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Resources / Tips - Solid Timber Flooring

Magnificent wood flooring, in harmony with the environment.

Solid wood flooring is a popular type of hardwood flooring made from one piece of hardwood timber such as Oak or Walnut. Also refereed to as real wood flooring they have been around for years and are extremely popular in domestic and commercial properties.
Each floor board is cut to a specified dimension and treated to ensure an extra long lifespan and service life. Because only 100% wood is used in the construction process of the floor, solid wood flooring enjoys a reputation of been especially strong and able to cope with many years of foot traffic. The wood and core of the floor is made from Oak or Walnut woods which are considered extremely strong, durable and importantly sourced from sustainable forests. These are managed forests where trees are replenished as opposed to exotic woods that are sometimes endangered.

With hardwood flooring you are not stuck with a certain colour or shade because they have different natural patterns, with no two hardwood floors being exactly alike. This type of flooring is tough, strong, and even if you put or drop something heavy on the floor, you do not have to worry about it getting dented or scratched.

With hardwood floors, if you are tired of the color, you can sand and refinish them several times. Another big advantage is that if you decide to sell your home, hardwood floors will increase the value of your home and help the home to sell faster. It is very versatile and can be used with any type of décor or style. A home owner can choose to buy the more expensive looking hard woods such as walnut, cherry, or oak, but if you do, these are not the woods you would want to sand and refinish.

One main advantages of having this type of flooring is that it is very easy to maintain and clean because stains and dirt does not stick to it.

Step 1: Lay out the first row

Mark the walls to show the location of the floor joists. Cover the floor with 15-pound felt paper. For strength, run the strip flooring perpendicular to the joists. Start your layout at the longest uninterrupted wall that is perpendicular to the joists. At each end of the wall, measure out the width of a floorboard, plus 3/4 inches, and make a mark. Drive nails into the marks and stretch mason’s line between them to lay out the first row.

Step 2: Pre-drill holes for nails

The first and last rows of flooring have to be nailed through the face of the boards. All the other boards are nailed through the tongue only. To prevent splitting face-nailed boards, drill 1/16-inch-diameter holes for the nails, 1 inch from the grooved edge. Space the holes so the nails hit a joist or as directed by the manufacturer.

Step 3: Fasten the first board

Align the first board with the layout line, with the tongue facing into the room. Put a 3/4-inch spacer against the adjoining wall, and slide the end of the board against it. Drive 6d or 8d flooring nails through the pilot holes and then drill additional pilot holes through the tongue. Countersink all the nails.

Step 4: Continue the first row

Put the next board in place along the layout line. Seat the end tongue and groove into each other and push the two boards together for a tight seam. Nail down the board, moving down the row until you reach the side wall. Cut the last length to fit, leaving a 3/4-inch expansion gap and nail it in place.

Step 5: Rack the flooring

Spread the boards from several bundles across the room. Mix bundles and mix shades, colors and lengths, using the natural variety in the wood to create a random pattern. Lay out the boards in the order you will install them. Pros call this “racking the boards.” Flooring bundles tend to be uniform in color and if you don’t rack them, you will create noticeable light and dark areas in the floor. Make sure you finish the process by arranging the joints so they are sufficiently offset across the floor.

Step 6: Install the next rows

Put the first board of the new row in place. Cut it, if necessary, so the end is offset from the end of the board in the previous row by a minimum of 6 in. Put the end against a 1/2-inch spacer and seat the edge snugly against its neighbor. Drill pilot holes in the tongues and then nail and countersink them through the tongues (but not the faces) to hold the boards in place. Work your way down the rows, one row at a time.

Step 7: Use a flooring nailer

Switch to a flooring nailer as soon as you can. After installing the second or third row, you will have enough room to get a flooring nailer between the wall and the board you are placing. Position the nailer so it will drive a nail through the tongue of the board, then hit it with a mallet to shoot the nail through the tongue. Adjust the air pressure as needed so the nail countersinks into the tongue.

Step 8: Install the remaining rows

Work your way across the room, row by row, power-nailing the boards through the tongue. Leave a 3/4-inch expansion gap between the end board and the wall. Stagger the ends of the boards in adjoining rows by 6 inches and rack additional bundles as you go.

Step 9: Straighten any bowed boards

Even the best flooring comes with pieces that are not perfectly straight. Set these aside initially; if these end up as extras, you won’t have to use them. If you must use a slightly bowed piece, drive a chisel into the subfloor and pry against the edge of the bowed strip to straighten it. If the piece is badly bowed, screw a piece of scrap to the floor about 1 inch from the strip. Tap a wood wedge into the gap, as shown, to straighten out the board.

