Step 1: Trim the door casings

Gauging the height
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Use a flush-cut dovetail saw to trim the bottom of the casing at all doorways so that the flooring will slide underneath.

Gauge the height of the cut by laying down a piece of foam underlayment and a piece of flooring (upside down so the saw won't scratch the finish).

Then hold the saw flat against the plank and carefully make the cut.

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    Tools List

    • power flush cut saw
      Flush-cut dovetail saw,
      to trim door casings
    • miter saw
      Miter saw,
      for cutting flooring and molding to length
    • jigsaw
      Jigsaw or circular saw,
      to rip flooring to width
    • hammer
      Hammer and nail set,
      for tapping planks together and installing molding
    • flat prybar
      Flat bar,
      to pry last plank into place
    • coping saw
      Coping saw,
      for coping molding's inside corners

    Shopping List

    1. ENGINEERED WOOD FLOORING

    sold in bundles of 11 to 30 square feet. Calculate the square footage of the room, then add 10 percent to account for off-cuts



    2. FOAM UNDERLAYMENT

    sold in 3- or 4-foot-wide rolls



    3. DUCT TAPE

    to seal foam underlayment seams



    4. 5/16-INCH SPACERS

    to create expansion gaps between flooring and walls



    5. GLUE

    use only the type recommended by the flooring manufacturer



    6. PAINTER'S TAPE

    7. TRANSITION MOLDING

    8. QUARTER-ROUND SHOE MOLDING

    9. 1 1/2-INCH (4D) FINISH NAILS

    for attaching shoe molding