost – DIY

Most people do not want to lay the floor themselves since they are concerned that they may make a mess of it, however, there are lots you can do which will contribute to reducing the overall cost of the hardwood floor installation. Various hardware stores that sell hardwood flooring also offer training courses as enticements to make your purchase from them. if you would prefer to lay your own floor to further control the cost, then taking one of these courses is an excellent idea.

The items we discussed in the last post consisted of

  • Preparing your Space for a New Hardwood Floor
  • Choosing your Hardwood Floor Material
  • Installing a Sub floor (if needed)
  • Hardwood Floor Installation
  • Installing the Baseboards
  • Clean Up

More Details

All of these items can be done by do it your self consumers, however, if you are concerned about laying the hardwood floor, then why not try to do the other things to reduce some of the installation cost.

Preparing your Space for a New hardwood Floor: This one is pretty easy to do for most people. Move all of the furniture out of the room and remove the existing carpet and flooring. Nail down the existing plywood if there are any loose areas and remove any staples or other material that might make the floor uneven.

Installing a Sub floor (if needed): That is the easy part. Laying a new sub floor to strengthen the main floor can also be completed by almost any consumer. However, you will need some tools for this work. Lay the 4 by 8 sheets across the joists and nail them into the joists. You will need to cut the sheets of plywood to fit in the corners and at the end of the walls.

Installing the Baseboards: The new baseboards can also be easily installed by do it your selfers. However, you will need to have the proper tools to cut and nail the baseboard on the wall. Also caulking compound will help to deal with any imperfections, nail holes and joints that do not fit properly.

Clean Up: Cleaning up is not that hard to do and will reduce your hardwood floor installation cost a lot. Remove all small pieces of wood that cannot be used. Sweep up all sawdust and give the room that has the new hardwood floor a thorough cleaning. It is amazing just how much dust is created. It gets on everything when a hardwood floor is being laid.

Installation Summary

The total hardwood floor installation cost can be reduced to the cost of the material and the labor cost to install the floor. This saves a great deal of money for the consumer. As long as you are prepared to do a bit of work, the cost of hardwood floors can be quite reasonable.  The installers really do not like to do these other jobs as well. So if you are willing to pitch in and help they will appreciate it.

Comments are welcome about the cost to install hardwood floors, especially if you have the experience and knowledge.




Installing Laminate Flooring

Installing Laminate FlooringInstalling laminate flooring is something that you can easily do yourself. Why pay professionals to do it when the instructions for how to install it are printed right on the package. Also many flooring stores offer beginner courses to help the do it your self consumers. In addition, all the manufacturers of laminate flooring have the directions for installing the flooring available on their websites. These floor pieces are designed to click together and will float on the floor. There is no nailing required, which makes it suitable for direct placement on cement floors, although you may want some insulating value under the floor.

Installing Laminate Flooring vs. Hardwood Flooring

There are some differences between  installing laminate floors and installing hardwood floors, but you can use the same tools for both. Tools can be purchased although most people will rent them for the time they need them. The first step in installing laminate flooring is to calculate the size of the room and purchase the flooring of your choice.

You should  leave hardwood flooring open for a time so that it can become acclimatized to your home. This is not the case when installing laminate flooring. When reading the directions as to how to install laminate flooring, you will learn that you can install it as soon as you open the package. You should also check all the planks before you install them to ensure that none of them are defective.

You will get a refund for any defective planks, as long as they are not damaged by you in any way. If you have difficulty getting the laminate planks to fit together, you should not put them together and take them apart more than three times. This could damage the laminate flooring and mar the effect when you have it completed.

Installing Laminate Flooring in the Kitchen

If you are installing laminate flooring in your kitchen, you should have the cabinets in place beforehand.   This means that you will have to learn how to install laminate flooring around the cabinets. This is also why you need to have a saw to cut the planks when you need smaller sizes and pieces to fit around the cabinets. Most people will opt for a tiled floor in the kitchen and also in the laundry room, however some will go for wood floors because they like the look and feel of the wood better than the tiles.

