How to Install Reclaimed Wood Flooring

Lead Image
  • 8-40 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 1,500-7,500
What You'll Need
Reclaimed wood
Flooring nailer
Nail set
Tape measure
Rubber mallet

Reclaimed wood flooring is becoming very popular because of the global environmental crisis and its accompanying green movement. By using reclaimed wood flooring, you can save trees and get an extremely beautiful floor at the same time. Here are the basics of how to install reclaimed wood flooring.

Step 1 - Measure

Start out by measuring the room that you are planning on installing in. Take the length and the width and multiply them together. Add 10 percent to this number to get the square footage that you need to purchase for the job.

Step 2 - Prepare the Room

man removing nails from pallet boards

You will need to make sure that the room is prepared before you can start installing. Remove any old flooring from the space. You are also going to need to take the baseboards or quarter round off the wall. Take rolls of underlayment paper and unroll them to cover the entire floor. This is going to help provide some cushion for the wood, help eliminate squeaks, and act as a moisture barrier.

Step 3 - Acclimate

You should also consider allowing the wood to acclimate before you install it. Bring the wood into the room and allow it to sit for approximately 24 to 48 hours. This will allow it to adjust to the surroundings before you nail it down. This is going to prevent expansion and contraction.

Step 4 - Start

You can now begin installing the wood floor. You should most likely install the boards perpendicular to the floor joists. This will ensure that you have enough support for the floor. Start in a corner of the room. Place a wedge in between the board and the wall on both sides of the board. This is going to provide you with the room that you need for the natural expansion and contraction of the floor. Start by face nailing this board into the floor since you will not have enough room to shoot nails down diagonally through the tongue yet. Use a nail set to hide the nail heads in the flooring.

Step 5 - Continue the Job

cutting with a chop saw

After the first board is in, you will want to install another board directly up against it in a row. Remember to also place a wedge between that board and the wall. Continue putting boards in this row until you get to the wall.

Step 6 - Make Cuts

When you get to the wall, you are going to need to make a cut on a board. Use your saw to cut the board in the appropriate dimension and then put it in place.

Step 7 - Additional Rows

You will need to start the next row so the seam meets at a stagger compared to the first row. Use your rubber mallet to tap the boards together before nailing them. Once you get away from the wall, you will want to start nailing the boards diagonally through the tongue. Continue making rows until the entire area is covered with reclaimed wood flooring.

Step 8 - Finishing Touches

You can then remove the wedges from around the outside of the room. In order to cover up the gaps around the wood, you will need to install baseboards.