Here's the deal: there really isn't any home improvement project you can't do if you put your mind to it and are prepared with the right tools and materials. Even building tiny homes with your own two hands is possible—I mean, did you miss this Amazon favorite that went viral?
When it comes to taking on interior renovations, HGTV's Chip Wade of Wade Works knows a thing or two about transforming spaces so they're always fresh. Most recently, Chip has begun installing hardwood floors throughout the stunning Georgia lake house—aka Misty Mill—that he's been renovating over the last few months. (He turned to Real Wood Floors for his, in case you're curious.)
If you've been in the market for new floors, you don't have to wait for the pros to come make it happen. Instead, consider it your next DIY project. Here's what Chip says you'll need, along with the step-by-step guide to making it happen.
What You'll Need:
- Tape measure
- Chalk line
- Air compressor
- 16 g angled pneumatic trim nail gun
- Pneumatic floor nailer
- V groove trowel
- Pry bar
- Chop saw
- Table saw
- Oscillating tool
Step 1: Remove everything from the room, clean the floors of debris, and vacuum.
Step 2: Bring hardwood floors into the climate controlled space in which they will be installed to acclimate for 72 hours.
Tip: Once you begin, pull pieces from different boxes to ensure proper variance of material.
Step 3: Lay out your starting point by pulling a parallel line off the most visually focal wall.
Step 4: Draw a chalk reference line to mark this starting point.
Tip: You can do this right along the wall if you don’t need to match the floors to an adjacent room. Leave an expansion gap equal to the thickness of the floor around the perimeter.
Step 5: Put down a moisture barrier first if hardwoods are being added to a foundation floor or crawl space.
- If boards are 3” or more, Chip advises you use a glue assist and nailing method.
- If starting beside the wall, you will need to use an angled finish nailer through the face of the first course, then through the tongues of the next several courses until you have enough room to use the pneumatic floor nailer.
Step 6: Spread the adhesive on the floor with a v notched trowel no more than 3’ out in front of the course you are working on.
Step 7: Orient the boards so the tongue is left exposed for nailing, not the groove.
Step 8: As you reach the end of a course, you may need to cut out a door jamb with an oscillating tool or jamb saw.
Step 9: Use a piece of flooring as a reference and cut the jamb 1/16” shorter than the floor height.
Step 10: When you finish a course, ensure your starter piece for the next course is not within 12” of a seam on the previous course. Use this method for all joints moving forward.
Step 11: When approaching the wall at the completion of the room, you will need to use the angled finish nailer in the tongues of the boards again until the last course.
Step 12: The last course will likely need to be ripped on a table saw to the correct width and nailed to the face.
Step 13: Fill any nail holes to match and install a shoe mold if needed.
Step 14: If the floor is not pre-finished: sand, finish, and voila!
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