Installing Cherry Hardwood Flooring

By Robert Robillard on Interior Repairs

Installing Hardwood flooring

In the typical Rob Robillard fashion I got WAY into this project before I remembered to take out my digital camera.  I really hate when I do that but in the remodeling industry things sometimes move quickly.

On this project we were Installing Cherry Hardwood Flooring.  Read more on this project here:  Installing Hardwood Flooring

Removing the Carpet:

We moved all the furniture out, ripped up the carpet and tack strips, put the cherry flooring in the middle of the floor and left for two weeks. Yesterday and today was installation day.

Allow Hardwood Flooring To Acclimate:

Hardwood flooring needs to acclimate in the rooms where it is going to be installed for several days to allow it to adjust to temperature and humidity otherwise if installed without acclimating it can cause gaps and/or buckling.

The floor we chose was 3 inch wide Cherry flooring.  We bought Select Grade hardwood which is the second highest grade available.   Select differs only from Clear grade.

Personally we prefer the Select grade as it allows more of the full range of color/grain found in a species and includes some Clear grade that develops in the production run.

The select Grade wood was free from knots, splits, checks, worm holes, excessive mineral streaks or contrasting sapwood a great looking batch of wood!


Installing the Flooring:

We try to install our flooring perpendicular to our floor joists.

Using a stapler install 15-pound Kraft paper underlayment on the entire floor, overlapping the roll edges 3 inches. The Kraft paper acts as a vapor barrier.

Measure and snap a layout chalk line a few feet out from the wall to determine if the room was square or not. This measurement will determine what to rip the hardwood starter courses to.  Most likely you will be ripping a starter course at a slight angle.

When we were almost at the other side with the flooring [flooring tongue facing wall] we turned the flooring around and installed from the other wall [tongue facing away from wall] out making the final two “cut” boards well into the floor. Can you see them? [photo below]

Even with the pneumatic nailer, my back was aching!  Read how we install a hardwood border and darker species feature strip.

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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