BuyersHome ImprovementSellers September 6, 2023

DIY Tips for Installing Hardwood Floors

DIY Tips for Installing Hardwood Floors

If you’re considering installing hardwood floors yourself, you’re in for a rewarding project that can enhance the beauty and value of your home. Follow these simple markdown-mode-friendly tips to ensure a successful installation.

Materials and Tools

Before you begin, make sure you have the following materials and tools:

  • Hardwood Flooring: Purchase enough to cover your space, plus 10% for waste.
  • Underlayment: Choose the appropriate underlayment for your subfloor.
  • Nails, Staples, or Adhesive: Depending on your installation method.
  • Saw: A table saw or circular saw for cutting planks.
  • Hammer or Flooring Nailer: To secure the hardwood.
  • Measuring Tape and Chalk Line: For accurate layout.
  • Spacer Blocks: Maintain consistent gaps between the wall and flooring.
  • Safety Gear: Gloves, safety glasses, and knee pads.


  1. Measure and Plan: Measure your room’s dimensions and plan the layout. Start from the longest wall to ensure a balanced look.
  2. Acclimate the Wood: Let the hardwood acclimate in the room for at least 48 hours. This helps prevent warping.
  3. Prepare the Subfloor: Ensure it’s clean, dry, and level. Repair any cracks or imperfections.


  1. Start with a Straight Line: Use a chalk line to create a straight starting line parallel to the longest wall. This is crucial for a neat finish.
  2. Install Underlayment: Lay the underlayment perpendicular to your hardwood planks and secure it.
  3. Begin Laying Planks: Start from the chalk line and work your way across the room. Leave a 1/2-inch gap at the walls for expansion.
  4. Stagger the Joints: Avoid aligning end-joints in adjacent rows. Stagger them by at least 6 inches for a more stable floor.
  5. Secure the Planks: Use your flooring nailer, adhesive, or fasteners to secure each plank.
  6. Cutting Planks: Measure and cut planks as needed. Remember to leave expansion gaps.
  7. Around Obstacles: For pipes or irregular shapes, use a jigsaw to cut around them.
  8. Last Row: Measure and cut the last row to fit snugly. This may require a pull bar and hammer.

Finishing Touches

  1. Fill Gaps: Fill gaps along the walls with matching wood filler.
  2. Install Trim: Install baseboards and shoe molding to cover the expansion gap.
  3. Protect the Floor: Place felt pads under furniture legs to prevent scratches.
  4. Maintenance: Follow manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and maintaining your hardwood floor.

Remember, installing hardwood floors takes time and precision. Don’t rush the process, and seek help from a professional if you encounter challenges beyond your expertise.

Happy DIY flooring! 🛠️🏡