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handyguys 03-05-2009 08:42 AM

Opinions on where to start floor
Hello - Attached is a quick, rough drawing of the kitchen I'm working on. No cabs or appliances are installed. The space on the right has a 1/4"x1.5" oak stip wood floor that is face nailed. The space on the left is down to the subfloor.

The space from the stub wall to where the penisula top will end is about 3'.

I am installing prefinished hardwood in the kitchen. I am going wall to wall before the cabs go in. This will be nailed down.

My initial thought was to start behind the basement door and work from my left to right (bottom to top in picture). Making sure the first row is parallel to the existing oak strip and that I will end with a full board plus space for a transition piece. The advantage would be I will be working from the subfloor and it sort of feels right as to a starting point.

The other option would be to start in the middle of the room, adjacent to the oak strip. One downside would be the requirement to face nail that starter piece since it wont fit T&G with the oak strip. The advantage is it would be faster, no futzing with measurements, making sure I start parallel and I know I will have a full board at the transition w/o head scratching.

Opinions? Start in the middle or start at the wall?

I'll be posting pictures of the process and recording a podcast show about it.


IrishEd 03-05-2009 10:33 AM

personally I would start at the entrance to the kitchen. Only reason why i would do that is cause it has high traffic. As the basement wont have as high traffic. unless its been converted to a room. also the only strip your gonna have to top nail is gonna be under the cabnets and that small 30-36 opening


handyguys 03-05-2009 12:45 PM

If I'm lucky I can cover my face nailing with my transition from 3/4" floor to the 1/4" strips. heck, the entire dining room is 1/4" strips that are 1 1/2" wide and face nailed, 2 nails, every 16" or so! Why am I fretting about maybe 3 or 4 nails in the new floor that could be seen! Well, the new floor is Santos Mahogany - its really nice looking and I hate to mess up the finish.

Its still a 50/50 for me. Thanks for your input IrishEd!

Anyone else?

inspectorD 03-05-2009 08:29 PM

I would start at the kitchen.
Face nail under the cabinet areas.Then a little trick is to cut little triangles in your rosin paper at the ends of each board placement and a few in the middle.Then use dollops of pl 400 glue the first rows down at the door area to where you do not want any face nails to show. The floor will still move as long as you do not do to many rows of glue, move them around. They work like nails if the glue is not to spread out.
I have a white ok floor in my family room which is 10 inch wide boards, they are still fine after 3 years of wood stove heating. They shrink in the winter and look perfect in the summer.
Just let the glue dry before you go nailing against it.:)

handyguys 03-06-2009 06:01 AM

Thanks InspectorD! Yea, that is certainly how I think I am leaning. I am going to make a final decision once I pick up the transition piece for between the dining room and kitchen later today. The glue, yea, I thought of that. PL is good stuff for sure.

My problem is I am only working on this kitchen on Saturdays. Its my parents place. I am on a 8 week schedule, essentially an 8 working day schedule. Doing it ALL by myself with only subbing out drywall and granite work. If I were to glue it would put me behind a week. My parents are living w/o a kitchen so I need to keep things moving.

So, tomorrow I want to get the floor in and start on the cabinets. If I can get the floor AND cabinets in I will be ahead a week. What will slow me down tomorrow is prep of the subfloor. The existing subfloor is 1x4t&g. Some boards have some cupping, etc. I will be sanding off high spots, re-securing some boards and replacing a few as well. If I could just start installing the floor first thing It would go pretty fast, its only 100sq ft. Of course the room is not square. I'm not even going to worry. I'm going parallel to the dining room floor (to the right in the pic) and letting things fall where they may against the main cabinet wall. I only have about 30" of baseboard behind the basement door so if I'm not square to the wall then no worries.

Oh, another thing that may slow me down. I pulled all the wood out to sort by size, mix the lots and let it acclimate. Mom has been picking through the boards, picking her favorites. She wants to make sure certain boards do not go under any cabinets! The wood is

inspectorD 03-06-2009 03:06 PM

Sounds nice.
You can still use the glue idea. You just need to shim against the wall so when you do nail it does not move to much. You can also use hot glue with the PL and it will hold it pretty fast. Once you get a few rows in you should have no trouble with it moving anymore anyway.
If it does get loose , if you have a way at it from underneath, you could get a couple screws in.
There is always more than one way to screw up a floor.:D
Good luck on your project, I know your pain, I am in the middle of the inlaws bath tile job.:)

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