How to Install Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring

Wide plank hardwood flooring is a popular choice as it adds beauty and elegance to any home. The wider planks provide a more rustic and traditional appearance, making it a perfect option for those seeking a classic look. If you want to install wide plank hardwood flooring in your home, follow these step-by-step instructions to achieve professional and long-lasting results.

1. Acclimate the Flooring: Before you begin installation, it is crucial to acclimate the wide plank hardwood flooring to your home’s environment. Unbox the flooring and leave it stacked in the room where it will be installed for at least 48 hours. This will allow the planks to adjust to the temperature and humidity of the space, preventing potential issues like warping or shrinking later on.

2. Prepare the Subfloor: The subfloor must be clean, dry, and level before you can start installing wide plank hardwood flooring. Remove any existing flooring, nails, or staples, and ensure that the subfloor is free of any debris or unevenness. If needed, use a floor leveling compound or plywood underlayment to create a smooth and level surface.

3. Install the Underlayment: Lay down a suitable underlayment, such as rosin paper or foam padding, to provide insulation and reduce noise. Start the first row against the longest exterior wall of the room, placing the planks perpendicular to the joists. Allow for a 1/2 inch expansion gap along the walls to accommodate any natural expansion or contraction of the wood.

4. Start Installing the Flooring: Begin by laying the first row of wide plank hardwood flooring, ensuring each plank is tightly butted against the previous one. Use a pneumatic flooring nailer or an angled finish nailer to secure the planks to the subfloor every 8-10 inches. For the subsequent rows, stagger the ends of the planks at least 6 inches from the previous row for proper stability and aesthetics.

5. Cut and Fit the Planks: When reaching the end of a row or fitting the flooring around door frames or obstacles, you will likely need to cut some planks. Measure the required length carefully and use a circular saw or a miter saw to make precise cuts. Use a tapping block and a rubber mallet to fit the planks tightly together and ensure a seamless appearance.

6. Complete the Installation: Continue installing the wide plank hardwood flooring row by row until you reach the opposite wall. Leave a 1/2 inch expansion gap along this wall as well. Remember to use the pneumatic flooring nailer or angled finish nailer to secure each plank. Once the floor is completely installed, remove any spacers and fill the expansion gaps with matching wood putty.

7. Sand and Finish: After allowing the floor to acclimate for another 48 hours, it’s time to sand and finish the wide plank hardwood flooring. Rent a floor sander and sand the entire floor, following the grain of the wood. Begin with a coarse grit sandpaper and gradually switch to finer grits for a smoother finish. Finally, apply a high-quality wood finish or stain to protect the wood and enhance its natural beauty.

Congratulations! You have successfully installed wide plank hardwood flooring in your home. Remember to follow these instructions carefully, and always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for specific product recommendations and installation tips. With proper care and maintenance, your wide plank hardwood flooring will last for years, providing a stunning and timeless addition to your living space.