Strip Flooring 3 - Preparation for Installing

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Carpenter's pencil
Respirator/face mask
Eye protection
Circular saw
Pry bar and wood wedge
Utility knife
Extension cords (heavy duty)
Heavy duty shop vacuum
Chalkline and chalk
Tape measure
Notched trowel
Carpenter's square
150 lb. roller
Ear protectors

Until recently, laying a plank flooring was a good bit more difficult than it is today. Strip flooring came only in a rather thick (3/4") material that had to be nailed to the sub-flooring. This process took a special nailing gun and considerably more work than gluing. Though this flooring is still available and within the abilities of the novice do-it-yourselfer, the new thinner (3/8" or 5/16"), pre-finished floorings are much simpler. They not only require gluing instead of nailing, but also come pre-finished so no sanding and finishing are required.

This type of flooring, like its cousin, the parquet flooring, comes in various colors and styles. Every style and color will affect the general aura of the room. Try to visit a room that has the style you are thinking of using, and then ask yourself if installing this style will give your room the atmosphere you want. The most important part of this decision is that the final effect of the flooring on the feel of the room be what you are attempting to achieve. To the degree you have done this, you have made a good design decision.

What You Will Need:


Strip flooring can be put down by one person and will take about 10 to 15 work hours to complete.


Materials required depend on whether you need an underlayment. If you do, you will need:

  • Leveling compound
  • 6-penny ring shank nails
  • Particle board or luan mahogany plywood

Regardless of whether or not you need an underlayment, you will definitely need these items:

  • Straight edge board
  • Plywood
  • Mastic or adhesive
  • Reducer strip
  • Tongue-and-groove planking (glue adhesive cleaning solvent down)
  • Rags