There’s no doubt that installing hardwood flooring not only gives warmth, style and depth, but it will also add value to your home. Moreover, to get the most from your hardwood flooring, in terms of benefits and value, it’s important to do it right.
Preparation is Key
Fully preparing the area is crucial, and you need to make sure the surface is clean, smooth, level, dry and structurally sound. It’s possible to lay hardwood on existing floors if they’re in good condition, as well as concrete bases or a new plywood sub base. Be sure to remove any doors and skirting’s, mouldings or floor trims, so you can lay the floor right to the edge of the room, but leaving an expansion gap. It’s also a good idea to let the wood adjust to your homes temperature and humidity before you start laying. You’ll also need a good quality underlay across the entire area, if you are going to float the floor, with regard to nailing see laying the first row section, which is the same for floating and nailing, except you substitute glue for nails.
Accurate Measurements are a Must
Make sure you measure the room accurately and ideally establish where the floor joists run, as you want to lay your floor perpendicular to them, if you are going to fix to them. Also establish the longest straight wall and use that as your guideline for floor alignment.
Lay your floor in a staggered formation, whether you do this with different lengths of wood. It’s also a nice design touch, to mix up different wood cuts for variation in wood colour and grains.
Laying the First Board
Facing the tongue of the first board away from the wall, dry-fit the first board using 1cm spacers between the board and the wall and then nail it into the subfloor using a 50cm nail about 7cm from the end, and every 300cm on the grooved edge and continue fitting the rest of the first row as above. From the second row onwards, you’ll need to use a tapping block to snugly fit the tongue and groove, then blind-nail through the tongue 7-10cm from the end and every 30cm along the board, if you are laying solid floors, fixed to a timber substrate.
The Final Nudge
The tricky part comes with finishing your floor, the last row is tough to nail in, so use a crowbar to push them tightly together whilst you nail them down. You can also stick smaller pieces with glue in tight corners. Once you have the final pieces fitted it’s time to trim any exposed underlay, re-attach your skirting boards, moulds and doors, as well as transition strips between rooms and use wood filler to cover any nail holes. If your hardwood floor hasn’t already been sanded and varnished, you’ll need to do this before it’s finished and allow plenty of drying time.
Hardwood flooring is a great way to create a wonderful finish and style to your home, so take our advice and you won’t go far wrong. Here at Just Wood, we’ve been working with hardwood floors for years and we’re here to impart some of our expertise and wisdom, so that when it comes to installing your hardwood flooring, it’s always done correctly.