One of the most beautiful long lasting options for home flooring is hardwood. Hardwood flooring can easily last for over 100 years. With proper care, it will retain its natural glow for a long time. After many years use, it may require refinishing to restore to its former beauty.
Although hardwood flooring installation is a difficult task and should be attempted by experienced handy persons, here are instructions for hardwood flooring installation.
Begin by marking the location of the floor joist onto the wall. These marks should be visible above the sub flooring.
The sub flooring must be sturdy for a good hardwood flooring installation. It should be covered with felt that has been stapled into place. An automatic staple gun makes this task easier.
A chalk-line needs to be marked at the exact center of the room width wise. Use the chalk- line to also mark the floor joists.
A final line should be marked at 1/2 inch form the wall where you plan to begin. The 1/2 inch is necessary for expansion so that the floor does not buckle during times of high humidity. It will be covered by base molding so will not be seen.
Use your longest boards for the first row. If you are using boards of various widths, use the widest board for the first row. Drill holes parallel to the face of the board near the wall where they will not be seen. Nail the board into place along the final chalk-line that was snapped. On the side opposite the wall, drill a pilot hole at a 45 degree angle through the tongue of the board. Nail into place using finishing nails.
All remaining boards, except the final row will only be nailed through the tongue. The tongue and grove of the previous board will keep the other side in place. Pilot holes should be drilled for each nail. Pilot holes should be at a 45 degree angle. Boards should be nailed every ten inches and at each floor joist. Set these nails so that the next board can be moved into place.
Before nailing the new rows, use a waste piece of flooring and a mallet to move boards into position. Remember that adjacent boards should not end within six inches of each other. If using wide plank flooring be sure to refer to special instruction that come with your flooring for installation.
One tool that may help if you are adding flooring over a large area is the flooring nailer. It slips over the tongue of the board for easy nailing in the proper position. Just be sure that you do not mar the surface of the boards that are being installed. The flooring nailer can use nails or staples up to two inches in length.
When you reach the last row a block and pry bar may be necessary to wedge boards tightly together. This is the only other place where you will nail the flooring in place through the face of the board rather than use hidden nails.