Laminate Flooring in the Laundry Room

When installing laminate flooring in the laundry room, you should make sure that you have rubber pads underneath the washer and dryer. This is to make sure that these appliances are level so that they won’t damage your flooring. Although most people do not have laminate flooring in the laundry room, there is no reason why you can’t use this room of the house to learn how to install laminate flooring. You can even practice installing hardwood flooring on this small area before you tackle more visible rooms of the house.

You might be in need of a few tips for installing laminate flooring if this is your first time. Do you have to place the laminate flooring around pipes? One tip is to drill a hole in the plank about ½ inch larger than the circumference of the pipe. Then cut the plank through the center of the hole. Fit the two pieces of laminate flooring together around the pipe and glue them together.

Installing Laminate Flooring Near Door Frames

When installing laminate flooring, the flooring should extend under the door frame. If you have a piece of scrap that you have left over. You can use this as a marker for the depth that you need to trim the door frame. If you are not changing the height of the finished floor, most doors will continue to work just fine without scraping the floor. On the other hand if the floor is being raised for whatever reason, you may need to trim the bottom of the doors.


Hardwood Floor Installation guide

Hardwood Floor Installation guideInstalling a hardwood floor properly will help to make it secure so that it does not have many squeaks when you walk across the floor and ensure that it lasts a long time as well. There are various methods to install a hardwood floor ranging from floating, staple down, and nail down to glue down. In addition preparation is important. The sub floor should be nailed down or preferably screw nailed down to the joists underneath so that there are no squeaks from the support floor.

Some people will even install a second sub floor to provide extra strength and avoid any squeaks in the floor altogether. This is probably the single most important step to take to avoid a squeaky floor. Some people will go as far as screw nailing another layer of half inch plywood on to the original floor to provide a really solid base. Before you take this step, some planning is required.

Planning the Installation

Review all locations where there are doorways and locations that interface with either carpeting, marble or tile. Consumers will want to avoid causing a significant surface level difference. This can be a great place for people to trip and fall. Adding the second level of plywood to firm up the floor also raises the floor by 5 /8’s of an inch and will make matching to other floor surfaces in other rooms a challenge. There are various tools and supplies available at the do it yourself department stores to help in this regard. If you are hiring an expert installer to install your floor you may get some ideas from this person as well.

Hardwood Floor Installation guide

The first step is to get the installation instructions as provided in the user’s manual provided by the manufacturer you purchased the hardwood floor from. Read the manual carefully and prepare a plan for your floors layout. We also recommend taking advantage of courses that are offered, usually for free at local stores who are selling hardwood flooring. They understand that people want to save money and will try doing it themselves. They would like to get the sale of the flooring and they also want satisfied happy customers. These free courses go a long way to obtaining a sale and also ensuring that the customer is satisfied with the floor after installation.

Floating hardwood floors are the easiest method for floor installation.

The first step in installing a hardwood floor is laying out an accurate reference line. There are a number of tools you can use to simplify the process.

  • Pneumatic Floor Stapler (rented)
  • Air Compressor ·Power Miter Saw
  • Pneumatic Finish Nailer
  • Drill and Bits
  • Table Saw(or Circular Saw)
  • Basic Carpentry Tools

Buy the Tools

These tools are sure to simplify the entire process of  the hardwood floor installation process. These tools can be purchased if you are doing a large job. Or in most cases they can be rented for several days or weeks depending on how long you need the equipment. There is a trade off between renting and purchasing which really is linked to how much floor you will install. Also how long it will take you. A friend of mind likes to take his time and will purchase most of the tools. He can take his time and not worry about returning them when not in use. When he is finished, he often sells them if they are no longer needed.

Always ask the tool renter to show you how the equipment works. Also follow all of the safety precautions to avoid any injury. They also rent heavy duty extension cords for this equipment.

