Step 8: Install the Nailing Blank

fixing a triangular nailing blank to the subfloor for a herringbone floor install
Photo: Wendell T. Webber
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Using a circular saw, cut the factory corner of a piece of ¾-inch plywood into a right triangle with two sides matching the length of your slats. Mark the centerline of this blank, and line it up on one of the working lines. Position the blank's long edge on the top border of your field, and screw it to the subfloor. Route a groove along the blank's two forward edges. The area occupied by the blank will be filled in with herringbone during Step 13.

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    Tools List

    • 30-foot tape measure
      Measuring tape
    • chalk line
      Chalk line
    • trammel
      Trammel. Make one from a piece of scrap board
    • straightedge guide
      Straightedge
    • framing square
      Framing square
    • miter saw
      Miter saw
    • mallet
      Rubber mallet
    • router
      Router and 1¼-inch flooring bit
    • speed square
      Rafter square
    • drill
      Drill/driver
    • flooring nailer
      Flooring nailer
    • circular saw
      Circular saw

    Shopping List

    Engineered tongue-and-groove strip flooring.
    Have your supplier determine how much you need, but figure on 15 percent waste.

    Feature and apron strips to frame the herringbone field.

    Flooring splines

    Molding to create a guide for the circular saw.

    ¾-inch plywood
    Get one 4x8 sheet to make the nailing blank and a straightedge.

    1½-inch drywall screwsto attach the blank to the subfloor.

    16-gauge 2-inch L-head flooring nails or 'cleats'

    Wood glue

    Painter's tape