DirectBuy Home Improvement Blog

Tips for Installing Maple Floors

You can easily install your own maple floors.  It will require close attention to detail, and your back will probably be sore at the end of the project.  However, installing wood floors is actually easier than you think.  Here is what you must know before you undertake this project.

The Tools Necessary

You need the right tools on hand to ensure a smooth installation of your new maple floors.  A pneumatic floor nailer for hardwood floors will speed the job and ensure a professional finish.  Rent one, or buy one and sell it after you are finished with the job.  You will also need a hammer, nail set, nails for the nailer and 2d finishing nails, tape measure, saw, drill, rosin paper, construction pencil and chalk line.

Starting the Project

Your maple floors need time to acclimate to the room.  Bring the boxes of flooring in and lay them along one wall in the room.  Allow a few days for them to adjust to the humidity levels in the room.  After removing the existing flooring, you can roll out the rosin paper.  Go across the floor searching for any popped nails or screw heads that are exposed.  Drive them back into the floor before putting the paper down.

The First Rows

Once the paper is in place, you are ready to mark your starting row.  Never assume that a wall in your home is perfectly straight.  Built by humans, most homes feature walls that wave a little rather than carrying a straight line.  Use the chalk line to snap a perfectly straight line along the wall.  Be sure to leave at least a quarter-inch expansion gap along the wall to allow the wood to expand.

With the line marked, you are ready to start installing your maple floors.  Following the marked line, lay out your wood planks.  Predrill an angled hole in the tongue using your drill, and then hand nail the boards in place.  Finish setting the nails with the nail set.  Maintain the quarter-inch gap along all walls as you install the maple floors.  The first few rows will have to be hand-nailed, but the process will go faster once you can start using the nailer.

Adjusting Boards

As you install wood floors, you will have to gently tap boards into place.  Never tap directly on the boards.  Use either a professional tapping block or a piece of scrap wood to diffuse the force and protect the wood you are installing.

Seams should be spaced apart for stability.  As you are working, look at the seams inside rows to ensure that they are not too close together.  It is more aesthetically attractive and the hardwood floors will be stronger and more resistant to warping.

Reduce Scrap

Most professionals recommend allowing ten percent scrap when you buy materials.  However, you can reduce the scrap levels by being selective in the pieces that you cut for the ends.  When you need to cut a two-foot section at one end, the remainder of that board can start the next row.  You will spend a little more time searching for the right board, but you will be rewarded with less scrap and a lower overall cost on your floors.

The variety of wood floors available makes them a great addition to any home.  Attractive and durable, they are a beautiful choice for any modern or traditional decorating style.  With a little care and good attention to detail, you can successfully install your own maple floors and save hundreds of dollars on the project.

Maple is just one of the types of hardwood floors available at DirectBuy.  Go to for more information.  Learn how you can get name-brand flooring and other home improvement products at confidential dealer pricing.


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