Installing the Rows


    Now that you are ready to install the second and succeeding rows, you will need to cut a tapping block that will be used to cinch the rows together when you strike it with the hammer.  To cut a tapping block, take a board and cut off a piece with the miter saw (you can later use the board for an end of a row since it no

Use the puller to cinch the ends of boards together.

longer has the tongue/groove on one side).  The tapping block will be used so you can hit it directly with the hammer instead of hitting and damaging the board you are installing.  Place the tapping block against the new row and strike it with the hammer to tighten the

new row of wood to the previous one.  Make sure to cinch the board up as tight as you can and leave as little a gap as possible.  Most professionals prefer to install the hardwood from the left side of the room to the right side but you may choose whatever way is most comfortable for you to work. 

    When installing these initial rows, it is most favorable to use the straightest boards possible because it is difficult to fix gaps caused by crooked and bowed boards.  Continue using the pneumatic nailer to install these initial rows

until there is enough space to start using the flooring nailer. 

Note:  If you don’t have spacers between the wall and the first row, install at least five rows with the pneumatic nailer before using the flooring nailer even if there is enough room to use it before then. 

This will ensure that you don’t knock the initial rows out of alignment because the plunger nailer is powerful enough to do just that (as we will explain in the following section). 




When you come to the end of each row, use the Miter saw to cut the board so it leaves the necessary 3/4” expansion gap (when cutting the boards, cut into the pre-finished side of the wood first instead of the unfinished part as this will lessen the possibility of chipping the finish).  You may need to use the puller to cinch the ends of the boards together since there won’t be any room to use the tapping block to do so.

Note:  It looks best if you can stagger the joints of the boards at least 4-6” between rows while avoiding the stair-stepping look.  Never align the joints in adjacent rows because this is not visually appealing to your floor and the boards won’t be interlocked properly. 

    As you follow these procedures for installing your floor, keep in mind that Chapter 5- “Problems You May Encounter” contains important suggestions of what to do when you run into problems.  As mentioned in the introduction, we cannot anticipate every possible problem you might encounter, but Chapter 5 is organized to address the most common ones.  If followed, these tips will save you a lot of time, effort and energy.