Hardwood flooring is a beautiful and timeless choice for any home. It will increase resale value while also serving as a durable and practical choice. You could hire a professional to install the hardwood for you, but it is also completely feasible to do yourself. Below is a DIY step-by-step guide on how to do this all yourself.
Step 1 – The Buying Processes
Once you have decided it is time to redo your flooring with hardwood, you should begin the process by doing research and learning more about the materials and options available. You can turn to the internet or even visit a hardwood and tile store to speak directly with a professional to have questions answered. They can inform you about different species and their benefits or even alternatives like laminate flooring.
If you find yourself still unsure about the change of flooring it is a good idea to learn more about the benefits of hardwood flooring for your home beyond aesthetic. It offers increased resale value of your home, lifetime warranty, durability, and a long lifespan. A professional will also be able to answer some of your questions in regards to these benefits.
Step 2 – Preparation
Once you have chosen the species you will be using for your hardwood flooring it is time to begin the preparation process for your floor. Start by ensuring that you have the proper subfloor and that it is even. It can’t be concrete or stone since the wooden planks cannot be properly attached. It will have also have to be wood in order for a proper installation. Once there is a wood subfloor be sure to sand away any bumps to achieve an even platform. This will have a significant effect later in the process. You should also be sure to remove any humidifiers in the space to reduce moisture and avoid the wood from warping. Once all of these steps have been taken, it is time to assemble all the tools that you will need for the installation process. The following will be necessary for every case:
- Flooring nailer
- Tape measure
- Table saw
- Wood glue
- Safety glasses + mask
- Knee pads (if needed)
Once you have all this covered, it’s time to get started!
Step 3 – Install the First Row
The first row is crucial for the success of the entire floor installation. Begin by deciding where the floor joists should be positioned and mark these spots on the wall. The joists should ideally be perpendicular to the subfloor for an increased level of strength. Begin laying the planks on the longest wall that runs perpendicular with the joists and is uninterrupted. Here you should measure the width of the board and add ¾ of space for expansion. Mark the spot because this is where the nails will be driven in. Draw a chalk like which connects these two points as well. Place the boards in like with the chalk line. The tongue will have to face away from the wall towards the rest of the room. Position a space between this board and the wall. It is now time to nail the boards down.
Keep in mind that the first and the last rows in wooden flooring must have nails through the face of the boards to keep them steady. The others will have nails through the tongue instead.
Step 4 – Install the Second Row
Begin the second row by selecting a shorter board or trimming one by 6 inches. This will create the desired stacked effect of the wooden planks on the floor. Hook the planks on the tongue of the previous row. Use a tapping block to do this both properly and gently. Once they are in it is time to drill pilot holes into the tongues and the nail them in.
Step 5 – Install Remaining Rows
Follow this process for the remaining rows. You can use a slider gun to make the process easier if desired. Just be sure to carefully position the gun, so the nail goes through the tongue. Work your way across the room staggering the planks positions. Upon reaching the final row and wall repeat the ¾-inch spacer technique.
Step 6 – Issues During the Process
Occasionally you will have to cut the planks to fit corners, fireplaces, or counters. The planks can be cut length and width wise, just do the measuring carefully. Include an additional ¾ inch for expansion space as is done with the wall. Try to avoid using planks which are not perfectly straight, if you need them though, use them for areas which will require trimming of a plank.
As for the baseboard, install it above the gaps left along the wall. Make sure that they are even and the bottom touches the hardwood flooring boards.
The choice of hardwood for your home is always a good one! You won’t regret it, and if you are able to install it yourself it won’t even cost very much. So if you’re thinking about hardwood for your home visit your flooring store today!