Jion the National Wood Flooring Association, read their manual, and don't
listen to some of the terrible advice you see on the internet newsgroups!
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I used a handheld pneumatic nailer. Not good - get a hammer actuated
I used a chop box on top of a couple fo 2x10s. Get yourself a
dedicated chop saw station with a sliding stop for length - it's much,
MUCH quicker, and more accurate. Even better, use a few sets of story
sticks so you don't even need to measure. You can reallly fly that
I'd bring a portable table saw and a scroll saw to the site as well.
Lay out and snap lines where needed at the beginning, and focus on
materials handling from the start. True expertise lies in the
1) Acclimate the wood to the humidity in the house - sticker it and leave
for at least a couple of weeks.
2) put a vapor barrier between the hardwood floor and the subfloor. I used
poly, despite postings not to. A local flooring dealer that I know well
said it is not a problem. Two years now and no problems.
3) If subfloor is not dead flat, put a 1/4" luan layer down
4) Buy or rent a pneumatic floor stapler. And whack it hard every time -
that whack is driving the boards together tight.
5) Speaking of whacking, make sure to get the butting ends of the boards
tight before you whack the pneumatic stapler
6) Cull out the ugly pieces of wood before you start laying the floor.
You'll forget to do this and lay a couple before the "oh crap" comes out of
7) Hardwood flooring is always laid perpendicular to the floor joists.
8) Leave 1/4" around the perimeter of the room for expansion. Quarter round
will hide it.
9) Nail the quarter round into the baseboard, not the floor, so the floor
10) Buy or borrow a Fein multimaster to undercut your door jambs - gives a
very professional job
11) When undercutting door jambs, don't cut the security system wires
NEVER put glue on the T and G. I did this on some beautiful cherry and
installed in the summer. Over the next 2 winters as it shrunk, I heard
loud cracks (like ice on a lake). It didn't ruin the floor, and when we
had it re-finished a few years later, the cracks were filled in. It
still looks great. (but I know where the gaps are ;)
Also, cutting the floor is a hard job to get perfect the first time.
After spending $$ and time putting the floor in you will cry if you
gouge it cutting it for the first time. Hire a pro for this part. And
they usually keep their power tools balanced and tuned up. Rentals from
BORG are usually bad news.
For cherry, DO NOT STAIN. Use sealer (I think mine was called duraseal)
wipe on/ wipe off then 3-4 coats of varnish.
Your smartest move is learning from a professional.
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