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Old 08-20-2010, 01:42 AM   #1
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starting point for hardwood floors for 3 rooms


I'm going to install some hardwood floor by myself for the first time. I got 2 bedrooms in the north side of 2nd floor with hallway in the middle. The hallway run south to 3rd bedroom and stairs. Where shall I start to install hardwood floor to make it smoothly? I don't want transition between hallway and bedrooms.

many thanks.

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Old 08-22-2010, 02:22 AM   #2
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starting point for hardwood floors for 3 rooms


it goes across the joist not paralel .or the same way the plywood is lengthwise . So with that in mind the longest strait line . measure off the wall and snap a straight line with a chalk line , Also with multi rooms you will need some spline because the toungue will need to change direction some where . tacomahardwoodfloors.com

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Old 08-22-2010, 11:51 AM   #3
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starting point for hardwood floors for 3 rooms


thanks for the useful tips. there are existing carpet on the stairs. shall I change the stair nosing first and start from there?
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:59 PM   #4
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Depends , But generally I figure where the top nose goes before I lay the floor ,If you are just doing the top one and leaving the rest carpet then carpet under the nose , But if all the stairs and risers are hardwood then the nose will sit out further over the riser , . I like to know where the top nose goes before I get very close to it though , Then IF it works out have the hardwood floor tounges fit into the nose and glue them . It is very difficult to get a nose straight enough to start from the nose and lay the floor , Unless the flooring end is what goes into the nose , Then by all means do the nose first and glue the tounges into the nose . But if the floor paralels the nose it is hard to get the nose straight enough to start with the nose ,if the floor parreles the nose . What ever you do you should snap your staight line that is straight across the house then measure to the nose and see if it is straight , If the stairs are not straight to the house then you will have to cheat the nose a little , you don't want a big Diagonal rip right at the nose it will look weird , tacomahardwoodfloors.com
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:58 AM   #5
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starting point for hardwood floors for 3 rooms


I have always started with the longest visible run and worked in either direction from there. So, if you've got a bedroom at the end of the hallway, I would start right down the middle of the hallway, through the door and into the bedroom. (paying attention to joist direction, of course. Keep in mind that in an upstairs, depending on how your house was constructed, the joists may be running in different directions under different rooms. )

In my house, I've got a 70 foot run from the master suite, down the hallway, and into the living room. I started with this run and worked in both directions from there. I had to use a spline to butt the grooves together to work in opposite directions. Of course, it is important to get this first course laid down STRAIGHT! Use your longest boards for the best result. In my case, all of my boards were 6' long, so it wasn't too bad.

Here's a picture looking down the hallway from the living room. The floor continues under the door for another 20 feet.
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:38 PM   #6
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starting point for hardwood floors for 3 rooms


I would start on the hallway. That's the first thing you see when you go up the stairs. As others said, the first line you nail needs to be perfectly straight, as that's the starting point for the rest of the floors. You need to measure the hallway at both ends AND the middle, to see if it's pretty much square. Now, 1/4" difference is not a big deal for let's say a 17-20 ft span. You need to have your first line as paralel to the walls as possible, so that after you have the base and the molding installed it won't look like the wood is crooked down the hall. best thing to use (I use it for all my installs) is a laser level. BB stores have them.(maybe $30 for a decent one). You'll find plenty of uses for it after your floors are done. It doesn't get "more" straight than a laser beam.
I don't think you mentioned how the stair nosing at the top of the steps will be installed : paralel or perpendicular to the floors. If paralel, you need to get close to it with the floor install and measure from the last nailed row to where the nosing will sit. Measure at both ends of the nosing. You will want the nosing as paralel to the floor as possible, so that you don't end up with a rip that's 1" on one end and 1 3/4" at the other. You can cheat the nosing a little bit and then install a cove molding under the over hang of it to hide the "cheat".
Good luck.
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:43 PM   #7
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I would start on the hallway. That's the first thing you see when you go up the stairs. As others said, the first line you nail needs to be perfectly straight, as that's the starting point for the rest of the floors. You need to measure the hallway at both ends AND the middle, to see if it's pretty much square. Now, 1/4" difference is not a big deal for let's say a 17-20 ft span.

Imagine my joy when I discovered the framers had built my house within 1/8" of square! (over the 70 foot span.) They really did a great job. Every other sub that worked on the house commented on the job they did.

It certainly made the job of installing hardwood that much easier. No tapered rips on the table saw to close the gaps on any wall!
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:50 PM   #8
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starting point for hardwood floors for 3 rooms


That is indeed impressive.... I like the look of that dark floor. However, I would have went with something less wide, not because I like it, but because the wide one makes the space look smaller( you know, fewer rows).
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:00 PM   #9
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That is indeed impressive.... I like the look of that dark floor. However, I would have went with something less wide, not because I like it, but because the wide one makes the space look smaller( you know, fewer rows).

We like the wide, and it really doesn't shrink the room too bad. The dark shows EVERY SINGLE SPECK of dirt. We wish we'd gone lighter.

Also, when every board covers 3 sq ft, it's very nice to lay! We did 1500 sq ft in 2 days, which ain't bad for a couple of amateurs.
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:27 PM   #10
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starting point for hardwood floors for 3 rooms


once you determine your first row......make sure you don't have 1" rips on both sides.....take your time on the first row....throw away boards.....get it right...if it takes you all day to get the first row right thats okay.....the rest of the floor is the past once the first row is nailed just watch the board stagggering..........

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