Installing Hardwood Floors

There is one sure way to add elegance and style to your home and that is through the installation of hardwood floors. They will add beauty to any room and will increase the value of your property. Hardwood holds up well over time and will match any decor. It is also very easy to keep clean and maintain.

Installing hardwood will require some special tools and basic carpentry skills. A miter and jamb saw are essential and a floor nailer will make the process go much quicker; they are available for rental at most home improvement stores. Start by removing the baseboard in the room where you will be laying the new floor. Cover the current surface with a plastic or felt vapor barrier that should be glued down.

The next step is to determine which direction to install your floor boards; the most common practice is to lay them parallel to the longest outside wall. Install the first board with the groove facing the wall and nail it so that the holes will be covered by the baseboard. Place a nail every 6 to 8 inches. Each additional plank should be staggered so that none of the seams are adjacent to each other. The grove side of the plank should always face away from the wall you started. Each board should be tapped into place and then nailed along the grove side with the floor nailer.

Some of the boards will have to be custom cut to meet the dimensions of your rooms. The cut edges should be run along the edge of the walls so that your baseboard will cover it. When it comes time to apply the final panels, fit the last row by using a pry bar to pull it tight. Nail the final row the same way that you did the first row with the nails in the wood close to the wall where they will be hidden by the baseboard. Use nails which are long enough to go about an inch deep into the subfloor, if your subfloor is concrete you will have to use concrete nails or glue.