I. Snap the chalk line – Measure the room and determine how the flooring will be laid out; an exterior wall is usually the straightest and best reference line to start the installation. The direction of flooring should be at right angles to the floor joists whenever possible. Establish a starting line by leaving a minimum of ½” to ¾” from wall to floor for an expansion gap and ¼” on the vertical ends for expansion. These expansion gaps will help to prevent buckling and / or cupping due to movement of the wood.
II. Place the first board along the chalk line – Choose the straightest boards for your first row, because you will not be able to straighten them later. Lay the tongue side of the board on the chalk line.
III. Drill straight holes on the first row of flooring – Prepare the first row for nailing down by drilling a pilot hole ½” from the side, and then every 10”. Pre-drilling nail holes will prevent splits from occurring. Stop 2” from the end. Drill a minimum of two holes per board.
IV. Secure the first row – Use 6d or 8d flooring nails to top nail surface of flooring and countersink. Hardwood floor nailers are impossible to use when working close to a wall. The first couple of rows must be secured using a hand nailing procedure. Set the nail with a nail set and putty the holes with colored putty to match the wood.
V. Secure the remaining rows – Take care in making sure to properly space nails every 8” – 10” along the length of the board with a minimum of 2 fasteners per piece 2” – 3” from each end. If it is 5” plank, properly space nails every 4” – 6” along the length of the board.
VI. Rack out flooring correctly to avoid aligning – Always make sure that ends are a minimum of 6” from the previous row’s joints to avoid aligning the joints. Alternate with boards of varying lengths.
VII. Nail baseboard into the wall – Complete the last two or three rows as in step 4. Install the baseboards and quarter rounds/base shoe, nailing them into the wall – NOT INTO THE FLOORING.
VIII. Proper maintenance and cleaning – Keep your floors free from dirt, water, food, grease, and other spills which can potentially damage your floor or its finish. Make sure to install floor protectors under heavy furniture or other objects sitting directly on top of your flooring. Maintaining your stewartfloor® prefinished hardwood flooring is easy. Simply sweep, vacuum, or use a dust mop. Clean as needed with a leading brand of cleaner and micro-fiber mop made specifically for prefinished hardwood floors. Stewartfloor®’s UV cured aluminum oxide finish provides excellent wear and stain resistance.
CONGRATULATIONS on your new stewartfloor® prefinished hardwood floor! If you have any further questions or need assistance regarding exotic hardwood flooring, please contact our technical department toll-free at 1-866-780-STEW (7839).