Wood flooring installation advice


Well, I got a good deal on some "Tavern Grade" wood flooring that is 2 1/4 inches wide. It will go in my living room and butt against my 3 inch wide hardwood in the dining room. Any advice on how to install this as I never hae before.
Also, thinking of investign in a nail gun. I see two types, an air operated one and the type you hit with a hammer. Is one better than the other. I see they have a reconditioned hamemr type on Amazon for 54.00. I can get an air one at harbor freight for 150 I think.
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It's impossible to say how to treat where your new floor will butt against the old one without knowing the overall layout. Answers could vary from starting at that point and butting it up against it cleanly to finishing there with a seam binder strip. Layout questions: are there any setbacks in the room that can affect where your start? Will you be reversing the course anywhere? How square is the room (generally, you like to split the difference, which won't be possible if you want to start by butting up against existing). Also, are the two floors the same thickness or has the original floor been sanded? Is the new floor a contrast to the existing, or close? This and possibly the sheen on the finish could affect your decision on whether to use a seam binder. Contrast is good. However, getting new flooring that is 'pretty close' but yet different than the existing can look awful (it'll look like you tried to match, but failed).
Re: Nail gun. If this is your first and only installation, there's no need to 'invest' in a nailgun. Rent a pneumatic from big blue or big orange. It will allow you to lay flooring closer to the walls before you have to start toe nailing and face nailing.
jc
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Room is basically a square but there is a marble square in front of my fireplace in the floor. Exisiting flooring is the same height and never been sanded. Finish is similar but not exactly. The old floor is 3 inches and new floorign will be 2 1/4. I can take pictures. My idea was to take basboards off, start at the wall next to the existing hardwood and work from there.
My idea on buying was because I am slow and it may take me forever to do this. (Hence renting out of the question).
ANy advice is appreciated! I am gettign the wood for free except for having to buy a few boxes to have enough.
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stryped wrote:

If you rent (or buy) a manual nailer, get the Porta-Nailer, not Bosch.
When you whack a nailer with a hammer, the force pushes down a ram; the ram hits the head of a cleat (nail) and drives it into the wood. With the Bosch, you get exactly *one* chance to drive the cleat because the ram springs back up. With the Porta-Nailer the ram stays down until the cleat is driven home; that means you can whack it as many times as necessary to drive the cleat. Believe me, unless you are a pro, you are not going to drive many cleats with one whack.
--

dadiOH
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..
That sounds like good advice. I installed a bunch of 2-1/4 inch oak strip flooring in my house back in the day. I was about 30 at the time and pretty active for a pencil-neck geek, but I had much trouble hitting the rented nailer hard enough to sink the cleat in one whack. And if you didn't sink it in one blow then had you had to stop and tediously finish setting it with a hammer and nail set. So maybe that is an argument for using an air nailer.
REad up on it a little, there are some things to know about seasoning the wood, how the strips should be oriented and such. Most importantly, leave a 3/8 to 1/2 in. gap around the perimeter to allow for expansion and contraction with the seasons.
A friend gave me a real good tip. One of the things that happens as you're installing is that the pieces are warped and the tongues and grooves don't always mate properly. Sometimes you can just tap them together with a rubber mallet and it will stay; sometimes not. Sometimes you really need to apply a bunch of force to the strip to get it to mate properly with the last one; you don't want gaps. The tip was to make a cleat that you can quickly install to serve as a fulcrum for prying. Take a block of 2X4 or some such and put 4 holes in it and slip long wood screws through them. When you need to force a strip of flooring into place, use a cordless drill to (temporarily) install the block a few inches away from it with the screws. Put a scrap piece of flooring against the piece you need to force, and then you can use your big honkin pry-bar between the scrap and the block to apply force. --H
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Even if you keep it for a few days, it'll still be (a lot) cheaper than buying.
I wouldn't suggest the manual for any first-timers.
jc
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Is the pnematic hard to set up? Can my 5 horse craftsman do it?
Or would the porta nailer that willnot release until it is driven work better.
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wrote:

Is the pnematic hard to set up? Can my 5 horse craftsman do it?
Or would the porta nailer that willnot release until it is driven work better.
*any* compressor that can compress air can keep up with one man on a pneumatic. They just don't use that much air (I keep my reg set between 85 and 90 psi) and you're not shooting *that* fast....
something else to consider if you're thinking about the manual. with more effort being made with the hammer strikes, you're more likely to tense up your other arm (especially as you get tired, and you will) and not have the nailer squared up at impact. This can lead to bruised edges and flaking finish on pre-finished wood. BTDTGTT-S
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