Installing Hardwood Floors

Wood floorings are made from hardwood such as spruce and pine. Some flooring comes unfinished. These are installed, sanded, then finished. Modern wooden flooring is commercially available and pre-finished. These have additional chemicals added to them to give them a glossy patina. A polyurethane finish may be used with some added aluminum oxide. Other oxides like titanium oxide can also be used. Finishing increases the wood’s resistance to wear and scratches due to regular use.

Before installing hardwood floors, stack the flooring somewhere in the house for a few days. This allows the wood to adjust to the humidity level of your home.


Steps to Installing Hardwood Floors


  1. Mark the positions of the joists along a specific wall in the room where you will  install the flooring. Take a 15-pound asphalt felt and cover the subfloor with one layer of it. Make sure the seams overlap by around 3 inches. Tuck down the structure of the subfloor with a staple gun.
  2. Find two or more points and measure the width of the room from there to accurately determine the centerline. Lay a chalk line parallel to the starting wall. Find the joist marks along the wall, and start from these areas to mark the support members’ locations.
  3. Lay another chalk line about 1/2 inch from the starting wall. This will indicate the edge of the flooring’s first row. Examine your hardwood flooring and take the longest boards. These will be used for the first row.
  4. Near the wall, drill pilot holes where the 1-1/2 inch finishing nails will be placed. Nail the first row of boards through the subflooring to the floor joists. You can use a nail set to recess the nails beneath the surface.
  5. Blind-nail the boards and those for the next two rows by hand. At the ends and in every ten inches along the lengths, drill pilot holes through the tongues. Fasten using 1 1/2 finishing nails. Use a nail set to finish driving the nails.
  6. To install the second row and the remaining ones, move a piece of flooring along the edge. Give the flooring a rap using a mallet. This will tighten the new row against the previous one. You can then proceed to nailing the flooring.
  7. Keep in mind the distance between end joints in two adjacent rows should not be less than six inches.
  8. If you are installing hardwood flooring in a large room, install the first three rows manually. Use a flooring nailer for the remaining rows. Once you reach the final row, wedge the last boards tightly using a pry bar and a block.