Also make sure you learn all about the hardwood floor cleaning tips. Installing is only half the job over the life time of the floor. If a hardwood floor is kept clean of dirt and grit it will remain shiny and new for many years. Remove your shoes at the door and vacuum often to remove all floor grit.


Hardwood Floor Installation

Hardwood Floor InstallationThe beauty and durability of hardwood floors often lures home owners into replacing old carpet  flooring. They replace it with something that is far more durable and better looking than carpet. Hardwood Floor Installation can be a great investment which will improve the value of your home as well as make it much easier to sell. Most buyers are  looking for homes that do not have carpet in them.  Consumers who have allergies also want hardwood floors and no rugs at all to avoid and reduce their reaction to dust etc.

If you are looking into hardwood floor installation for your home there are a few things you will need to know, even if you plan to hire someone to do the work for you. This article features some tips and directions to ensure your hardwood floor installation goes smoothly.

Planning Hardwood Floor Installation is Key To your Success

Planning is an essential step in the hardwood floor installation process. A little organization goes a long way. First of all, all wood including hardwood flooring needs some adjustment time before you can install them.

Storing the wood indoors for a few days in your home will allow the wood to expand and  will give you time to prepare the area were the hard wood flooring will be installed. Make sure you have all the necessary tools including a hardwood floor nailer, miter saw and jamb saw before you get started. Some consumers will purchase this equipment, while others will simply rent it for the time they need it.

Be sure that the sub-floor is properly cleaned and level. This is the time to make sure that the sub floor is well nailed to the joists. Some people will add a second sub floor on top while others will screw nail the sub floor to the joists to avoid any squeaks in the floor later after the hardwood is installed. You can also cover the sub-floor with asphalt felt. On the felt you may want to make a few helpful markings that will really help you out later.

At the starting wall you should mark a straight line about a half inch from the wall. Also, a chalk center line should be made by making a few measurements at various points in the room.

Installing Your Hardwood Flooring

When you begin the hardwood floor installation, choose the longest boards or widest planks. You then should pre-drill some pilot holes in a place where the 1 ½ inch finishing nails will be hidden when the molding is replaced and face nail the first boards into the floor joists.

For the following row you should drill pilot holes at 45 degree angles into the tongue every 10 inches. Also, nail at the floor joists and the ends of the board. Use the floor nailer for the following rows until there is no more room and finish the room in the same manner it began by hand.

Hardwood floor installation requires some carpentry skills, however with some planning and the right tools it should go smoothly. Seeing the finished product is satisfying and will be rewarding for many years.

Take your time. If you feel that it is not going well, stop, take a breather and consult an expert. Personally when I am doing work of this sort. I know it is time to stop and take a breather when I get tired or I get frustrated. This is when mistakes are made. Which only makes the situation worse. Stop for the day, go for a walk, whatever you need to do to relax a bit and gain a new perspective. This way you will have that perfect floor that everyone wants. I also like to work in a steady manner whenever I am doing work of this sort. I make less mistakes and I get more done.


Tips on Installing Hardwood Floors

Tips on Installing Hardwood FloorsInstalling hardwood floor is a great way to improve the look of any room. Installing hardwood floors will also increase the value of your home. When it comes to selling your home many buyers are looking for hardwood these days instead of carpet. The natural look of hardwood is a beautiful addition to any home that can be enjoyed and cherished for many years, but installation of new flooring requires some work.

With organization and planning along with some carpentry skill, you can succeed in installing hardwood floor and begin to enjoy everything hardwood flooring has to offer. If you are not skilled in this area, it is often best to hire a professional, take a course or get a friend who knows what they are doing to help you. Better to get help than make a mess of your new floor. You can save a great deal of money by doing it yourself, all we are recommending is that you invest in the proper training and purchase the right tools before you begin your work. This will pay off big time with a perfectly installed floor that you and your family can be proud of, will add a great deal of enjoyment and will increase the value of your home as well.

Installing Hardwood Floors – Preparation

Before you begin to lay down the new floor boards it is important to store them indoors for a few days. Allow them to expand or contract and adjust to the new environment.

