Tips for Installing Hardwood Floors

Installing hardwood stairs is part of installing hardwood floors. They’ll make a home look more attractive and can actually increase its resale value as long as the hardwood floors are installed properly. That’s why it’s important to know the best way to go about installing hardwood stairs and floors.


After buying the hardwood flooring bring it inside your home and leave it for a couple of days before you begin working. This will allow it to adjust to the level of humidity in your house and you’ll have fewer problems with the wood contracting or expanding.

Square Room

Before installing hardwood floors you need to determine whether the room is square or not. If it’s not, you’ll need to rip cut the groove side of the wall plank at the angle of the wall to ensure it fits properly against the wall.


You’ll need to make cuts in the wood. The best way to do this is by using a circular saw with a good fence or a table saw. This is ideal for rip cuts lengthwise on the wood. Use a circular saw from cross cuts when installing hardwood stairs.


If you’re using a hammer and nails on some of the boards when installing hardwood stairs and floors, don’t drive each nail flush with the wood. Instead you should leave a little of the nail showing. Put a nail set sideways over the upper edge of the tongue on the wood board. Hit the nail set lightly with the hammer to drive the nail home before recessing the nail head with the edge of the nail set.


When installing hardwood floors you shouldn’t go right up to the wall. Allow ½ inch for expansion at the edge. Set this with a chalk line. You can use wood against the wall to keep the edge of the flooring away. When you’ve finished, the gap will be covered with baseboard.


When installing hardwood floors and stairs the boards should not align with each other. This gives strength to the floor and stops it slipping. You will need to cross cut some of the boards in order to achieve this.

Final Row

On the final row of installing hardwood stairs and floor you’ll need to use a pry par to push the tongue into the groove of the row next to it. When you nail the last board in place use the nail set to recess the nail head.

Reducer Strip

Where a hardwood floor meets a different type of floor that’s lower, or for the front edge of the tread when installing hardwood stairs, use a reducer strip with a rounded edge. This is better for wear of the edge and looks much better than a straight edge, finishing the job well.

Wood Floor Nailer

You can use a wood floor nailer when installing hardwood stairs and floors. Don’t start using it until you’ve put in three rows by hand. Before using the nailer on a row, tap it firmly into place with a rubber mallet.