What Are Some Tips for Installing Wood Flooring?


Quick Answer

When installing wood flooring, the most important tips are to properly prepare the base, acclimate the wood to the normal temperature and humidity of the home, decide on the floor layout ahead of time, and use a flooring nailer tool for installation. Also, installing wood flooring is one of the last projects done in a typical home remodel to avoid physical damage to the surface.

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Full Answer

Wood flooring can either be installed on a raised subfloor or a solid concrete slab. Most wood floors are installed on a raised wood subfloor that must be clean, dry, flat and structurally sound. A concrete slab must be flat without any high or low spots and be professional moisture tested.

When cutting the flooring, use a table saw for straight cuts and a miter saw for diagonal cuts. Once the floor layout is decided and the pieces are cut, fasten the boards together either by hand using nails and a hammer or more efficiently using a flooring nailer.

There are two types of wood flooring, engineered and solid. Engineered wood is artificially made by taking layers of cheap, thin wood and sandwiching them together. This material is much less expensive and easier to work with. Solid wood is real wood that has a natural finish, but it has a tendency to expand, contract, warp and twist with changes in humidity and temperature. The wood must adjust to the natural climate of the house before being installed to avoid spoiling the result.

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