Ensure that you have all the necessary tools for installing hardwood floor. This list should include a floor-nailer along with miter and jamb saws. Remove the old flooring. Clean any loose material from the floor. Make sure there are no nails sticking up and that the floor is flat.  You may even want to put a sub floor down and / or nail down the existing sub floor to avoid any squeaks etc on your new floor. Many installers will use screw nails instead of nails to nail down the sub floor. They feel there is less chance for the floor to move.

Make Your Measurements

Begin the project by covering the clean, level sub-floor with a layer of asphalt felt and overlap the edges by a few inches. Fix the felt down with a staple gun, keeping the surface as smooth as you can.

Then make measurements at various points in the room to draw a chalk center line parallel to the starting wall. It is also helpful to mark the position of floor joists on the felt as well. Another line should be marked out about ½ inch from the starting wall to set the edge of the first row of flooring.

Installing the Hardwood Floor

Actually installing hardwood floor now begins at the starting wall with the widest planks or longest boards. Drill pilot holes for 1 ½ inch finishing nails where the nail-heads will be covered. Face-nail the first row into the floor joists and recess the nails with a nail set.

For the next 3 rows drill pilot holes at 45 degree angles in the tongues at 10 inch intervals. Do this at the joists and ends. Again fasten with finishing nails and set them with the nail set after ensuring the board is tight against the previous row.

For the remaining rows you can use the floor nailer while being careful not to damage the floor. The final row should be wedged tightly into place while drilling pilot holes. Place them at the edge where the nails will be covered and set the nails below the surface. Installing hardwood floor in your new and improved room is now complete.

Add the Finishing Touches

The last step is to install the corner round around the edges of the room. This adds decor to the room, but also hides the gap you left at the edges for expansion. Apply some paint to the corner round and you are finished with your rooms new floor.

You can now enjoy all the natural beauty and durability of hardwood.


Hardwood Floor Nailers

Hardwood Floor NailersHardwood flooring really does add beauty to any home. Along with this, the durable surface will last a lifetime and is a great investment. Installing a hardwood floor can take a little hard work. But with some planning and tools, like hardwood floor nailers, the job can be much easier. Hardwood floor nailers are also dangerous. Make sure you follow all of the proper safety features when using them. The picture on the left is a typical hardwood floor nailer. There are many on the market. You should select one based on price and function. Take into account the amount of time you will use one. Sometimes renting a machine will be the less expensive option.

Should you Hire a Professional

Here is a little information about hardwood installation and the necessary tools to get the job done right. First, we do want to point out that if you are uncomfortable with laying a floor and do not do well-using tools or renovations, you probably should hire an expert. The job will be done well and it will be done quickly.  Spouses tend to get a little frustrated if you take weeks or months to get the job done and even more so if it is not done well.

Let the Wood Acclimatize

Anyone who has worked with wood before knows that humidity and moisture cause expansion. For this reason, it is important to let your wood accustom to their new environment by storing them indoors for a few days. This will give you a little time to prepare the work area and make sure you have all the right tools.

Preparing the Work Area

When you are installing hardwood over a large area, a hardwood floor nailer is essential to save time and effort. Ensuring a level, clean and dry sub-floor area is also a must. Mark the position of floor joists, the room centerline and a line marking the edge of the first boards along your starting wall on the vapor barrier you have laid down ahead of time. About 3/4 inch of expansion space should be left between the starting wall and the first row of boards. Wood will contract and expand. This expansion space will allow the floor to expand and you will not get buckling in your floor as a result. Then you are ready to begin.

Renting Hardwood Floor Nailers

Most consumers who are doing this kind of work themselves will only need a hardwood nailer for a few days and you may need it only one time. It does not make sense to purchase one. There are many equipment rental locations that will rent out power hardwood nailers at an hourly or daily rate. Take advantage of this service and save yourself some money.

