How to Lay Timber Floorboards

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How to Lay Timber Floorboards

Timber floorboards change the entire look of a home, which many homeowners enjoy as they upgrade from carpet or laminate flooring. Those who want to save money on installation can purchase timber floorboards on eBay, since the engineered floorboards are easy enough for most homeowners to install properly. It is important to prep the floor and take the time to position and nail the boards into place when laying down timber floorboards.


Picking floorboards

There are two types of floorboards on the market, including solid timber floorboards and engineered timber floorboards. Solid timber flooring is a traditional choice, but is known for its tendency to warp over time. In addition, it comes unfinished, meaning homeowners have to tackle the dusty task of finishing and sanding the floorboards themselves. Pre-finished engineered timber flooring is easier to install than solid wood flooring because it does not require as much build-up. Homeowners who want to install their own flooring can make the task easier by choosing engineered flooring over solid flooring.


Prepping the floor

Start out by covering the floor with vapour barrier paper, as this helps prevent heat or humidity from damaging the floorboards. According to floor expert Jeff Hosking of "This Old House", it is ideal to install the floorboards parallel to the longest wall in the room, as this makes the room seem bigger. Flooring should also run perpendicular to the joists, which are the beams underneath the floor. Mark the joist locations at the foot of the wall, and then use a snap chalk line to mark them across the vapour barrier. It is also a good idea to make another chalk line that runs parallel to the longest wall every 3 metres or so to ensure that the flooring is straight.


Laying down timber floorboards

Next comes the most physically demanding part of the installation — laying down the floorboards and nailing them into place. Snap-together flooring has interlocking sides that fit together, making it easy to install because it requires a minimal amount of nailing. For homeowners who have regular timber floorboards, it is best to buy or rent both a power nailer and a pneumatic flooring nailer to make the process easier and more efficient.

Laying the first floorboard

Place 1-cm wide spacers along the base of the wall, and then place the first floorboard so that the tongue — the portion with a small grove along the side — fits away from the wall. Moulding eventually covers the spacers, and does not show when the project is complete. Next, using either a hammer or power nailer and finishing nails, top-nail the board every 15 cm. Use a nail set to drive the nails below the floorboard. After installation, fill up these tiny holes using wood putty.

Blind nailing

From the second row onwards, use the blind-nailing technique. This involves driving the nails in at an angle over the tongue of the floorboard. The tongue is a groove in the floorboard that allows the edge of one board to slide over the top of the other. By using the blind nail technique, the nail goes into the tongue and vanishes underneath the next row. This saves time over finish nailing because there is no need to cover up the nail holes with wood putty.

Use the first blind nail about 8 cm away from the edge of the floorboard and repeat the process every 20 cm along the tongue of the board. For the first few rows, it is necessary to use a hammer and nails, but after that use a flooring nailer to help move things along, especially for large spaces. Continue doing so across the entire floor, until reaching the final row when it is time to switch back to the same finishing nails used on the first floorboard.


How to buy timber floorboard materials on eBay

Home installation is easy and affordable by finding the materials on eBay. Besides the actual floorboards themselves, the website also lists all of the necessary power tools needed for the installation, some of them in used condition for very competitive prices.

When selecting flooring, take a detailed look at the pictures and do not be afraid to ask the seller for additional photos, as sometimes flooring appears slightly different in colour on a computer screen. Buyers who get the right flooring and come ready with the necessary power tools can quickly install timber flooring with a professional look for many years to come.

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