Checklist: Before Installing Wood Flooring

When it’s time to upgrade the home, consider wood flooring. The cost of wood floor installation can be high, but most of these expenses can be avoided when homeowners install floors. Here are a few tips to achieve a beautiful wood floor through professional installation.

Preparing the Floor

Many people think they can start laying the floor once the old flooring is removed, but there’s a little more to it than that. In addition to removing the old flooring, the baseboards should also be removed. If there are door frames in the room, the Preparation of the floor for wood installation is essentialframes must be shortened by the height of your floor. Either remove the sides of the frame and cut them down with a saw, or use a Dremel rotary tool with a special attachment to cut the doorjamb in place.

The next step is to go over the floor carefully. Look for staples, nails that are not countersunk or spots that squeak. The best time to fix squeaks in the floor is now because few screws in the loose area will stop squeaks and groans. Raised nails should be hammered in fully or removed.

Once the floor is clean and smooth, it is time to lay rosin paper. Overlap paper edges by four inches, and hold the paper in place by going across it with a staple gun. Make sure all staples are completely flush with the floor.

Slow and Easy Wins the Race

The goal with the wood floor isn’t to finish in record time. The goal is to have a floor that looks professionally installed. This means being patient with the installation. Be a perfectionist when choosing boards. Look for flaws, wormholes, splinters, damaged tongues or grooves and any other damage. If there is something about a board that isn’t attractive, it should be set to the side.

Installing wood floorsAll seams must be carefully staggered across the floor. Make sure there is at least four inches between seams to create a strong floor. Before choosing a board, look at the seams a few rows back to maintain attractive spacing.

The All-Important Gap

A quarter-inch gap is required all the way around the floor. Wood will expand slightly and contract again over the course of the year. If the expansion gap is not present, the floor could buckle and be ruined.

Cutting the End Boards

At the end of a row, installers measure the space and cut a board to fit. Be sure to allow for the gap when measuring, and check all measurements twice. Mark the board to ensure that the right end is cut. Remember that a working tongue or groove on the floor side is required to secure the board, so the cut should always be on the wall side.

Finished wood floorsHave a Friend Help

Laying a wood floor is not a good job for an individual. This type of work goes fastest and looks the most attractive when people work as a team. One person can focus on placing boards and measuring end pieces while the other takes care of cutting the boards and working the pneumatic nail gun. The team can also work together to find the right pieces as the floor is laid.

When the wood floor is finished, it will look amazing. They are easy to clean and incredibly attractive. A fine wood floor will also increase the value of any home because it is so durable and desirable. The most important thing to do when installing a wood floor is be patient and allow plenty of time to complete the project. With a little patience and good attention to detail, wood flooring will look professionally installed.

As an author, Jordan McPelt writes about various subject matters including wood flooring in Fort Lauderdale. To learn more about wood flooring please visit

Posted in

Need helpful maintenance reminders?

Tyler Golberg

Tyler is the founder of Home Maintenance Tracker and a writer for HomeSpot HQ, an easy to use tool for managing maintence and projects for every house.