Strip Flooring 7 - Laying the Planks Strip Flooring 7 - Laying the Planks
Margin of Error: Exact
Most Common Mistakes
- Not wiping off excess glue.
- Not laying full-size piece next to visible wall.
- Not achieving a tight fit between boards.
- Using bowed boards.
- Not leaving 1/2" expansion gap between all walls and flooring.
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Your first row of flooring will be laid tightly up against the straightedge. Install it so that the tongue is against the straightedge. If you are using random width boards, be sure the piece next to the wall is the wider piece.
Be sure this first piece is a good, straight piece and installed tight up against the straightedge. This will assure a straight installation. If you are using flooring that has fake pegs, cut the end of the first plank in each row to be sure all the pegs do not line up next to a wall. Also, be sure that there are always at least 5" between the ends of the planks in all adjacent rows. Leave a 1/2" expansion gap between all walls and the flooring.
As you lay the planks, use a hammer or mallet and a scrap piece of flooring to force the planks tightly together and assure a snug fit. Remember, be sure the adhesive has properly set up to a sticky feel before you apply it. Don't slide the planks into place, because this will cause adhesive to ooze between the boards. Rather, insert the tongue into the groove and adjust into final position. Should any adhesive get on the planks, wipe it off immediately with a rag wet with solvent. (Never apply the solvent directly to the plank, since it could affect the finish.)
Work toward the visible wall until that section is completed. You can use a pry bar against the wall to force the last piece snug up against its adjacent course.
Avoid kneeling or walking on the newly laid planks. Use a clean piece of plywood as a kneeling board to spread your weight out. Be sure there is no excess glue on the planks before placing the plywood on top.
As you get each section covered, go over it with a 150-lb. floor roller rented from your supplier.
After you have done your original area, remove the straightedge and lay another section, as described above. Your final piece, across from your most visible wall, may need to be specially cut to fit.
After you have completed the floor, install the baseboards and any needed reducer strips, as described under parquet flooring.