Recommended, use power tools. All tools can be rented.
Flooring Tools list:
Floor stapler and mallet
Determine which direction you would like to lay the hardwood flooring. You should always consider installing hardwood flooring, perpendicular to your floor joist, when you have a plywood subfloor. This will eliminate any bounce and chattering when when you sand them.
If you have a plank board style subfloor, install hardwood floors perpendicular to the planks. This will eliminate any waviness on the hardwood flooring surface, giving you a much sturdier, stiffer and flatter floor. It will also make it easier to sand and finish them, if you're putting in unfinished wood floors.
Remove baseboards, although not necessary, for hardwood floor installation. I'll explain along the way.
1. Start by laying out the vapor barrier. Overlap the edges by 4-6". Then staple them down, using the T50 stapler.
2. Establish a starting point. If you have existing wood floors, you should always continue off, where the floor has ended, run the flooring the same direction. Otherwise, lay them perpendicular to your floor joist and start off the longest wall, then follow these steps.
3. 2 points make a straight line.
Measure off each corner of your starting wall (2x width of floor board)-1/2". Mark a starting or reference line using a chalk line.
4. From your starting wall, layout your bundles, 4ft from your chalk line, then 2ft apart. Making sure the Tongue side (considered the front edge) is facing away from the your chalk line.
5. Open a couple of bundles. Take your 6' level, preferred. Search for the straightest and longest pieces, for your starting row. Qualify the boards, by placing the level up against the groove side, with the top(flat) surface facing upwards and stress reliefs down.
Use the longest boards, if possible, you'll be able to maintain a straighter starting row, this way. Very important for any hardwood floor installation.
Do not squeeze or press the floor boards, tight, against the level. You must check or inspect, the hardwood flooring, in it's free state, by just allowing the boards to touch the level with, no force or pressure - another important hardwood floor installation step.
Do not use any pieces, that may have any voids between the board or level, for your starting row.
Tip: Before inspecting, both level and flooring should be free of dirt, splinters or debris.
If need to, open any additional bundles, until you have enough to start 1 complete row.
6. Align, the groove side, of your starting row, with your chalk line. Mix your lengths as you line them up. Use a short, then long board, pattern to ensure you get a more random look for your hardwood installation.
If, you did not remove your baseboard, the first piece should be placed tight against the baseboard. Otherwise, if you did remove the baseboards, allow 1/4 - 3/8 " expansion gap.
Note: If, you have climate control in your home all year around. There is no need to remove the baseboards. It's unlikely that your wood flooring will expand, because you'll have dry air all year round, from air conditioners or heaters. You only need to use expansion gaps if, well if you don't have any mean ways of controling the climate inside. This normally applies to waterfront homes, where air conditioners are sometimes not used and moisted air is allowed inside the home.
Using the finish nailer, face nail the boards, checking, to make sure, they did not move and your row is straight.
7. Cut in your final board of this row. If you have removed your baseboard, see image without baseboard for reference.
Hardwood floor installation tip: You can measure your boards by simply, placing your floor board, groove end, tight against your wall. Then making a mark at where your, tongue side meets with your cut board, see image. Any waste or scrap ends 6" or longer, should be used as a starter piece in a new row.
By marking at the tongue, this will compensate for expansion space on this side of the wall, when you make your cut. Keep accuracy of your cut within +/- one blade width.
Cutting end pieces with baseboards in place, the tolerance for accuracy of cut should be with a 1/64 or better. 8. Now, that we have our starting row, nailed down. We want to set-up, all of the floor boards, in the main body area, up to the cuts.
The cuts are the final boards in each row, that, requires cutting to proper size.
Hardwood flooring installation Set-up pattern. Start by laying out your boards, making sure the end joints are staggered. The end joint spacing should be a minimum of 2x the width of a floor board, for a staggered joint.
Avoid repeating this pattern in consecutive rows,and adjacent(rows) to each other, to prevent a cluttered joint look or a stepping pattern. Only, professionals with no real hardwood floor installation experience will allow a stepping pattern. Stepping patterns are weak joints, if your floor buckles, stepping patterns will react like an earthquake crack or a crack in concrete.
To achieve a more random length pattern and expert hardwood floor installation look, use a short ,then long board layout to allow proper staggering of end joints, see image. Be sure that no more than 3 boards of the same size are laid out next to each other. Whether,
in the same or adjacent row.
Repeat this step until you reach the opposite wall or until your unable to lay out additional boards.
9. Take the rubber mallet, slide the first piece in place, with a foot on each end of the board, using light pressure(foot).
Begin tapping the floor board tight to the starting row, from your left foot to right (careful don't hit your own foot). The face of your mallet should make contact with the tongue and not the top corner of your hardwood floor board, corners tend to break or dent resulting in more work.
Then with the hardwood flooring stapler, begin to fasten boards in place with staples, by striking the black bumper with the rubber mallet, stapling at the tongue, spacing the staples from 6 - 8" for a squeak free hardwood floor installation.
Repeat this step for each piece. Making sure the boards are tight together. It's very important, upon starting your hardwood floor installation. Is to becareful not to use to much force, on the first 3 rows, when stapling the boards in place.
Otherwise, you will turn your perfectly straight row into, a bunch of curves and turns. After, the 3rd row, when your hardwood floors are nailed firmly, you can use as much force as you need to, lookout for the toes and shins.
Repeat this for each row until you reach the opposite wall. Cut your end boards and install them, during your hardwood floor installation
Depending on your set-up, you can minimize a stop and go motion, by installing several rows in place, before making your cuts.
This way you're able to make several cuts during one stop, rather than 1 piece at each stop. A stop is considered, when you stop and make a cut for each row, down time we don't need.
Tip:You cannot minimize the amount of piece you must cut. But you can minimize the amount of time you travel, to and from the chop saw, to the work area. This is down time, the less down time, the faster you'll be able to complete your project.
Tip: To install hardwood floors close to the walls, Hold your mallet close to the rubber head and strike the bumper on the flooring stapler. Also, instead of swinging your mallet, drive straight down with it.
It's a lot to take in, all at once. Take your time, you'll be just fine. This step by step hardwood floor installation guide will help you get the job done. You'll be a hardwood flooring pro.
Enjoy, your new floor!
If you need help, would like our service Or you would like to know more, contact us about applying the staples method. Also see our installation images for additional help.