The Best Way to Install Hardwood Floors

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Things You'll Need

  • Hardwood laminate flooring

  • Power staple gun (can be rented)

  • ¾ inch staples

  • Table saw or circular saw with rip fence

  • 40 tooth carbide circular saw blade

  • Nail gun and two inch nails (rentable)

  • Chalk line

  • Pry bar

  • nailsetting tool and hammer


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Stapling is probably one of the easiest ways to install hardwood flooring.

The best way to install hardwood floors depends on the type of subfloor you have. If you have concrete floors, you can install a floating floor or glued floor. If you have a wooden floor you can install a floating floor, you can staple it down or glue it. If you have wood subfloors, the fastest, cleanest and quickest way to lay hardwood laminate is to staple it. Stapling is faster than nailing, avoids the extra mess of gluing and eliminates steps


Step 1

Store the hardwood flooring bundles for three days in the room where they will be installed. This allows the flooring to adjust to the humidity of the room to prevent warping after installation.

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Step 2

Spread a layer of 15 pound asphalt felt over the floor with a three inch overlap at the seams. Staple the felt to the floor with your staple gun. Snap a chalk line along one wall 1/2 inch from all floor walls. This allows for expansion and will be covered by the baseboards.


Step 3

Nail the first row of hardwood boards or planks. On the wall side, drill a series of pilot holes for 1 ½ inch finishing nails and nail the board through the subflooring into the floor joist. Recess the nails with a nailsetting tool. Nail the next two rows by hand, drilling pilot holes at a 45 degree angle through the tongues of the board every ten inches. Set with the nailsetting tool. As you set every row after the second, Lay a short length of flooring along the edge. Tap the edge of the piece of flooring to push the row up against the first row. Nail it in place. Stagger the planks so that the ends do not line up.


Step 4

Continue to add rows, tapping them into place with a rubber mallet, stapling the subsequent rows into place until you reach the opposite wall. If the manufacturer recommends, you may need to leave a gap between the planks the thickness of a putty knife blade to allow for expansion.

Step 5

Rip the last plank to fit in the final gap between the next to last row and the wall. Use a pry bar to press the last row tightly against the previous rows and staple it into place. Nail baseboards into place along the walls.


Measure the room to insure it is square. You may have to cut the last planks wider at one end than the other to adjust for the room being out of square. Be sure and measure the width at both ends of the last row of planks you are installing before ripping them.


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