How to Install Handscraped Hardwood Flooring

Handscraped hardwood flooring brings a touch of rustic elegance and timeless charm to any home. The unique texture and distressed appearance of handscraped flooring add character and warmth to your living space. If you’re considering installing handscraped hardwood flooring, this guide will walk you through the necessary steps to ensure a successful installation.

1. Prepare the Subfloor: Before installing handscraped hardwood flooring, it’s crucial to prepare the subfloor properly. Begin by removing the existing flooring and ensuring that the subfloor is clean, dry, and level. Use a moisture meter to assess the subfloor’s moisture content, making sure it falls within the acceptable range recommended by the manufacturer. If necessary, fix any issues with the subfloor, such as leveling uneven areas or repairing damaged sections.

2. Acclimate the Flooring: Handscraped hardwood flooring needs to acclimate to the room’s environment before installation. Place the unopened boxes of flooring in the room where it will be installed, and let them sit for at least 48 hours. This step allows the wood to adjust to the humidity and temperature of the space, minimizing the risk of warping or buckling after installation.

3. Install Underlayment: Underlayment provides stability, reduces noise, and helps protect the hardwood flooring. Start by rolling out the underlayment perpendicular to the direction of the flooring planks. Trim any excess underlayment, leaving a ½-inch gap along the walls to allow for expansion. Secure the underlayment to the subfloor using staples or adhesive, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

4. Lay the First Row: Begin installation against the longest wall in the room, ideally in the direction of natural light or the main line of sight. Leave a ½-inch gap between the first row of planks and the wall to allow for expansion. Use spacers to maintain a consistent gap. Face-nail the first row every few feet, ensuring the nails are countersunk just below the surface. This row serves as the foundation for the rest of the flooring installation.

5. Install the Remaining Rows: Lay subsequent rows of handscraped hardwood flooring by applying tongue and groove adhesive to the grooves of each plank. Gently tap the planks together using a mallet and tapping block. Stagger the end joints of adjacent rows to create a visually appealing layout and improve stability. Remember to maintain the ½-inch expansion gap along the walls. Use a pneumatic flooring nail gun to secure the planks to the subfloor, making sure the nails go through the tongue at a 45-degree angle.

6. Complete the Installation: Once you have reached the final row, measure and cut the planks to fit, leaving a ½-inch expansion gap. Use a pull bar and mallet to snugly fit the final row against the previous row. Remove the spacers, and cover the expansion gap with baseboards or quarter round molding. Give the floor a thorough cleaning to remove any adhesive residue or debris. Lastly, enjoy your stunning handscraped hardwood flooring!