People all across America love the look of wood flooring. Wood floors provide sophistication and a sense of timelessness to a home. Plus, wood flooring comes in many varieties to suit your tastes. Installing a new floor might seem like a challenge, but anyone with a little experience in similar projects can do it in a single day. To make the work faster and more efficient, it's important to be prepared beforehand. You'll need the right tools and plenty of time to get the job done.
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Any home improvement project should start with making sure you have the right tools. In this case, you'll need a tape measure, chalk, jamb saw, table saw, drill, hammer and nails, jigsaw, flooring nailer, pry bar, mallet, and nail gun. Begin by locating the floor joists and marking the walls with your chalk to show their location. Then, cover the floor with felt paper (15-pound will do nicely).
It's important to run strip flooring perpendicular to the joists to maximize strength for your new floor. At each end of the wall, mark a floorboard's width plus three-fourths of an inch.
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Now, it's time to pre-drill some holes for your nails. Both the first and last flooring rows will typically have to be nailed through the face of the actual boards. The boards between these are simply nailed through the tongue. Your holes should be arranged a full inch from the grooved edge. Usually, the holes will be arranged so that the nails strike a joist, but check the manufacturer's instructions to make sure. Once your holes are set up, you can fasten the first board and then continue with the entire first row, making sure to countersink each nail.
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Before you continue too far into the project, you'll want to completely rack your flooring. That consists of spreading the boards along the floor and finding the shapes, colors, and patterns that most appeal to you. You'll want to use boards from multiple bundles, since each bundle tends to have boards that are very similar in color. Once you are satisfied, do a final check and adjust the boards so the joints are not too aligned with one another. As you start to install the next rows, you'll want to be sure the ends of each board are offset by six inches or even slightly more.
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Once you've installed three rows, switch over to a flooring nailer to finish the job. Position your nailer to nail through the tongue of the board, then hit it with a mallet. Once you've adjusted the air pressure settings, you'll find that the nails countersink in one step. Install the rest of the rows, cutting corners to fit against your walls as needed. When all of the boards are down, cut your final row to fit, making sure you leave space for an expansion gap. Shoe molding and baseboard should cover the gap once you've laid down the trim. Your wood flooring is now done!
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With proper care, wood flooring can last a century. It also profoundly increases the value of a home. However, you have to be vigilant to keep it looking its best. As soon as your wood floor is finished, head outside and lay down a mat so visitors will expose your floor to less dirt and grime. Using floor protectors will reduce the friction between furnishings and floor, cutting down on nicks and indentations. Whenever there's a spill, be sure to wipe it up with a cloth right away. Last but not least, avoid abrasive floor cleaners that can scratch wood.
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