How to Install Wood Flooring? [In-Depth Guide]
Hardwood floors are aesthetically pleasing, last a lifetime, and are relatively simple to install.
You may go from bare concrete to beautiful in as little as a day if you don’t use any special tools.
Before we get into the specifics of how to lay hardwood flooring, let’s go over the fundamentals.
Solid hardwood flooring enhances the appearance, value, and comfort of your house.
If you opt to do the installation yourself, we provide step-by-step instructions on how to lay hardwood floors like a professional.
How To Install Laminate Wood Flooring
Solid hardwood flooring offers a rich, appealing appearance that adds value and flair to your home.
Solid hardwood flooring is a good investment. It’s commonly found in the living room, kitchen, bedroom, or dining area, among other places.
Materials and equipment:
- kit for a modular porch system
- wood putty is a type of putty that is used to repair wood.
- paper that acts as a vapor barrier
- Package for pneumatic flooring
- a set of nails
- Stapler using a staple gun
- cutting tools (for example, drill bits)
- a measuring tape
- pry bar is a type of pry bar.
- a chopping saw
- sawhorse (table saw)
- earplugs for hearing protection
- goggles for safety
- a line is drawn in chalk
- drill with variable speed
Instructions On How to Install Wood Flooring
Step 1: Set Up the Workspace
Pre-drilling nail holes are done by a person.
If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll want to use the straightest boards possible, placed such that the tongue side of each plank faces the middle of the room.
In the expansion gap — the space between a wall and a floor that allows the wood to expand as a result of heat and humidity — place spacers to support the wood.
Predrill nail holes in the planks 1/4 inch from the narrow side and 1/2 inch from the wall, starting 1/4 inch from the narrow side.
Continue at 6-inch intervals for the remainder of the length of the boards.
It’s Beneficial to Know
Mix boards from each box of flooring to guarantee that the finished product has a uniform color and finish with no patchiness or unevenness.
Countersink the nails in the second step.
In order to avoid having to maneuver around the pneumatic nailer close to the wall, face-nail the first few boards into position.
Countersink the nails with a nail punch and fill the remaining hole with putty that matches the color of the nail heads.
Then insert a blind nail through the tongue at a 45-degree angle.
Make certain that the nail is countersunk so that it does not interfere with the board-to-board connection.
It’s Beneficial to Know
By utilizing the adjacent installed board, blind-nailing can be used to conceal a nail from view.
When installing tongue-and-groove flooring, drive a nail through the tongue at a 45-degree angle, then cover it by engaging the groove of the next board in the same manner.
Remember to countersink the nail, which means to drive it just a little bit below the surface of the wood, to avoid interference in the joint.
Step 3: Assemble and secure the boards
On the second row, lock the tongue and groove together and tap them together with a mallet and block to ensure that the boards are tightly fit together.
Spread the ends of adjoining boards at least 6 inches apart, cutting the end board if necessary, to create a more durable and aesthetically-pleasing floor design and to increase the strength of the flooring pattern.
Step 4: Install the flooring with a flooring nailer.
Continue to blind-nail the second row through the tongue until you are able to use the flooring nailer.
Because the flooring nailer requires a large amount of space to operate, it is normally not used until two to four rows of flooring have been placed.
When using a flooring nailer, make sure to insert the protective boot that comes with the nailer to keep the flooring safe.
As you travel forward along the floor, make sure to keep the expansion gaps at both ends of the room intact as well.
Step 5: Complete the hardwood floor installation process
When you reach the last few rows, you can switch back to hand nailing the rest of the way.
On the last row, cut the pieces to fit by measuring the distance from the wall to the board — not the space between the tongue and the board — minus the expansion gap and cutting the pieces to fit.
Use only a little amount of wood glue to hold the tongue and groove together if the final piece is less than 1 inch in width.
Insert the piece into the wall using a pry bar and a scrap piece of wood to protect the wall from damage.
If the final piece is more than 1 inch in width, face nail it to the board, countersink it, and fill the hole with matching putty to finish it off.
Step 6: Install the Transition Pieces
Re-attaching baseboards and moldings are being done by a human.
Install the transition parts in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, and then remove the spacers from the installation process.
Rather than to the floor, cut the underlayment and reattach the baseboards and shoe molding to the wall instead.
Instructions on How to Install Wood Flooring over concrete
There is no better way to alter a cold, uninviting environment than by laying down comforting and warm hardwood flooring on the subfloor.
We specifically recommend engineered hardwood flooring for bringing new life to a room that has a concrete floor.
