Roe Osborn

Prefinished flooring has slowly gained popularity among homeowners. Using refinished wood removes the hassles of sanding and finishing the wood after it’s installed. For contractors and remodelers, the prep work is the same as unfinished strip flooring. Yet, the installation process itself requires some added care.

Howard Brickman, for our sister site the JOURNAL OF LIGHT CONSTRUCTION, walks readers through the proper way to install unfinished strip flooring.
Brakeman’s first tip? Start by prepping your sublfooring area. This requires that you check the flatness of the floor with a straightedge. Brakeman says that this is critical for older homes that are normally not completely flat. Next, check the moisture content of both the flooring and the sulfuring with a moisture meter and check for squeaks:

The subfloor had been nailed off, but not nearly enough nails had been used. As I walked around the floor, a couple of areas were squeaky and I marked them before driving any nails. Next, I drove nails until I located a joist; then from that point, I ran a joist layout. At each joist, I drove screw nails every 6 inches to firmly anchor the subfloor. When I was finished, I rechecked the squeaky areas to make sure I’d quieted them down. One very important step is marking the joist layout for the first and last courses of the floor. These marks will guide the placement of the face nails to ensure a solid attachment. Because I was running these courses against the finished baseboard, I marked the layout with light, erasable pencil marks. By the way, one sure way to locate the joists is to start on either side of heating vents.

To read more about making the floor straight, attaching the finished subflooring, and more click below.

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