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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. You should be able to use the flooring nailer starting with the second or third row of flooring.
  5. Misaligning the flooring nailer will drive the fastener into the top of the flooring. The best solution is to replace the board.
  6. 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 Last Rows

  1. As you approach the wall, the flooring nailer will no longer fit.
  2. 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.
  3. The last rows are blind-nailed by hand.
  4. Use a nail set to protect the flooring from being hit by the hammerhead.
  5. 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 them.

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