Who won’t get attracted by the elegance of hardwood floors? They present a visual treat, wherever they’re present! And if you don’t have hardwood floor in your house, probably you’ll vow to endow your house with its elegance, every time you get bowled over by beautiful hardwood floors.
Well, let’s suppose the moment has arrived. You have your own house; you’ve made up your mind to go in for hardwood flooring right away; how will you proceed further from that point? Learn how to install hardwood floors! It’s as simple as that! Yes, there are lots of resources available on the net, including videos, that’ll give you step by step instructions on how to install hardwood floors! They happen to be very valuable resources when you set out to do the job yourself.
Once you understand how to install hardwood floors, it’s time to be on the job. Here’s how your job proceeds:
1. Measure the size of the room in which you’ve decided to install hardwood floor, to estimate the quantity of hardwood boards you require to cover the area. It always makes sense to buy around 10-15% more than what you actually require, as there are bound to be wastages.
2. Make a checklist of items and tools you require to carry out the job. Segregate the items that you need to buy and the items that can be hired.
3. Some of the must-need items on the list are: hardwood board of your choice, minimum ¾” ply for preparing the sub-floor to cover the entire floor area, vapour barrier paper (tar paper or felt), a wealth of nails to fix the boards. Once you have all these ready, go through the resource that taught you how to install hardwood floors again, to brush up your knowledge and get going.
4. Clear the area and clean it thoroughly. Spread out the ply to prepare the subfloor. Check for squeakiness and fix it by nailing it onto the base wherever required.
5. Roll out vapour barrier paper on the subfloor and secure it by stapling it onto the subfloor. See to it that there’s an overlap of at least 4” between two adjacent rows of this paper.
6. Start laying out hardwood boards from that side of the room, which has the longest unobstructed wall.
a. Please note that hardwood boards are end-matched, i.e. one end of the board has a ‘tongue’ and the other has a ‘groove’. So, whenever you need to cut hardwood boards, take care that you don’t cut off the grooves/tongues.
b. When you lay the first row of hardwood boards, allow a gap of around 3/8” between the board the wall to allow for seasonal expansion and contraction. This is one of the most important instructions to follow.
7. Nail these boards onto the subfloor, one by one, using a pneumatic nail gun. Wherever there’s no clearance to use the nail gun, hand-nail the boards. See to it that there are at least two nails on each board and preferably place them 10-12 inches apart.
8. When you’ve to lay the last row of hardwood boards, you may have to cut the boards lengthwise to squeeze them into available space. Don’t forget to allow a gap of 3/8” on this side as well.
9. Use the same boards to install shoe molding on all sides of the room.
10. Use putty to fill the holes.
Ten simple steps that’ll give your house, a grand new look! By the time you finish working on one of your rooms, you would have mastered the craft so much that it wouldn’t be difficult for you to guide ‘novices’ (!!!) on how to install hardwood floors. Who knows, I may even come across an article, “How to install hardwood floors?” written by you, sometime down the line!