The last rows of flooring are a good indicator of the craftsmanship of the installer. A quality installation will have tight joints, boards that are not noticeably tapered, and show little top nailing. You may need to cut the last board to width, possibly with a slight taper. although many flooring
- Many flooring professionals are able to place boards into position with a careful kick from their soft, white-soled work boots. A careful tap with the rubber end of the flooring mallet fully engages the tongue in the groove.
- Sometimes a little extra force is necessary to close up the gap between the boards before nailing. Use a small waste piece of flooring or custom plastic block to tap the board into place.
- In order to save the tongue and groove on the ends of the flooring boards, temporarily turn the last piece of strip flooring in a row around so the scrap end faces the center of the room. The cutoff piece should be less than a couple inches long, or over 1 ft., so it can be used elsewhere.
- You should be able to use the flooring nailer starting with the second or third row of flooring.
- Misaligning the flooring nailer will drive the fastener into the top of the flooring. The best solution is to replace the board.
- To remove a board without damage to the next row in, tap a flat bar under it. Carefully pry up while pulling the flooring slightly toward you.
Fitting the Final Rows
- As you approach the wall, the flooring nailer will no longer fit.
- Use the straightest boards available for the last rows. The flooring may need to be pried into place. To avoid damage to the wall, place a board behind the pry bar.
- The last rows are blind-nailed by hand.
- Use a nail set to protect the flooring from being hit by the hammer head.
- When you can no longer blind-nail by hand, face-nail the. remaining boards.
Predrilling a hole through the tongue of the flooring will keep the nail from bending and the tongue from fracturing. It is easier to predrill the boards before installing.
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