Installation Recommendations

*DISCLAIMER: Our hardwood floor installation instructions are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended to be comprehensive, as unique situations may arise with any flooring installation. We STRONGLY recommend using a professional hardwood flooring installation service to install our products and cannot be held responsible for any damages or negative outcome as a result of non-professional installation of these products. 

Before You Start

Use 2" cleats in 3/4" thick hardwood. Test the hardwood nailer on scrap wood to see that the correct pressure is being used to drive and set the cleats without damaging the hardwood strips.

We recommend that the floor be installed across the joists at a 90° angle or a 45° angle for support and that the installation be done under natural light conditions.

Your starting location should be the longest and straightest wall within the room.

Step-By-Step Hardwood Floor Installation Instructions:

At the starting location, measure out the width of a hardwood strip plus 3/4”(for expansion) and 1/4'' (for the tongue) Mark this with a chalk line against which you will place the tongue of your starter strip.

Lay out the hardwood strips on the floor as they will be installed picking the straightest boards for the first two rows.

The groove edge of the first strip is laid 3/4'' from the starting wall to leave room for expansion. The 3/4" expansion will be needed around the perimeter of the room.

Secure the first row to the floor. For this you should use #8 finishing nail or brad nails of 1 1/2'" long.

Note: For face nailing, drill pilot holes at least 1" from the grooved side and 3" from the ends of the strip. The holes should be spaced at between 8" and 10" apart and the nails driven using a claw hammer and a nail punch with the holes eventually filled using the matching wood putty.

For blind nailing the second and third rows of strips, holes will be drilled into the tongue at a 45 degree angle at least 3" from both ends and spaced as above. Once again, the nails are driven using a claw hammer and a nail punch.

Use a strip which is at least 6" longer than required in order to finish off the first row. The remainder which is trimmed off the end will be used to start the next row. Make sure that the end joints do not line up with end joints of adjacent strips. Once this piece is cut, position the two pieces into place and secure them as above. Then position the strips needed for the second row being careful that the end joints are at least 6" apart from those in the first row. Fasten as per the above description of blind nailing.

The next step is to "rack" your floor. Loose lay the boards, starting about 3" away from the secured row. Try to distribute the long and short pieces while ensuring that no end joints are within 6" of each other to avoid getting a cluster of end joints in one area. Boards should also be arranged based on the natural colour variations of the species to create a random appearance. Install the rest of the floor using your hardwood flooring nailer. Southern Luxe recommends using cleats to fasten your floor as cleats allow slight movement of your floor after installation.

The last two rows against the finishing wall will be face nailed. Don't forget to fill all nail holes with matching wood filler. Also, note that holes are less visible in the darker grain of the wood. Use of stain, wax, filler or putty for defect correction should be accepted as normal procedure.

Baseboards and quarter-rounds should be nailed to the wall only and never through the hardwood strips or into the sub floor. When you're done, clean the floor as is described in the Care Centre.


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