How to Install Pine Flooring

  • 10-30 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 500-5,000
What You'll Need
Tape measure, pencil and paper
Chalk line
Kiln-dried pine, #2, 1 inch deep, 6 inches by 12 feet
Table saw
Chop saw
Rosin paper
Industrial staple gun
Claw hammer or power nail gun
2-1/2 inch galvanized steel nails
200 grit sandpaper and floor orbital sander
Long-handled low-nap paint roller or sponge mop
Penetrating stain or water-based polyurethane sealant

Adding pine flooring to a home or cottage lends a warm glow to the decor. Follow the directions below to install pine flooring that will stand up to years of wear, and add value to your home.

Step 1: Purchase Materials

Measure your floor to get the exact square footage. Buy your pine from a reputable lumber dealer. Choose boards with similar color, texture, grain, and knots. Decide if you want a wide-plank floor using the full 6-inch width or if you want to lay 3-inch planks.

Step 2: Prepare the Room

Remove the baseboards all the way around the room including doorways. Imprint a chalk line down the center of the room at a right angle to the floor joists. The pine flooring will be attached perpendicular to the joists.

Step 3: Lay the Boards from the Center Outward

Lay the boards on the floor without securing them to the joists, to determine how many boards you will need and to have the edge board be full-width. If one or both edges will end up with very thin planks, adjust the center-axis of the room so a full plank goes against each edge.

Step 4: Cut the Planks

Cut 1/3 of the 12-foot planks in half, so they are 6 feet long. Cut the other 2/3 of the planks in three, so they are 4 feet long. This will allow for staggering the plank lengths so no two planks end at the same line. You may need to trim some boards again as you near the room's edges.

Step 5: Lay Rosin Paper on Top of the Subfloor

To prevent squeaks and absorb moisture, lay rosin paper on top of the subfloor under the planks. Draw the joist lines on the rosin paper and imprint a chalk line every 24 inches on either side of the center axis, to keep the planks in straight lines.

Step 6: Start Installing Your Pine Floor

Start laying and nailing down the pine planks nearest the center chalk line. Nail the planks into the floor joists where you see the nail lines on the rosin paper over the subfloor. The end butts of each plank must be at the center of a floor joist to hold them securely in place. Remember to stagger the ends of the planks so no two end up in an exact line with each other.

Step 7: Sand the Floor

Sand the floor lightly once, following the grain, with the 200 grit sandpaper to provide a smooth surface for the stain or polyurethane sealant. Sweep and vacuum the floor before applying your chosen sealant.

Step 8: Apply Sealant

Use a long-handled roller or a sponge mop to stroke the sealant on evenly. Let the sealant dry for 6 hours, and then put on a second coat. For a gleaming finish, add a third coat. Let the sealant dry for 24 hours before allowing foot traffic.