My mistake was while operating the "manual" nailer that I hit my finger when
the hammer glanced off the window trim when I got close to the wall. It was
time for me to call it a day, and I had an ugly fingernail to show off for a
long time. Best part was that I didn't use any profanity!
Bah, you haven't _lived_ until you hit your shin with the same hammer.
Saw stars on that one, which I thought was just a cartoon thing but was
definately real. It hurt to much for me to swear, too.
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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Using a manual nailer
Nailing into the groove instead of the tongue
Using staples instead of nails
Put down a long, dead straight board that will serve as your first course.
IME, this is better than starting off with the actual flooring material
since you can nail this sacrificial course straight down into the subfloor
instead of using the angled nailer, thereby (mostly) assuring it won't move
during the nailing process. Don't remove this board until you have butted
at least 4 full courses against it, at which point the courses shouldn't
move, no matter how much banging (manual or pneumatic) you're doing.
Make very accurate measurements wall to wall in various parts of the room to
determine where to put this backer board. Be sure you're not going to end
up with a 1/4" last course up against a wall. Opinions may differ, but I
put my backer board in the middle of the room, then used a tight
groove-to-groove spline so I'd always be nailing into the tongues (sp?) as I
changed direction and started working toward the opposite wall.
Just one amatuer's opinion based on a job that turned out *very* well.
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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