With greater stability compared to normal solid wood flooring, this high-quality, high-performance flooring option is an excellent choice for the basement and other places that frequently have concrete floors or are subjected to high humidity levels.
The following step-by-step guide will help you understand what to expect throughout the flooring installation process, whether you are doing it yourself or hiring a flooring specialist to do it for you.
The majority of manufacturers do advocate a similar method with a few minor adjustments from time to time. As a rule, they all follow the National Wood Flooring Association’s criteria, and the procedure looks similar to this:
1. Determine the relative humidity of the concrete
It is possible to work with engineered hardwood in moist areas, but it is not waterproof, therefore it is not a good choice in really wet environments.
Your installer will need to assess the moisture level of the concrete in order to verify that the adhesive will function properly and that there will not be an excessive amount of moisture vapor emission.
Keep in mind that concrete is porous, which means that ground moisture can seep into the flooring and cause major difficulties down the road if the ground is excessively wet.
If the concrete has a humidity value that is consistent with the adhesive manufacturer’s recommendations, only that concrete should be used for the installation.
In order to prepare the slab for flooring, the installer may propose that you use a moisture mitigation system.
2. Prepare the floor and let the planks become acclimated.
Following that, your installer will need to prepare the necessary items.
Preparing the concrete slab for installation should include making any necessary leveling adjustments and giving it a good sweep and mop, followed by letting it dry completely overnight.
At the same time, the engineered hardwood planks must be allowed to adapt to their new surroundings for two or three days before being installed.
This will assist the wood in adjusting to the environment in which it will be permanently housed, preventing it from expanding or contracting after installation, which could result in complex and expensive complications.
3. Using a Notched Trowel, spread the adhesive evenly.
A notched trowel will be used to put an equal coating of glue over a small area of the floor, beginning at a long wall and working its way down.
To lay the flooring boards quickly, the work must be completed before the section of glue has a chance to dry (it is helpful to keep track of how long the adhesive will take to cure and arrange sections accordingly).
Prepare the boards by applying wood glue to both the tongue and groove sides of each plank on both the tongue and groove side.
4. Laying the Flooring Planks on the Floor
Following that, the engineered hardwood planks will be set down into the glue and secured together with the tongue and groove joints that have been previously created.
There should be no gaps, lumps, or elevated areas from one portion to the next when the pieces are put together precisely.
The adhesive will be placed as soon as possible, and the planks will be laid until the floor is completely covered.
Pressure will be given to each plank in a circular motion, traveling over the board to verify that the glue is effectively sticking to the concrete surface.
5. Apply Constant Pressure to the Flooring
Most manufacturers recommend that you go over the floor with a 100-pound roller shortly after installation to ensure that the adhesive transfers correctly from the plank to the concrete floor and that the floor well adheres.
6. Be patient and wait for the end (If Needed)
After the floor has been allowed to dry for at least 24 hours, it should not be walked on for at least two days before proceeding with the next procedures.
Twenty and Oak offer prefinished engineered hardwood, which eliminates the need for the time-consuming and messy staining and finishing procedure.
Our Final Thoughts
This is a very broad, at-a-glance approach to laying hardwood over concrete, and it is not intended to be an in-depth, step-by-step, or definitive tutorial in any way.
Always speak with the manufacturer or a flooring specialist before commencing any flooring installation project to guarantee that the floor is done correctly the first time.
Never forget that experienced installers are the ones who know the most about flooring, so don’t be afraid to seek advice from them if you’re unsure about something!
Frequently Ask Questions
What is the difficulty level of installing wood floors?
Installing wood (or wood-like) floors can range from a relatively simple do-it-yourself effort to one that necessitates a significant amount of carpentry and finishing expertise.
Some forms of flooring, such as Lyptus Flooring, even lock together without the use of nails, making them similar to a laminate floor.
Solid hardwood flooring is the most difficult to install of all types of flooring.
Is it necessary to put something underneath wood flooring?
While underlayment for hardwood floors is not always necessary, there are numerous advantages to using it.
You may avoid tripping risks and uneven appearances by having your flooring installed appropriately over the subfloor.
Underlayment also contributes to the sound absorption of your floor by absorbing more sound.
Is it possible for me to install hardwood floors myself?
This type of innovation has made it easier than ever before to install a hardwood floor on your own, saving you time and money.
It goes without saying that hiring a professional to install your floors will save you a significant amount of time compared to doing it yourself.
When you do your own flooring installation, you simply have to pay for the goods and tools you use or the cost of tool rental.