Ways & How

how to lay hardwood floors

how to lay hardwood floors

Hardwood floors in homes serve as symbol of prestige and elegant style. Not too many homeowners can afford to have hardwood floors installed as house flooring. Although highly expensive, the qualities of a hardwood are truly exceptional. They can last for years when properly maintained. If you’d like to build a house that has quality flooring, then studying how to lay hardwood floors is very important. There are plenty of advantages that hardwood floors can offer. Versatility is one. No matter what your preferred interior decoration style, whether you want to make it modern, contemporary, fresh and vibrant, or shabby chic, hardwood floors always compliment to the surrounding design. Of course, the durability of hardwood floors means that they are guaranteed to last for a long time. To successfully lay down your own hardwood floors, just read through and carefully study the following steps.

  1. Measure the area. This refers to area where you will install the hardwood floor. You can get the total area (A) by multiplying the width (W) by the length (L).

    This computation is necessary in order to avoid buying excessive wood. Buy a little extra in case of mistakes and to allow for wastage during the installation process.

  2. Clean the area and check it. If your floor is carpeted, remove the carpet. Also remove all adhesive residues that remain from when the carpet was installed.

    When cleaning, make sure to closely check the sub-floor area at the same time. The sub-floor rests on the floor joist. If you notice any squeaks or defects, use a screw to properly secure the sub-floor to the joists. After addressing the loose sub-floor sections, continue cleaning the area properly.

  3. Find the floor joists and mark their locations. In determining where the floor joists are, just look at the nailing pattern on the sub-floor. To be sure, tap the sub-floor with a hammer. A solid sound indicates where the floor joists are located, while a hollow sound indicates dead space underneath.

    Mark where the floor joists are found, using chalk, mark the locations of the floor joists. These marks will serve as your guide when you start installing and nailing your hardwood floors.

  4. Install vapor barrier. Place a vapor barrier on the sub-floor. This will be protection for the hardwood material against any moisture that might penetrate the sub-floor area. Moisture rising from the ground can be a cause of dry rot.

  5. Determine the longest wall. The longest wall will serve as your guide to the length of hardwood you buy. Shorter parts of the floor area can be accommodated by making cuts to attain the right length of hardwood board.

    Make a chalk line along the floor at a distance of at least 3/8 inch from the wall. The line will serve as your primary guide as you install the first hardwood board. This distance is far enough to allow the hardwood to contract or expand depending on the weather. Most hardwoods have the ability to expand and contract depending on the surrounding temperature and humidity. This gap is necessary to make a tight fit in between boards while you are laying them down, without the floor buckling and warping later.

  6. Place the first hardwood board on the primary marked area. Once the first hardwood plank is put in place, setting up the succeeding boards will be a lot easier. Drill pilot holes into the hardwood boards as guide for the nails. Drilling is necessary in order to drive the nails deeply into the hardwood boards. Make sure that you use a much smaller drill size compared to the diameter of the nail to be inserted. Continue placing the succeeding hardwood boards. Just follow the same process as when you installed the first board until you finally reach the end row on the opposite wall of the area.

    Once you reach the end row, measure again the correct width of the section to be covered with hardwood, leaving a 3/8 inch gap along the wall as allowance for the hardwood to be installed. By doing so, you can cut the correct sizes of the hardwood board to be set up.

  7. Finalize the installation. Finalize it by nailing deep into the holes earlier drilled. Any visible hole on the floor should be filled with wood putty in order to give the hardwood floor an even look and appearance all over.

Unknown to some, hardwood floors have health benefits to the homeowner. Carpets, mats, and even tile grout can easily trap allergens that could cause allergic diseases affecting family members. But with hardwood, the possibility is eliminated. Moreover, hardwood floors are very easy to maintain compared to carpets, mats, and tiles. With all this in mind, you are now more than prepared with a good working knowledge of how to lay hardwood floors. Enhance the beauty of your house by installing hardwood floors as one of your interior design concepts. Aside from the fact that it adds a touch of nature to your space, hardwood is truly an excellent investment that you will never regret.


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