For the new house I opted for carpet free. I know, I know. You may think I am crazy, but having torn carpet out so many times and seen what is under there... eek! We will compliment our solid floors by adding rugs where needed to soften the spaces.
I went with Vintage Beige in 7.5 inch wide planks from ADM Flooring. I love the rustic look, and it also helps to hide the mess that is prone to happen when you have three kids, a dog... and a husband.
A lot of things can change or go wrong when you are building, but luckily this flooring was much easier to install than we anticipated. Hallelujah! Here is how we did it.
- Broom / Shop Vac
- Vapor barrier
- Hammer stapler
- Brad Nailer
- Air compressor
- Floor stapler
- Tape Measure
- Miter Saw
- Table saw
- Jigsaw - for small cuts around doors
- Knee Pads
YouTube Video: How We Installed Our Wood Floor
Prep the Floor
- Allow time for acclimation - Your flooring will need to sit in your home for 2 weeks before you begin installation. This allows the wood to acclimate to your home so there is less expanding and contracting after it is installed. Make sure to allot for enough time to do this.
- Clean your subfloor - Begin with a clean base layer. You want to make sure you scrape all bumps off so your flooring will lay flat.
- Put down a vapor barrier - use a hammer stapler to secure a vapor barrier to the floor.
Laying the Floor
- Make sure your first row is straight - It is very very VERY important your first row is straight. If it is off even a tiny bit you will be able to tell in your next row, as it will leave gaps.
- Use spacers and a level - We spaced our first piece ¼" from the wall. This will give your wood room to expand and contract over time. Use a level and make sure your board is straight. Don't rely on your wall being straight.
- Use a brad nailer to nail the board down - Once your board is spaced and straight use your brad nailer to face nail it down. (face nailing is when you nail on the top of your board, you will be able to see these nail holes so try to place them in places that are less noticeable.
- Continue face nailing the first row of your boards - After the first board is nailed down I like to use a chalk line to ensure the rest of my boards are straight. I can't stress enough how important it is that this first row is straight.
- Begin the second row and use a floor stapler - Now that you are on to your second row you can use the floor stapler. A floor stapler will put the staples right on top of the tongue of the wood so they will be hidden. You will also want to make sure that your wood seams line up at different spots on each row so the rows are not identical.
- Continue laying boards down and hit into place - You will need to hit the boards into each other as you lay them down. We found it was easiest if we used a scrap piece of wood to hit rather than hitting the wood board directly as it can damage it.
- Staple your boards every 3 to 5 inches - You want them nailed down tight.
- Repeat these steps - Just repeat these steps over and over until you are all done! It took us about 2 weeks to install 3,500 sq ft. We did have some great help from time to time, so if you can acquire a few more hands it may go faster.