Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Sub-Floor Inspection

For any type of boards as a sub-floor, be sure to nail down any loose boards. Eliminate any squeaks you find by nailing or screwing the boards into place. It may be necessary to reinforce underlying joists in order to remove all squeaks.

Make sure that the moisture of the sub-floor will not be a problem. This is the main cause for hardwood floor failure. It is very important that the sub-floor be continuously dry throughout the year. There should be no more than a 5% moisture content variance between the sub-floor and the hardwood flooring.

Making sure that the site is level is also very important. Generally, a maximum tolerance of 3/16" over a distance of 10 ft. is a good rule of thumb to go by. You can fill in any low lying portions with an underlay structure or some type of compound material. If you use a compound material, be sure to let this substance dry completely before continuing on to the rest of the project.

Finally, before moving on to the next portion of your project, carefully clean the sub-floor. You should scrape, grind or sand any debris and foreign material from the floor. Be sure to sweep up all debris and remove from the work area.

Wood Floor Plank Installation

Now that you've got the site prepared, it's time to lay down some wood flooring! You'll want to determine the direction in which the flooring will be laid. Usually, the flooring planks will be laid perpendicular to the joist, which generally means they will run parallel to the longer wall. If you are unsure about which way the joist is positioned, do be sure to ascertain this information. As they say, "better safe than sorry".

If more than a day has passed since your sub-floor inspection, go ahead and give the area another sweeping t o be sure it is clean and ready to go. Snap a chalk line at a distance of one plank width plus an additional inch. So for a 3 inch plank, this would be 3 inches from the starting wall. In staple or nail installations, the tongue edge should touch the chalk line, with the grooved edge facing the starting wall. In a glue installation, this would be reversed.

Start by placing a row of planks along the chalk line, leaving the inch gap around the perimeter for expansion of the wood floor.

Secure the first row of planks with finishing nails. Nails should be placed about 2 inches from the ends of the planks, 1-1/2 inch from the groove and also at each 10-12 inches along the length of each wood plank. As you go along, don't forget to leave that same inch gap on all side of the wood floor.

For a nice finish, use a center punch to counter sink the nails and then fill the holes with a matching wood putty or filler. For the first row of boards, pre-drill holes directly through the plank tongues at a 45 degree angle.

As you lay the planks, it is a good idea to take planks from several different boxes to ensure an even selection of different lengths. The ends of each plank should always be more than 6 inches from the end of he neighboring plank.

The last row will have to be tapped into place using a tapping board. Do not use a rubber mallet, as the focused force can easily chip or crack the planks.

That's the gist of how to install wood floor planks. There are a variety of manufacturers, as well as styles, colors widths and finishes of flooring to choose from. Take a look at your local flooring store or an online retailer to get some ideas about the available styles and you're on your way!

About The Author:
Alphonso has been working in the home remodeling industry for last 5 years. Take advantage of his experience and written material on flooring ideas at his website at http://www.improve-home.com


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