Step 10: Framing obstructions

Often a floor will meet an obstruction such as a fireplace or counter. If so, miter boards to create a border that frames the obstruction. Position the boards so the tongue or groove mates with the rest of the floorboards. Cut off the tongue if it is on the edge that meets the obstruction. Apply the rest of the floor as you normally would, fitting the pieces into the frame as you go.

Step 11: Cutting corners

Where the flooring meets a jog in the wall or a similar obstacle, cut corners to fit. Snug the piece of flooring against the obstacle and lay out the cut by marking where the edge of the obstacle meets the board. Allow for a 1/2-inch expansion gap at the end of the board and a 3/4-inch gap along the edges; make the cut with a jigsaw.

Step 12: Face-nail the last rows

As you approach the wall on the far side of the room, it becomes difficult to use the flooring nailer. Once you don’t have enough room to swing the mallet, begin drilling pilot holes for face-nailing, but nail only when you have laid down all the boards.

Step 13: Cut the last row to fit

You will probably have to cut the width of the boards in the last row to fit. Measure the space and subtract 3/4 inch for the expansion gap. Cut the boards to width on a tablesaw. Put the boards in place. Pry against a piece of scrap on the wall to seat the boards and close any gaps between them. Face-nail to hold the boards in place.

Step 14: Install the trim

Install the baseboard and shoe molding to cover the expansion gap. Keep the lower edge of the baseboard even with the top of the floor and nail the baseboard into the wall. Once the baseboard is in, set the quarter-round shoe molding on a piece of paper to keep it just a hair above the floor. Nail it to the baseboard, not to the floor or subfloor. Nail threshold or transition strips in place where the edge of the floor is exposed.

1. Dry cleaning

Floors should be cleaned on a daily basis using dry cleaning methods, such as vacuum, scissor mop or soft bristled broom. It is important to remove any abrasive particles of grit and dirt which may scratch the floor seal when trafficked under footwear, chair legs, and other items moved across the floor.

2.Damp cleaning

Soluble dirt should be removed by cleaning using a spray-buff system or scrubber drier (large floor areas) or by mop and bucket (Smaller, domestic areas).

3. Additional cleaning

Wooden floors in commercial areas which may often become contaminated with grease from food, sweat, or residue from other sources may require additional, more intense, cleaning.

4.Further protection

Periodically it is advisable to use a polish or similar product on the floors surface finish. This will help to fill in any small scratches to the seal, which act to make the floor look dull or lusterless.

+ - What is Solid Timber Floors

Magnificent wood flooring, in harmony with the environment.

Solid wood flooring is a popular type of hardwood flooring made from one piece of hardwood timber such as Oak or Walnut. Also refereed to as real wood flooring they have been around for years and are extremely popular in domestic and commercial properties.
Each floor board is cut to a specified dimension and treated to ensure an extra long lifespan and service life. Because only 100% wood is used in the construction process of the floor, solid wood flooring enjoys a reputation of been especially strong and able to cope with many years of foot traffic. The wood and core of the floor is made from Oak or Walnut woods which are considered extremely strong, durable and importantly sourced from sustainable forests. These are managed forests where trees are replenished as opposed to exotic woods that are sometimes endangered.

+ - Why choose Solid Timber Floors

With hardwood flooring you are not stuck with a certain colour or shade because they have different natural patterns, with no two hardwood floors being exactly alike. This type of flooring is tough, strong, and even if you put or drop something heavy on the floor, you do not have to worry about it getting dented or scratched.

With hardwood floors, if you are tired of the color, you can sand and refinish them several times. Another big advantage is that if you decide to sell your home, hardwood floors will increase the value of your home and help the home to sell faster. It is very versatile and can be used with any type of décor or style. A home owner can choose to buy the more expensive looking hard woods such as walnut, cherry, or oak, but if you do, these are not the woods you would want to sand and refinish.

One main advantages of having this type of flooring is that it is very easy to maintain and clean because stains and dirt does not stick to it.

+ - Installation

Step 1: Lay out the first row

Mark the walls to show the location of the floor joists. Cover the floor with 15-pound felt paper. For strength, run the strip flooring perpendicular to the joists. Start your layout at the longest uninterrupted wall that is perpendicular to the joists. At each end of the wall, measure out the width of a floorboard, plus 3/4 inches, and make a mark. Drive nails into the marks and stretch mason’s line between them to lay out the first row.

Step 2: Pre-drill holes for nails

The first and last rows of flooring have to be nailed through the face of the boards. All the other boards are nailed through the tongue only. To prevent splitting face-nailed boards, drill 1/16-inch-diameter holes for the nails, 1 inch from the grooved edge. Space the holes so the nails hit a joist or as directed by the manufacturer.

Step 3: Fasten the first board

Align the first board with the layout line, with the tongue facing into the room. Put a 3/4-inch spacer against the adjoining wall, and slide the end of the board against it. Drive 6d or 8d flooring nails through the pilot holes and then drill additional pilot holes through the tongue. Countersink all the nails.

