In this video, Ask This Old House mason Mark McCullough teaches Kevin O’Connor how to patch holes in a tough surface.
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Tom Silva shows Kevin O’Connor how to install tongue-and-groove hardwood flooring. Tom shows Kevin a prefinished flooring product that he chose and explains how the tongues and grooves line up for a proper installation. Tom explains that it’s important that the first row be as straight as possible and shows Kevin how to make that happen using a chalk line for reference.
Cost: Around $5 to $6 per square foot
Time: A weekend
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Construction adhesive [https://amzn.to/3G4Xf9X]
Finish nails [https://thd.co/2Z9X6Rm]
Flooring staples [https://thd.co/3ptntge]
Shims [https://thd.co/2Z418eb] or spacers [https://thd.co/3b0gdQw]
Wood putty [https://amzn.to/3jk2GZ0]
Chalk line [https://amzn.to/3BZmaJu]
Tape measure [https://amzn.to/3neZ6jI]
Caulking gun [https://amzn.to/3piP4AL]
Miter saw [https://amzn.to/3jmOJJL]
Finish nailer [https://amzn.to/3ppdDfs]
Flooring nailer [https://amzn.to/3G37E63]
Rubber mallet [https://amzn.to/3vuPghn]
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Steps for installing tongue and groove flooring
1. Mark the first row by placing the groove side of a board against the wall near a corner, leaving a gap of approximately 3/16 of an inch between the board and wall. Mark the subfloor on the tongue side and measure the distance between the mark and the wall. Transfer this mark to the other side of the room and snap a chalk line between these points.
2. Run a bead of construction adhesive between the chalk line and the wall. This is only necessary for the first row.
3. Lay a piece of flooring on the floor so the outside of the tongue lines up with the chalk line. Use a finish nailer to nail through the face of the board along the groove side of the board.
4. Place shims or spacers in the gap between the flooring and the walls to hold it firmly in place.
5. Holding the finish nailer at an angle, shoot nails through the tongue every 8 to 10 inches.
6. Install the next piece of flooring against the chalk line, aligning the tongue and groove between the two pieces. Use a rubber mallet to join the two pieces before nailing through the face and tongue of the board. Continue across the wall until you get to a corner.
7. Mark the end piece for cutting by keeping the tongue pointed toward the wall while also flipping it upside down. Maintaining a rough 3/16-inch gap at the wall, use a pencil to make a mark where it meets the previous board. Cut the board to length with a miter saw. Nail through the face and tongue to hold it in place.
8. Continue using this method until you’re far enough from the wall to use the flooring nailer. At that point, simply lay a new board and tap it into place with the rubber mallet before nailing through the tongue with the flooring nailer.
9. Continue laying the boards, tapping them in place, and nailing every 8 to 10 inches. Ensure that the seams where the boards meet between corresponding courses are at least 6 inches from each other.
10. Once you make it across the room, it won’t be possible to use the rubber mallet to jockey the board into position. Use a flooring jack pressed against the wall to position the boards properly.
11. Along the wall on the other side of the room, switch back to the finish nailer and nail through the face of the boards every 8 to 10 inches.
12. Fill the nail holes with wood putty, buff the surface, and install baseboard moldings.
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From the makers of This Old House, America’s first and most trusted home improvement show, Ask This Old House answers the steady stream of home improvement questions asked by viewers across the United States. Covering topics from landscaping to electrical to HVAC and plumbing to painting and more. Ask This Old House features the experts from This Old House, including general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, landscape contractor Jenn Nawada, master carpenter Norm Abram, and host Kevin O’Connor. Ask This Old House helps you protect and preserve your greatest investment—your home.
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How To Install Tongue and Groove Flooring | Ask This Old House