How to install wood flooring

Installing a new wood floor can completely transform a room.
Installing a new wood floor can completely transform a room. PHOTO/COURTESY
Learning how to install hardwood floors can help you transform your house with beauty, style and warmth.

A successful wood flooring installation is one of the most fulfilling do-it-yourself projects – giving you a highly rewarding sense of accomplishment.

Follow these simple steps to install wood flooring in any room.

1.) Measure your room(s) to determine the amount of wood that will be required. To find the square footage, multiply the length by the width of the room.

Bring your measurements to your local hardware to choose your boards. At the hardware, you will get plenty of engineered and laminate wood options – but these instructions are for solid hardwood floors.

TIP: When making your order, allow 10 to 15 per cent extra for irregular boards and any cutting errors.

Prepare the sub-floor

2.) Use pliers or ply bar to remove the soft flooring or carpet to prepare for the wood floor. Start at a corner moving inwards.

3.) Pull out the tack bar that is usually fitted around the perimeter of the room.

4.) Use pliers to pull out any staples that may be left in the floor from your carpet. Be careful not to hurt yourself in the process.

5.) Use a glue-dissolving solvent to remove residue if your carpet had been glued down.

6.) Clean-up the floor.

7.) Roll out the vapour barrier paper, allowing at least a 4-inch overlap and staple securely to the sub-floor. Ask your home improvement store attendant to recommend the best vapour barrier paper.

8.) Take note of the floor joists (beams that support the floor) since your flooring will need to run perpendicular to them. This will provide proper support to the wall.

Start installation

9.) Measure about 3/8 inch out from the baseboard and mark a line at that point, parallel to the starting of the wall. Wood may contract in the cold or expand in the warm – and stopping your floor at this point will allow for the changes in the wood.

10.) Using the longest straight wall as your starting point, place the end of a board at the baseboards lines you have marked in step 8 above. Ensure the wood plank is perpendicular to the floor joist.

11.) Nail the end of the wood plank into the sub-floor and joist, using a hammer and one nail. Fill the nail holes with a coloured wood filler.

12.) Once you are through with installing the first row, check to ensure it is straight and properly aligned. Use this row as the key to install the remaining planks across the room until you get to the far wall.

13.) Once you finish installing the planks, you should sweep the floor and clean it with a wood floor cleaner.

Maintaining a hardwood floor is quite easy and it does not cost a fortune. Sweep the floor regularly and use flooring cleaning kit (alcohol-based) and spray on and wipe off with a damp cloth.

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