How hardwood floor expands after it has been nailed to the floor?

Old 02-03-16, 08:07 PM
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How hardwood floor expands after it has been nailed to the floor?

Hello all,

I have several questions regarding the hardwood floor.

Q1> L-nail or staple to nail the floor to sub-floor. Which one is better?

Q2> We should leave expansion gap for the hardwood floor. How does the expansion gap work since all floors have been nailed to sub-floor?

Q3> Should I choose finished or unfinished hardwood floor?

Q4> Do I have to remove the base board for hardwood floor installation? Or I can just install the quart round to cover the gap?

Q5> Is it possible that DIY a hardwood floor installation?

Thank you

Last edited by q0987; 02-03-16 at 08:52 PM.
Old 02-04-16, 03:29 AM
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#1 - I rarely install hardwood but I think it's mostly personal choice

#2 - I don't know

#3 - Depends on the circumstances. Sanding and finishing the floor onsite gives a smoother nicer looking floor but is extremely messy. IMO that is best left to new construction only. Prefinished flooring has a tougher finish than site applied, no sanding dust and the floor can be used as soon as it is nailed down. There is a slight groove/bevel between boards that some don't like.

#4 - IMO it looks nicer if the baseboard is removed and shoe mold is used but quarter round will work.

#5 - Yes it can be a diy job. The tools can be rented. Laying the floor is fairly simple although sanding can be a little intimidating. Drum sanders are not diy friendly!
Old 02-04-16, 04:05 AM
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I'll add/mirror Mark's comments.

1. I like cleats due to less mis strikes. Staples will sometimes only go half way in due to hard knot or nail head in subflooring. Cleats penetrate pretty well and hold just fine.

2. All hardwood flooring should be acclimated to the environment at least for 72 hours prior to installation. No spacing of hardwood would be needed in normal instances. If you are laying a basketball court with maple, sure, spacing would be needed.

3. For DIY, install prefinished. I don't think any finish available today for aftermarket application can match the zinc oxide finish on pre finished flooring.

4. Remove baseboard or it will look "short" once you install shoe molding. UNLESS you have 5" speedbase, and you can get by with that. Normal base molding isn't tall enough in reality.

5. OF course it is a DIY project. You just need the proper tools to do it with, and may have to rent them as owning can be impracticable.

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