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-drillĀ  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
  • PlaceĀ  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!