Wood Floor Installation

Hello. This weekend I am going to install a floating wood floor in our bedroom. I bought the flooring at Home Depot and it is the kind that locks into place. It is going on concrete and I am using a underlayment. Im pretty handy but I have never done this before and am looking for a few tips if anyone has any. The instructions make it clear to use 1/2 inch spacers along the wall so the floor will have room to expand. 1/2 inch seems like a lot but that is what it calls for. Has anyone else done this? My main concern is that the bedroom has a fireplace and there are some tiles on the floor in front of the fireplace. I was going to start in the other end of the room and work towards the fireplace. I guess Im concerned that when I get there it wont align up. I know it does not have to be perfect because I have a wood strip to connect the two materials. Should I start the wood with the tile? If anyone has done this type of job before, any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Tom
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wrote:

My package says to start along the main entrance way to the room as that is what catches the eye the most. But it is just a suggestion. You don't want your floor not being parallel to the main wall. Find your main focal point and work from there.
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It should be aclimatised to your homes humidty or it will shrink if you home is drier than the wood, I dont know how long that will take but a day will not do it
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Nope, you're the first.

It probably won't line up perfectly. When you get to the tiles, just cut the board to fit.
I used a miter saw set up on a stand to do the cutting needed on one end of the room. Keep the seem staggered and in a random pattern.
Remove the baseboard or shoe molding and then bring the wood close enough to be covered when you replace it; usually that 1/2" is about right. That gives the best appearance. Mark your moldings and they will go back in the same place. While off, it is a good time to clean and refinish them. Use a jamb saw to undercut the door jambs without having to remove them.
In most cases, you want the long dimension of hte board to run the long dimension of the room and perpendicular to the main light.
Once you get the first coupe of rows in lace, it goes quick and smooth. Get that first strip as straight as possible so it ends straight on the other side of the room and saves a lot of aggravation cutting the last board at an angle.
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I did exactly the same thing about 3 months ago. Same situation - floating interlocking wood over a slab with underlayment. I used the combination underlayment, foam pad plus moisture barrier.
Edwin hit the high points pretty well, I'll just add a few more details.
First, if your bedroom needs painting, might be a good idea to do that BEFORE putting down your new wood floor, you can paint the baseboards while they are off the wall, touch-up as necessary after replacing. You don't want to get paint on that new wood floor. Definitely pull off the baseboard and reinstall - I have seen installations that left the baseboard on and put quarter-round over the gap - looks pretty tacky.
The jamb saw works very well for the door trim, use a piece of the flooring on top of the underlayment as a guide for how much to cut off.
Before you start laying the boards, divide the width of the room by the width of a board, you want to make sure you don't end up with a fraction of an inch width left for your final row of boards. If that's the case, you need to adjust the width of your first row accordingly. Check the board width where your wood floor meets the fireplace tile too. You may need to juggle the width of your first board to get a good fit for both the last board and the fireplace junction.
One last piece of advice - if you have something like a bay window in the room, such that the end of the board needs to be angled, you definitely need to start laying the row of boards at the end of the room that has the angled end. Otherwise when you try to use your tool to snug the ends of the boards together, you won't get a very good grip on the angled end. DAMHIKT.
Hope this helps, Jerry
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Thanks everyone for the advice. I already have painted the walls and removed the baseboard and bought new taller baseboard. I will let you know how it goes. Thanks again.
Tom
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Ok Im back again with a couple more questions. Can I make my own spacers out of wood or do I need to buy spacers. Home Depot does not have 1/2 inch spacers. My next question is more complicated. Where the tile meets the wood by the fireplace I will need to use an reducer strip. I was watching a pergo video and they use a metal strip that the wood strip fits into. Can I bypass that strip and use glue to fasten the reducer molding? I don't want to have to try to drill screws into concrete. Thanks again.
Tom
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wrote:

I have never done this and have no idea what the purpose of it is, but you could also use glue to attach the metal stip.

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I made my own from scrap - just make your spacers thinner than the base thickness of your baseboard, so you don't end up with gaps showing when you put the baseboard back on.

I couldn't use the metal clip stuff because of the relative heights of the tile vs. the wood flooring. Matter of fact, had to do a little creative milling with a router table to get the transition to sit right. Just tacked it down in a few spots with construction adhesive - hopefully won't have to destroy too much if it ever has to come up. I was a little reluctant to screw the transition strip down, didn't want to take the chance of cracking the adjacent tile while drilling the concrete floor.
Jerry
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