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Laying a Hardwood Floor

Armstrong’s technology makes laying a hardwood floor a snap for the Do-It-Yourselfer. In one weekend, you can have a beautiful hardwood floor to enjoy for a lifetime.

Armstrong makes hardwood floors with the Do-It-Yourselfer in mind. If you’re comfortable and experienced using power tools, know simple carpentry skills and have successfully completed a few independent projects, then you can tackle laying a hardwood floor in about a weekend.

Preparation for laying a hardwood floor

Preparation is the key to a smooth installation. Take the time to make a checklist that includes these essential steps:

  • Carefully read the installation instructions.
  • Gather the recommended tools and materials for the job.
  • Make sure to have your safety gear ready: dust mask, safety glasses and hearing protection for when you’re cutting wood. You’ll probably appreciate kneepads too.
  • Check to see that the subfloor is dry, clean and flat. Give it the once-over with a vacuum to pick up loose particles and check for exposed nail heads.
  • Carefully remove wall base, millwork, or any trim you intend to re-use.
  • Properly acclimate the hardwood according to the instructions, typically a minimum of 48 hours.

Steps for laying a hardwood floor

  • Lay floor pieces parallel with the longest wall in the room.
  • Begin on the left side of the wall and work right, with the tongue side facing the wall.
  • Use 12.7mm spacers between boards and walls around the perimeter of the room to allow for expansion and contraction in wood due to temperature and humidity changes.
  • Make sure that you stagger the ends of adjacent rows by at least 152.4mm whenever possible to create the random pattern unique to a hardwood floor.

Completing the hardwood installation

  • For the last row, you may have to cut boards lengthwise if there’s not enough room for a full width board.
  • Trace for contours to be cut and fitted for floor vents, around doorways, etc., according to the installation guide.
  • After installing the last row, remove the spacers.
  • Install or re-install transition pieces or moldings. Armstrong makes hardwood trim and molding pre-finished to blend with your flooring.
  • When you’re done, your floor will be ready to walk on. There’s virtually no clean-up because all Armstrong hardwood flooring comes with a factory-applied urethane finish.

A beautiful solid hardwood floor is the result of careful planning and some DIY know-how. It you have the skills for laying a hardwood floor, Armstrong can help you with all the information you need to make it a success.