There are manual nailers and powered nailers which drive the nails into the wood along the tongue and groove. Always rent a powered nailer. You will be exhausted after a few thousand nails other wise.

Get that First Row of Boards Right

The first row of boards is the most important row. If you have done your measuring and marking correctly your floor will be lined up properly with the walls etc. Take the time to measure several times to check your work.

The first row of boards can be fixed into place by either using nails about 1 inch from the side of the starting wall or glued into place at six-inch intervals. The glue used should allow for the natural expansion of the wood. This first row is also held into place with nails driven into the tongue at 45 degree angles by the nailer. Some people prefer to do this first row by hand but you can use the hardwood floor nailer if you prefer.

Check for Proper Alignment

Subsequent boards should be fixed into place and secured using the hardwood floor nailer. Always check for proper alignment along the way. Continue this until you reach the last few boards which should be secured by hand since the hardwood floor nailer will not be able to be used that close to a wall. After all this you will now be able to enjoy your beautiful new hardwood flooring.


Hardwood Floor Installation

Hardwood Floor InstallationHardwood flooring is increasing in popularity. It is one of the most durable choices compared to carpeting. With current prices, hardwood flooring is very competitive compared to wall to wall carpeting which has really become passe. Hardwood Floor Installation is easy with a few basic carpentry skills. Installing a hardwood floor is a relatively easy do-it-yourself project, however stairs can be more challenging, even for the best carpenters.  Many people will opt for carpet on the stairs to avoid additional expense and concerns about slipping on the hardwood flooring on the stairs. A prefinished hardwood floor has a better finish and there is less work involved installing a hardwood floor.

Hardwood Floor Installation

The materials and tools that you will need are as follows. (note that you can also rent the tools you do not have at many of your local home improvement stores.)

  • Hardwood flooring
  • Staple gun
  • Vapor barrier paper
  • Variable speed drill and assorted drill bits
  • Hammer
  • Chalk line
  • Tape measure
  • Pry bar
  • Pneumatic Flooring Package (air compressor and hose, nail gun, mallet and staples)Chop saw
  • Table saw
  • Nail set
  • Hardwood flooring wood putty
  • Earplugs and safety goggles

The steps for hardwood floor installation are as follows:

  • Select the hardwood species and the board widths for the room you will be working in.
  • Measure the width and length of the room and calculate the square footage. Allow 10-15 percent extra for irregular boards and any cutting mistakes.
  • The sub-floor minimum requirements are a 3/4″ plywood sub-floor. Eliminate squeaks by screwing a long drywall screw into the sub-floor and joist where the squeak occurs. Remove all molding from the room and vacuum and clean thoroughly.
  • Roll out strips of vapor barrier paper, allowing at least a 4″ overlap and staple securely to the sub-floor. We used a 15 pound tar paper or felt. In climates were there is a basement, the vapor barrier is usually not required.
  • Begin the installation at the longest unobstructed wall. Remove the shoe molding and snap a chalk line 3/8″ out from the baseboard to allow for expansion in the hot, humid weather and contraction in the colder, drier weather of the hardwood flooring.

Use Long Boards on The First Row

  • Begin by selecting a long board to start the first row. Pick one that is straight. Align the edge of the board with the chalk line and drill pilot holes down through the hardwood plank and into the sub-floor and joist. Face-nail each board at the point of every joist and set the nail with a nail-set. Face-nail the entire first row and remember to keep the board lengths random. It is important to face-nail the first row because you can’t get the pneumatic nail down in there, it will hit the wall and the force would push the wood against the baseboard and you would lose your 3/8″ expansion and contraction.
  • It is important the lay the first boards perpendicular to the joist which are underneath. That is important because you want to get a nice solid anchor. You can look at the sub floor to see which way the nails and seams run. You might be able to go underneath your crawl space or into your basement to see how they run.
  • After the first few rows have been installed, drill pilot holes down into the tongue of each board and hand-nail the rolls until there is enough clearance for the pneumatic nail gun.

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