How to start laying hardwood flooring

Hardwood floor are among famous choice for flooring. The beauty and the warmth of hardwood flooring is the main reason why these are used as flooring among many people. Hardwood flooring planks come in many types and finishes. The most common you can get from the market are the groove edges and tongue that will fit snugly together to form a smooth durable floor. If you are planning to install a hardwood floor in your home, here are some simple and easy to follow tips. You can ask for a family member or friend to help you with this project too.

Things that you need:

  • Hardwood flooring planks
  • chalk and string
  • measuring tape
  • finish nails
  • 15-pound felt
  • nail set
  • hammer


  1. Remove the old floor covering by stripping them off. Make any preliminary repairs to the subfloor if needed. Replace the damage flooring and pull out any nails or screws. On the two sides of your room walls, just above the floor joist, make a mark by using a piece of chalk or pencil for easy reference later. It also helps to have a guide handy since you will need to mail the hardwood to the joist.
  2. Then, you can start installing a layer of underlayment. For reducing future squeaking and noise from the floor rubbing against the subfloor, you can use 15 pound felt. To attach the felt, use a staple gun and make sure all the staples are below the subfloor\’s surface.
  3. It is important to start on the longest wall perpendicular to the direction where the joists run. This will reduce the effect of inconsistency in room size. Ask your assistant to hold one end of the chalk line on top of the felt, directly below the marks you made earlier to show each joist. To designate the position of each floor joist, pop a string line across the floor.
  4. Place the first line of hardwood strips by end to end and along the long wall. You have to make sure that your boards are paralleled with the wall but at the same time should not touch. For expansion, make at least 18 inches of gap. Don\’t worry about the gap you make as the baseboard will cover this later.
  5. You can use finish nails on top of the first strip of wood. Make sure to use only the very outside edge where the baseboard will cover. Then, nail a finish nail toward the wall over each chalk line at 45 degree angle to secure the floor to the joists not just the subfloor.
  6. Place the nails in the previous step in the top of the tongue. Be very careful to make sure each one of them sinks into the wood or your next plank will not fit perfectly.
  7. When putting the next strip of boards on to prevent the board ends from breaking at the same point on each strip, stagger the ends of the planks. Lay the new board down and tap it gently. You can continue laying the strips of board across the room. The ends could be trim if needed for a smooth fit.

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