Hardwood Nail Down Installation
The nail down system of installing hardwood flooring is usually done by a professional, onto any subfloor surface other than concrete. Keep in mind that the most important thing you need to do prior to putting hardwood flooring down is to prepare the subfloor. You need to know what type of subfloor you have, which will tell you the best installation method. If you determine you have particleboard, metal, resilient flooring, or plywood, then the nail down method works best.
The reason the nail down system works so well on wood floors is that the subfloor is thick. Therefore, staples would not be long enough and glue would not hold. The thing about the hardwood nail down method for installation is that it can be used on engineered or solid wood. You should know that unless you have adequate skill and the right tools, we suggest this particular installation method be done by a professional for the best and longest lasting results.
The nail down system would start by creating a chalk line, by drawing a parallel line at three inches of the starting wall, if using 2.25 or 4-inch wide strips. For professional results, the installer would start straight and square by choosing strips for the first three rows. These would be laid down on the subfloor using the pattern in which they would be installed. Of course, the installer would always choose flawless pieces, placing darker colored strips in less visible areas of the room.
For the first row, the tongue edge of the strip would go along the chalk line, leaving .50-inch space for expansion in between the starting wall and groove edge. That way, if the wood were to expand or contract, it could without any damage being done. Using screw shank flooring nails, the first row would be installed securely to the floor. Next, holes on the surface would be drilled, one inch from the edge, between 12 and 16-inches apart. To make sure the strips of hardwood were in place properly, the installer would use a nail punch and claw hammer.
Typically, the first two to four rows of wood are nailed by and but then, a floor nailer could be used. This process would continue until the last row, which would again be installed hammering by hand to avoid damage to the wood. The final row would also have a .50-inch space for expansion. Once done, the entire floor would be covered, leaving you with a gorgeous room. After the hardwood flooring is all in place, baseboards would be installed, along with any quarter round, the doorsill, wood vents, etc.
Then, all you need to do is use a light bristle brush attachment for the vacuum cleaner to pick up any dust and dirt. Using wood floor cleaner recommended by the manufacturer, you would go over the floor, giving it a final sheen. As you can imagine, the nail down process is somewhat taxing, which is why we suggest it be done by a professional installer.