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This is not for the inexperienced... Others, please post...

Posted by Jim -ATS on March 23rd, 2000 12:47 AM
In reply to Laying Hardwood Floors by Becky S. on March 22nd, 2000 08:39 PM [Go to top of thread]

You really owe it to yourself to get some professional hands on instruction before you consider this project. "Laying down" a hardwood floor requires carefully laying out your work, a fair number of specialized tools, and a sense of humor. If you have absolutely no experience in this area, I don't recommend your first try to be without supervision of a professional.

This is a specialized craft, and people who do it for a living learn how as assistants to the seasoned pros. The money you save by "doing it yourself" could very well be lost by installing it incorrectly, or having your installation laid out wrong, etc. Once the pieces are nailed down, it is very difficult to change where they are.

If you still insist on trying this, you should rent the proper installation tools, which hopefully, an expert in this field will explain to you. There is a manually operated nail gun that uses a hammer to activate the gun, and it automatically places the flooring nail into the board at the correct angle and sets it properly. There are also air powered floor guns, but I have been told that the hammer powered types work better. You definately do not want to have to nail the floor down by hand, any missed hammer strokes would have to be sanded out, which means having to take more material than you want to out of your initial finish.

Pay particular attention to moisture. Installing green material, or material with a moisture content which has not been allowed to normalize to its new environment could mean that 2 weeks after you install your beautiful new floor you have major cracks between the boards, or they are bulging out of their joints.

Also consider a pre-finished hardwood floor. This avoids the trouble and mess of sanding and finishing the floor in your home, both of which are not pleasant or for the inexperienced.

Best of luck to you...

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