Step 4: Continue the first row

Put the next board in place along the layout line. Seat the end tongue and groove into each other and push the two boards together for a tight seam. Nail down the board, moving down the row until you reach the side wall. Cut the last length to fit, leaving a 3/4-inch expansion gap and nail it in place.

Step 5: Rack the flooring

Spread the boards from several bundles across the room. Mix bundles and mix shades, colors and lengths, using the natural variety in the wood to create a random pattern. Lay out the boards in the order you will install them. Pros call this “racking the boards.” Flooring bundles tend to be uniform in color and if you don’t rack them, you will create noticeable light and dark areas in the floor. Make sure you finish the process by arranging the joints so they are sufficiently offset across the floor.

Step 6: Install the next rows

Put the first board of the new row in place. Cut it, if necessary, so the end is offset from the end of the board in the previous row by a minimum of 6 in. Put the end against a 1/2-inch spacer and seat the edge snugly against its neighbor. Drill pilot holes in the tongues and then nail and countersink them through the tongues (but not the faces) to hold the boards in place. Work your way down the rows, one row at a time.

Step 7: Use a flooring nailer

Switch to a flooring nailer as soon as you can. After installing the second or third row, you will have enough room to get a flooring nailer between the wall and the board you are placing. Position the nailer so it will drive a nail through the tongue of the board, then hit it with a mallet to shoot the nail through the tongue. Adjust the air pressure as needed so the nail countersinks into the tongue.

Step 8: Install the remaining rows

Work your way across the room, row by row, power-nailing the boards through the tongue. Leave a 3/4-inch expansion gap between the end board and the wall. Stagger the ends of the boards in adjoining rows by 6 inches and rack additional bundles as you go.

Step 9: Straighten any bowed boards

Even the best flooring comes with pieces that are not perfectly straight. Set these aside initially; if these end up as extras, you won’t have to use them. If you must use a slightly bowed piece, drive a chisel into the subfloor and pry against the edge of the bowed strip to straighten it. If the piece is badly bowed, screw a piece of scrap to the floor about 1 inch from the strip. Tap a wood wedge into the gap, as shown, to straighten out the board.

Step 10: Framing obstructions

Often a floor will meet an obstruction such as a fireplace or counter. If so, miter boards to create a border that frames the obstruction. Position the boards so the tongue or groove mates with the rest of the floorboards. Cut off the tongue if it is on the edge that meets the obstruction. Apply the rest of the floor as you normally would, fitting the pieces into the frame as you go.

Step 11: Cutting corners

Where the flooring meets a jog in the wall or a similar obstacle, cut corners to fit. Snug the piece of flooring against the obstacle and lay out the cut by marking where the edge of the obstacle meets the board. Allow for a 1/2-inch expansion gap at the end of the board and a 3/4-inch gap along the edges; make the cut with a jigsaw.

Step 12: Face-nail the last rows

As you approach the wall on the far side of the room, it becomes difficult to use the flooring nailer. Once you don’t have enough room to swing the mallet, begin drilling pilot holes for face-nailing, but nail only when you have laid down all the boards.

Step 13: Cut the last row to fit

You will probably have to cut the width of the boards in the last row to fit. Measure the space and subtract 3/4 inch for the expansion gap. Cut the boards to width on a tablesaw. Put the boards in place. Pry against a piece of scrap on the wall to seat the boards and close any gaps between them. Face-nail to hold the boards in place.

Step 14: Install the trim

Install the baseboard and shoe molding to cover the expansion gap. Keep the lower edge of the baseboard even with the top of the floor and nail the baseboard into the wall. Once the baseboard is in, set the quarter-round shoe molding on a piece of paper to keep it just a hair above the floor. Nail it to the baseboard, not to the floor or subfloor. Nail threshold or transition strips in place where the edge of the floor is exposed.

+ - Maintenance

1. Dry cleaning

Floors should be cleaned on a daily basis using dry cleaning methods, such as vacuum, scissor mop or soft bristled broom. It is important to remove any abrasive particles of grit and dirt which may scratch the floor seal when trafficked under footwear, chair legs, and other items moved across the floor.

2.Damp cleaning

Soluble dirt should be removed by cleaning using a spray-buff system or scrubber drier (large floor areas) or by mop and bucket (Smaller, domestic areas).

3. Additional cleaning

Wooden floors in commercial areas which may often become contaminated with grease from food, sweat, or residue from other sources may require additional, more intense, cleaning.

4.Further protection

Periodically it is advisable to use a polish or similar product on the floors surface finish. This will help to fill in any small scratches to the seal, which act to make the floor look dull or lusterless.

Solid Timber Flooring Quick Facts

  • High quality
  • Variety
  • Better acoustics
  • Durable