More in Wood Floors

Tight-Fitting Floor Boards

A tip for laying tongue-and-groove flooring

Tight-Fitting Floorboards
Illustration by Narda Lebo

When laying tongue-and-groove flooring, a hammer and wood block are commonly used to tap the boards tightly together. However, it often becomes hard to swing the hammer when installing the last few courses because there's often a wall in the way. The solution is to grab a flat pry bar and a scrap piece of 1X4 and another scrap of 2X4. Stand the 1X4 against the wall and lay the 2X4 on the subfloor between the 1X4 and the floor board.

Slip the pry bar between the two wood blocks and push back toward the wall to force the flooring in place. You can exert a tremendous amount of pressure with this technique, so be sure the 1X4 is in front of a stud, otherwise you could shove it right through the wall. To install the next course of flooring, trim down the 2X4 block to fit, or turn it sideways. For the final course, remove the block entirely.

1 ×

Tight-Fitting Floor Boards

 

Tight-Fitting Floor Boards

Tight-Fitting Floor Boards
Illustration by Narda Lebo

Tight-Fitting Floor Boards

 
 

TV Listings

Find TV Listing for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.