there isn’t sufficient space to place the final row down because the tongue of the previous row is in the way.  Instead, it is much easier to first cut (with the table saw) the row that butts up against the obstruction down to the desired width, and then place it tight against the obstruction before installing the row before it.  There may be times when you just have

The saws are also very useful with other obstructions.  We have a fireplace in the corner of our house with tile in front of it that runs at a 45 degree angle to the hardwood as shown in the picture at the bottom.  The miter saw allowed us to cut an exact 45 degree angle in the boards so they could fit against the tile (we left a tiny gap in between for us to place the caulk).  There is also an area where the wall runs at a 45 degree angle to the outside wall.  We again were able to use the miter saw to make the necessary cut.  As you are installing rows, try to constantly be aware of obstructions that are coming up so you can anticipate how to install the wood around it.  For example, you might arrive to a vertical obstruction (like a square column or wall) that is in the way.  It is very hard to install the final row (the one that butts right up against the obstruction) if you’ve already nailed down the row before it.  What makes it hard is

Boards That Need to be Custom Cut


    Now you know some of the problem solving skills with hardwood floor self-installation!  As you will see, the saws really come in handy as you continue installing boards, especially ones that need to be custom cut.  For example, when you come to a furnace vent (if they are on the floor), the jigsaw is very useful with helping you to custom cut boards that will fit around it.  Make sure your measurements are very accurate and mark on the board where you need to cut so it fits nicely around the furnace vent.  A very convenient way to make the cut is to use both the miter saw and jigsaw as shown in these photos.  The miter saw will help you to cut a space wide enough for the jigsaw blade to fit inside.  Then you can use the jigsaw to cut perpendicular to the cut you made with the miter saw, and you will be able to finish the cut nice and clean.  Now the boards fit perfectly and there is enough space to put in the furnace vent.  And boy does it look nice!


to be creative with the cuts you make.