Getting that first row straight


Old 03-17-09, 11:26 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
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Getting that first row straight

I will be laying down some 3/4" hardwoods soon. I think the most important thing will be laying the first row straight. This is a call for the experienced of the bunch to share their methods of ensuring the straightness of the first row. Any tips and tricks are appreciated.
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Old 03-24-09, 11:38 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
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I'm not a pro at this... but have a technique that works well:

Step 1: chalkline about 1/2" - 3/4" away from the wall... walls are hardly ever perfectly straight so once you do that you will see your guide line you need to follow.

Step 2: some people toe-nail a skinny strip of wood to be used as guide for your first row or you may use spacers that amount to distance between the wall and the guide line you made in step 1. You should never place hardwood directly against the wall, it needs room to expand and contract with hot/cold temperatures

Step 3 Lay down your hardwood planks/strips, when finished remove the guide strip if you used one and cover gap left behind with some nice looking molding.
Old 03-25-09, 03:50 AM
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And to keep it running squarely across the room spectrum, take measurements at 3 or 4 places across the room in the direction of the floor lay. If those measurements vary more than 3/4", then you will need to adjust the line mentioned by senixon. Starting out crooked will only exaggerate the out-of-squareness algebraically. No room has been built perfectly square, so make many measurements before you start. Good luck with the install, and let us know if we can help.

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