air compressor and hoses
floor nailer (can be rented)
power miter saw
vapor barrier underlayment
flooring staples (to fit rental gun)
wood putty that matches the finish of the flooring
1. To find the square footage of the room, multiply the width by the length. Purchase 10 to 15 percent extra for irregular boards and mistakes. To prevent warping and gaps, the flooring needs at least 48 hours in the room to adjust to the temperature and humidity.
2. Ensure the subfloor is level and even, make the necessary adjustments. If the subflooring squeaks, screw a long drywall screw into it and the joist where the squeak is located.
3. Staple the vapor-barrier paper to the subfloor. Allow at least a 4-inch overlap for each sheet.
4. Plan the layout of the flooring. For a solid base, planks should be laid perpendicular to the floor joists. The longest wall is often the most ascetically pleasing and is the easiest place to start.
5. Measure the width of the flooring plank, then add 1/4” inch. Measure that number out from the starting wall then snap a chalk line at that point the length of the room. Starting a 1/4” away from the wall will allow the wood to expand and contract. It will also ensure you start in a true straight line rather than following the contours of a possibly-crooked wall.
6. Using a finish nailer, nail the first row down through the face. Nail right along the back edge, so that the baseboard will hide the nail holes.
7. The first couple of rows will have to be toe-nailed diagonally through the tongue. Once you’re about 10 to 12 inches away from the wall, switch to the flooring nailer. Stagger boards at least 6 inches to prevent an awkward alignment of end joints. Make straight cuts with a miter box. Use a jig saw to cut for curves or notches.
8. Continue laying the rest of the flooring.
9. Face nail last row. The only way to secure the last row is to face nail it. Fill in the nail holes with a matching wood putty.
10. Install baseboard and shoe molding.