What are some tips for installing hardwood floors?


Quick Answer

Wood must acclimatize to the room before it is installed. Stack it in the room, and let it sit for five days before laying the floor so it can fully adjust. When installing the floor, a flooring nail gun can save a lot of time.

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Full Answer

When choosing a surface, consider whether to use solid wood or engineered wood. Engineered wood is made from different layers of wood and is cheaper and easier to install. Engineered wood also comes pre-finished, which saves time once the floor is installed, and it reacts less to temperature and humidity changes.

A solid wood floor must be installed above ground level, as moisture is an issue when working below grade. Engineered wood, however, can be used safely below grade if necessary.

Allow 4 inches of space between the hardwood and the concrete base, and check the subfloor to ensure it is acceptable. It is possible to install over an existing floor; however, any irregularities must be fixed before installation begins. Bear in mind that changes to the floor level may affect doors and transitions from hallways to rooms.

A pneumatic flooring nailer makes blind nailing much easier and faster. Cut boards with a miter saw to create a border for obstacles such as fireplaces.

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