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How to install hardwood flooring

Note about our advice
Keep in mind the help on this website is for the avid DIY (do-it-yourselfer). But you should always get a certified professional to install your floor if you're not sure what you're doing. The instructions that come with said products should also be consulted before going ahead with your DIY project. And, if ever in doubt, give your local home hardware store a call.

Choosing the type of wood

There are three types of wood when you decide to begin your flooring project. These are:

Red oak wood
This is a high quality hardwood. It is approximately $5/square foot. There is a large number of variatons of the pattern you can get in terms of the red oak hardwood you would like, as well as different species, etc.

Natural maple

Maple has a bit more variation in terms of the color, along with the pattern. It can be purchased in terms of width, ranging from 4' to 6'. It is a little bit tougher then red oak. It costs about $4/sq. ft.

Rustic ash

It's a bit less expensive ($3/sq. ft) and variates a bit more in terms of pattern. It's a bit more of a recreational tone of wood - better to use in a room that your kids can enjoy. If you want to use a more classy wood design, like one your dining table set sits upon, try red oak or maple.

Setting up your floor for construction: making chalk lines, borders, and symmetrical patterns

You'll want to start out drawing chalk lines, and a 'test' of your pattern to make sure it's going to work. Most interior designers or carpenters prefer to isolate a small section of the floor at first. Start out by drawing a chalk line border around a focal point of the room - such as a fireplace or door. Having a chalk line is important - you want to make sure that your piece of wood lines up, otherwise your flooring dream could turn into an uneven nightmare; and you'll have to rip up all the planks and start all over.

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