Wooden Floor Installation

What You'll Need
Pre-finished lumber
Tape measure
Drywall screws
Tar paper
Chalk line
Hammer and Nails
Nail punch
Pneumatic nail gun
Wood putty

Installing a wooden floor can add real value to your home and a beauty like no other flooring option. If you follow the steps below you can install a wooden floor like a pro. 

Step 1- Select the Lumber

Pre-finished flooring comes in a number of different lumber types. You can get something exotic or a more traditional lumber type. It will all depend on your personal tastes.

Before you go to select the lumber you will need to take a measurement of the space intended for the flooring. You will need to know the square footage of the area so that you can purchase the correct amount of wood boards. To account for odd-sized boards or those with knots, you should purchase 10 to 15% extra.

Step 2 - Prepare the Sub-floor

The sub-floor needs to be clean before your begin to lay the wooden floor. Check the floor and remove any tacks or nails. You should inspect the floor and make sure that it is at least 3/4 inches thick. If you find that your sub-floor is not at least 3/4 inches thick you should pull it up and lay a new one. You don’t want to put your new wood boards on a below par sub-floor.

As you inspect the floor you may find that some of the boards are squeaking. Drive a drywall nail through the sub-floor and into the joist. This should stop the floor from squeaking. Before you move on to the next step, make sure you remove the shoe molding and clean the floor as best you can.

Step 3 - Lay the Tar Paper

Before you place the floor boards, you will need to add tar paper. Tar paper comes in a number of different weights. For this project you should use 15 pound tar paper. You can find this at your local home improvement store. Place the tar paper on the floor and make sure that you overlap it on all sides at least 4 inches. If you would like a guide to help with laying the tar paper, you can mark the walls with the joists. 

Step 4 - Lay the Wooden Boards

You are going to want to start on the longest wall of the area where you are going to lay the wooden floor. The first piece of wood should be a long piece. Start placing the wood on the floor 3/8 inch from the wall. In order to keep the 3/8 inch, you should snap a chalk line 3/8 inch from the wall. This will act as a guide. This 3/8 inch space is going to allow for the wood floor to move as it adjusts to changes in temperature and moisture in the air. 

You will have to attach the first few rows of flooring by hand. You will nail the first row of boards directly into the joists. Continue to nail the boards by hand until you are far enough from the wall to use the pneumatic nail gun. You will need to countersink the nails with nail punch and fill the holes with nail putty. 

Step 5 - Finish the Floor

When you get close to the baseboards and the door thresholds you are probably going to have to make some special cuts to make the wood boards fit perfectly. These boards are also going to have to be installed by hand without the pneumatic nail gun. Once the floor is laid,  you will need to check the floor to note the gaps that you will have to fill.