Even though many individuals take advantage of the professional installation services offered, some people are the DIY-type of individuals. Therefore, below are a few tips on how to fix or install a hardwood floor by yourself.
If you are considering doing your hardwood flooring installation, it is assumed that you have a working knowledge of the construction principles and have information about power tools. Additionally, it is also assumed that you have done your research on how to handle hardwood flooring properly, including the processes of acclimation and moisture testing. If not, then definitely this is not a task for you to perform. For instance, when installing a three-quarter inch solid hardwood on a prepared wood-based subfloor. The subfloor has to be properly developed and flat, free of any squeaks, well secured and rigid enough for the hardwood chosen. Additionally, the floor has to be clean.
Tip: Hardwood flooring only lies as uniformly as the subfloor.
Install the hardwood flooring diagonally for any single layer subfloor or perpendicular to the floor joists. To lay parallel to the joists, you need to add a half-inch plywood underlayment or brace for every sixteen inches between joists, with a nominal two by six inch SPF nailed in place. Before installing the hardwood, you need to set down an Aqua bar “B” 30/30/30 underlayment with a three-inch overlap. This minimizes moisture migration to the wood floor from the subfloor.
Developing a focal point
Select an initial point based on the most essential, aesthetic, archetechtial element in the space, taking into account hallways, stairways, fireplaces, adjoining floors, cabinets, transitions, the shape of the room among many other things. Often, the initial point is the longest wall that is unbroken. However, utilizing a spline allows you to begin from whichever point you choose. It is, however; recommended that you start from the center of the room since this reduces the floor’s pressure, as it will not all be pushing toward the same direction.
After establishing the starting point, secure a backer board to the subfloor and begin nailing. Use two-inch cleats one to two-inches from board ends, and six to eight inches apart with a minimum of two fasteners per board. Along the perimeter of space, allow three-quarter inches along the widths and a quarter inch along the lengths, both for expansion.
Tip: If you are using a pneumatic nailer or stapler, set an air pressure, so the fastener does not drive in too deep.
For example, you are using a center of the room as the starting point. Rack out a minimum of five rows of flooring to realize the most visually appealing view. You do not want any joints closer than twice the size of the boards, and avoid “H” joints and stair-step effects due to incomplete rows. Begin by nailing the first row of boards from the side of the grooves towards the backer board. Continue with the installation process until there is limited space left to use the floor nailer. Next, proceed to remove the backer board. Stick the groove; insert the spline then secure the piece with the floor nailer. Likewise, continue with the installation toward the opposite course until there is inadequate space left to use the nailer.
Tip: Ensure to check your straightness with a laser or string as you progress.
Concluding the Last Rows
Tend to the last rows, as you would do with a floating floor installation. Glue the boards at the groove and tongue. Additionally, hand nail or brad nail the boards in place. You should only face nail the last row if baseboards hide it.
Tip: Do not glue the final rows to the subfloor as this prevents the expansion of hardwood floor.
Hardwood flooring is an investment for your floor; therefore, some skill level is necessary to install it correctly.