How to install a hardwood flooring properly?

If you have recently acquired a hardwood flooring and want to put it yourself, take the time to read our tips to make the best possible installation.

The first step will be to prepare the room, For this, you must:

  • Take measurements of the room to ensure a square installation of your plankger hardwood
  • Arrange the blades on the floor before installation according to the desired pattern
  • Place the boards perpendicular to the joists to solidify the surface and prevent buckling
  • Install a second ½ plywood or attach 2 × 6 pieces between the joists every 24 inches for installation parallel to the joists
  • Check that the first row is correctly installed because it will be decisive for the entire installation
  • Make sure the last row is at least 1 inch wide so that the blades are secure

how to install hardwood flooring

The second step, lay the subfloor:

Install the OSB or Plywood subfloor on a straight surface (no more than 3/16 by 10 feet difference) with a moisture content of less than 12%. In the event of a crawl space, first, waterproof the concrete for better air circulation. Once installed, clean it and install a vapor barrier such as laminated tar paper or saturated asphalt kraft paper with overlapping joints of at least 4 inches to prevent moisture problems.

You are now ready for the eight steps of installing your hardwood floor:

1. Tracing the guideline

Take measurements of the room to determine the layout of the boards, making sure the parallel sides are equal and equidistant from the walls. Leave a gap of ¾ between boards and walls for lateral expansion and ¼ between ends and walls for longitudinal expansion.

2. Lay the first blade on the guideline

Choose the straightest blades to form the first line.

3. Drilling straight holes

Prepare the first row by drilling guide holes ½ inch from one side of the blade every 10 inches and then stop 2 inches from the ends.

4. Fixing the first row with finishing nails and nail punches

hardwood flooring installation steps

The use of a nailer is impossible near a wall, the first and last rows will have to be fixed manually. Nail the first row with finishing nails, a hammer, and a nailer to hide them.

5. Drilling 45

Using a surface nailer, nail the next blade (s) using a surface nailer at an angle of 45 in the post every 8 inches making sure the nail head is fully seated.

6. Nailing rows

When space permits, use a wood nailer and rubber mallet. Nail the blades every 6 to 8 inches and 2 or 3 inches from the ends. Then make sure each blade is nailed in at least two places.

7. Arrangement of the blades to prevent alignment of the joints

To avoid joint alignment, ensure that the ends of the blades are always at least 4 inches apart.

8. Nailing baseboards in the wall

Complete the last two or three rows manually, in the same way as the first rows. Install the skirting boards and quarter-rounds by nailing them into the wall, but never in the flooring, otherwise they will move with the expansion of the floor.

To successfully complete this installation, you will need:

Wood Flooring Installation Tools

• Miter saw
• Wood nailer (manual or pneumatic)
• Vacuum cleaner or broom
• Nail
• Hand saw
• Square
• Air hammer or surface nailer
• Electric drill
• Chalk Line
• Measuring tape
• Pencil
• Finishing nail, twisted nails, and 2-inch wood nails
• Vapor barrier membrane


In order to properly maintain your hardwood flooring, it will be important to regularly check the relative humidity by keeping it between 35% and 55%. For cleaning, do not pour cleaner directly on the floor and never rub with a sog mop. Finally, remember to protect the wood in front of the entrances with carpets.