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Lesson 3.3 Finish Flooring


1-14. Prepare to Lay a Floor.

The finish flooring should be delivered to the job site in sufficient time to allow the carpenter to lay out the floor. This allows the flooring to adjust to the moisture and temperature conditions in the building. Fifteen-pound asphalt felt should be placed over the subfloor before installing the finish flooring. Before laying the floor, check the floor plans to determine which of the rooms is the largest and what its relationship is to the other rooms. If laying strip flooring, see if the flooring will extend from the largest room into the next room. If so, lay the flooring in the longest direction. Check the walls of the largest room to see if the opposite walls are parallel to each other. Snap a chalk line parallel along the longest wall to establish a straight line (called a baseline). This line should extend into the next room so the strip flooring will be continuous.

1-15. Lay the Floor.

The following guidelines should be used when laying a floor:

Select a long straight piece of flooring for the first board. Place this piece of flooring in position with the grooved edge toward the wall (see Figure 1-26 ). Allow approximately 1/4 inch along the wall for expansion.

Figure 1-26. Floor plan

 Face nail the board at A with a finish nail, but do not drive the nail home.

Measure the distance X from the face of the fist board to the chalk line L.

Transfer this distance to Y and set a nail at  Now board 1 is parallel to the chalk line L and to the longest wall in the largest room.

Use a straightedge to ensure that board 1 is straight. Then face nail the board every 12 inches. Nail as close to the wall as possible.

Continue to cut, fit, and nail the flooring until the board marked 2 has been reached.

Make sure the board joints are staggered (see Figure 1-27 ).

Figure 1-27. Staggered board joints

Blind nail the rest of the tongue-and-groove flooring through the tongue at about 50 degrees to the floor. To draw up the tongue-and-groove flooring for nailing, use a short piece of tongue-and-groove lumber as a straightedge and a hammer to drive the flooring up tight (see Figure 1-28 ).

Figure 1-28. Blind nailing

Stand on the board to be nailed when nailing the floor in place. This holds the strips of flooring in place (see Figure 1-29 ).

Figure 1-29. Nailing floor in place

Look at baseline L in Figure 1-30 . When the finished floor has been laid up to line 2, the starter board 3 in the largest room should be laid. The front edge of this board should be the same distance from the chalk line L as the front edge of board 2. This ensures that the boards will come out evenly at the door opening, where the flooring passes from room 1 to room 2.

Figure 1-30. Floor plan

Continue laying the floor until you are within two or three boards from the opposite wall.

Now, cut the last few boards, open up the groove in the boards, place them in position, draw them tightly together, and surface nail them in place.

David L. Heiserman, Editor

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Revised: June 06, 2015