Install Your Wood Flooring Yourself

4 materials
3 Days
New wood flooring improves the beauty and increases the value of any home. My husband and I have learned many skills in our marriage of nearly four decades. If we can install a wood floor, any one can. The floors we did were before the days of Hometalk, so my friend let me use her recent photographs. The steps are much the same whether it is reclaimed wood like in my photos or if it is laminate. I love the idea of reclaiming or reusing natural materials from nature.
Secure the wood you will need and the amount. Multiply the length times the width of the room to find the square feet. For example 8 ft by 10 ft is 80 sq feet. It is best to leave the new wood in the room a few days to get it acclimated to the moisture and temperature of the room. Remove all the mop boards along the floor and wall. If you buy new wood, use boards from various packages to mix the variety of the stains. No two packages are exactly alike.

If you use re-purposed wood, measure width of the wood to make sure the last laid board will not be too small like an inch. If it will be too narrow like an inch, you have two choices: cut a piece in two and use one piece on each side of the room, or glue the inch to one of the panels. Either way, be sure to leave 3/4 inch spacers at the ends and sides of the room on all 4 walls to be sure there is space between the wood and the wall. Wood floors expand and contract. The mop board will cover the 3/4 inch gap when you finish. Prepare the sub-floor before beginning to lay the new wood. It must be level and in good repair with no decay or warped areas.
Now nail the first board to the floor and begin putting in each row. Be sure no boards stop in the same place on each row. For example you do not want a 4 ft piece exactly next to a 4 ft piece in the next row. Stagger the lengths. Some people rent a flooring nailer to tap the wood and nail the boards. This makes it go faster. On the last two rows you have to face nail the boards. This particular re-claimed wood looks dark before sanding.
Remember to cut the boards for any vent holes in the room. If it is re-purposed wood, sand the wood the direction of the grain of the wood two times and wipe it clean with a damp cloth after each sanding.
If you only have a small hand sander, you may want to purchase knee pads or use a cushion under the knees.
Apply 2 coats of urethane. Let the first coat dry completely before applying the second coat. If the humidity is very low, 24 hours should be sufficient time after each coat. Now replace the mop boards by nailing them to the wall, not the floor. Congratulations, you now have a new floor in your room!

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