Step 4: Install the rest of the flooring

Installing planks
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Start each course with the piece of flooring left over from the previous cut (cut end to the wall), as long as it is more than 8 inches in length. This will keep the joints staggered. Remember to place spacers against side walls before you put down a plank.

Squeeze glue into the groove of the plank in one continuous bead, then slide it up against the previous row. Set a wood block against the outside of the plank, and tap it with a hammer to bring the planks tightly together.

Measure from the plank to the end of the row and finish the course as detailed in Step 3. Continue installing planks in this manner, one course at a time. Every four to six courses, use blue painter's tape to keep the joints tight while the glue cures.

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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