How to Install Pine Flooring

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Pine flooring adds a warm and rustic feel to almost any home. Pine flooring can also add thousands of dollars in value to a home, so it is important that you do the job right. Fortunately there are many types of pine floor kits from which to choose and most of them have made the job of installation almost (but not quite!) foolproof. Many types of rustic pine flooring do not even attempt to hide the nails used to nail down the floor. We'll look at one of the simplest and least expensive types of pine flooring for the do-it-yourselfer--common #2 pine lumber available at any hardware store or wood outlet.

Things You'll Need

  • #2 pine, 1 x 6 x 12 boards, kiln dried
  • Table saw and/or chop saw
  • Rosin paper
  • Stapler
  • Hammer or nail gun
  • 2 1/2 inch steel nails
  • Long-handled roller or sponge mop
  • Floor grade polyurethane
  • Determine what style floor you want. Six-inch wide pines boards will produce one feel for a room, while ripping each board in half to make 3-inch wide pine slats will produce another look and feel altogether. Boards may be ripped to 3-inches wide either before the flooring job begins or as the job progresses. Buy kiln-dried pine boards and inspect each board carefully before purchasing. Boards should be perfectly flat and not twisted or warped. Check the grain pattern and the number of knots as they will both affect the look of your floor. Buy as many boards with the same basic grain and knot pattern as possible.

  • Remove all base boards. Use extra care when removing them if you plan to reuse them, and carefully remove all nails.

  • Snap a chalk line down the center of your room. The chalk line should run perpendicular to your floor joists since your pine floorboards will be laid perpendicular to your floor joists. Lay enough 6-inch or 3-inch boards down to run from the center of the room to the two opposing walls. The idea is to make certain that the final board that comes up against the wall will not end up being just a sliver. If the board on either of the two opposing walls is going to end up being too thin, adjust your starting point near the center of the room one way or the other off of the center chalk line.

  • Cut one third of your 12 x 1 x 6 foot boards in half to make 1 x 6 x 6 foot boards. Cut another third of your boards into three equal pieces (in other words, into pieces that are 1 x 6 x 4 foot). This will allow you to stagger your end seams as you lay your floor for a more pleasing look. Some boards may need to be cut again to fit the length of the room as you lay the floor.

  • Use the nails in your sub floor to ascertain where the floor joists are and then mark the location of each joist on your walls for quick and easy reference. To reduce squeaks in your new flooring, staple down a layer of rosin paper. Using a long straight edge, draw the center lines of each joist on the rosin paper. These lines will aid you when nailing and cutting your pine floor boards later. Snap a chalk line near the center of the room perpendicular to the floor joists and then snap a line every 24 inches. These chalk lines will aid you in keeping your floorboards straight as you lay your floor.

  • Begin laying your floor near the center line of the room. Begin at a spot which will not result in slivers of board along any wall, as determined in Step 3. The first board can be any length (12 foot, 6 foot or 4 foot). Boards must be cut so that end butts are on center of a joist. Nail boards at every joist. If you are using 3 inch boards use two nails at each joist and if you are using 6 inch boards use three nails on each joist. End butts will have two rows of nails, one row for each of the two boards. Stagger your end butts so that no two line up side by side.

  • Sand the floor lightly only if needed; #2 pine board floors often look better and more rustic if left un-sanded. Lightly damp mop the floor to remove all dust and debris and then roll or sponge mop a coat of floor-grade polyurethane over the floor. Allow to dry at least 6 hours or per manufacturer's instructions, and then add a second coat. A third coat may be added for additional protection. Allow the final coat to dry for at least 24 hours or per manufacturer's instructions before it is walked on. Use care when dragging furniture across the floor.

Tips & Warnings

  • Once your urethane is completely dry then you may reinstall the baseboards.

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