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DIY Wood Floor Installation – A Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide

Posted on June 19, 2023

Floor Renovations Blog

Master the Art of Wood Floor Installation: A Beginner’s Guide

Installing your own wood floors can be a rewarding and cost-effective project for homeowners with some time and patience on their hands. With the right tools and some careful preparation, you can give your space a total transformation. This in-depth guide will help you understand the process of installing hardwood floors in your home. Wood Floor Installation

Why choose wood flooring?

Wooden floors offer a timeless appeal that complements various architectural and interior design styles. They add warmth, character, and value to any home. They’re also durable and can last for generations when properly maintained. Whether you opt for solid hardwood, engineered wood, or laminate flooring, each type offers its own unique aesthetic and practical benefits.

Preparation: Gather your tools and materials.

Before you begin the actual installation, gather all the necessary tools and materials. Here’s what you’ll need:
  1. Wood Flooring
  2. Moisture Barrier (for concrete subfloors)
  3. Underlayment
  4. Nails or flooring staples
  5. Power Nail Gun or Stapler
  6. Table Saw or Circular Saw
  7. Pry Bar
  8. Mallet
  9. Tape Measure
  10. Chalk Line
  11. Safety goggles and ear protection

Evaluating and Preparing the Subfloor

Before you install your new wood floor, ensure the subfloor is clean, flat, and structurally sound. Whether it’s concrete or plywood, it may need some preparation to ensure a successful installation. Remove any old flooring, nails, or staples, and fix any loose areas or squeaks. If the subfloor is concrete, you’ll need to install a moisture barrier to prevent moisture from seeping into the wood.

Step 1: Plan Your Layout

Before you begin installing, it’s a good idea to plan out your layout. Boards should run perpendicular to your floor joists to provide the most structural support. Moreover, it’s typically most visually pleasing to have boards run in the same direction as the longest wall in the room.

Step 2: Install the First Row

Choose your longest and straightest boards for the first row. These should be installed along your starting wall, with the groove side facing into the room. Pre-drill holes in these boards and secure them to the subfloor using nails.

Step 3: Install Subsequent Rows

The subsequent rows can be secured using a flooring nailer or stapler, which will drive the fasteners at an angle through the tongue of the board. Make sure that the boards fit snugly together with no gaps. Stagger the end joints of the boards in adjacent rows for a more natural and visually pleasing look.

Step 4: Cutting and Fitting the Final Row

The last row of boards may need to be cut lengthwise to fit. Measure the gap between the wall and the installed boards, subtracting the expansion gap, to determine the width of the final row. Use a table saw or circular saw to cut these boards to the correct width.

Step 5: Install Shoe Moulding and Transitions

To finish off your new floor, you’ll need to install shoe moulding or baseboards along the edges to cover the expansion gap. Transitions may also be needed where the new wood floor meets a different type of flooring.

After Installation Care

Once your new wood floor is installed, maintain it by cleaning it regularly with a soft broom or vacuum and a damp mop. Avoid using excessive water or harsh cleaning products that can damage the wood. With regular maintenance, your new wood floor will add beauty and value to your home for many years to come.


Installing your own wood flooring can be a satisfying and cost-effective home improvement project. While it requires some time, patience, and the right tools, the end result is a beautiful and durable floor that will enhance your home’s aesthetic and increase its value. By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to installing your own wood floor. Good luck with your project!

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This organic finish not only adds beauty to your home but also has exceptional water-repellent characteristics, making it easier to clean and maintain.

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This natural floor finish offers the softest and most mellow appearance – and leaves your floor able to breath.

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Using soft buffing machines (and hand-polishing where required) will bring a wonderful sheen to your newly-finished floor.

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We offer a full assessment of your wooden floors to determine what repairs are needed to provide the perfect working surface for the later stages of sanding, staining and sealing. 

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We offer a comprehensive restoration process designed to address floors that are improperly fitted or damaged over time through wear and tear.

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