Laying wood flooring

You are ready to start laying the new wood flooring after you have all the floors clean and dry . This is a great do it yourself home improvement project.

Because we have a cement slab, the first thing we must do is lay down a moisture barrier which is usually a 6 mil thick plastic sheet. This moisture barrier must cover the whole floor. If the floor is to wide or too long for one sheet then overlap another sheet on the floor and seal them together with 2" wide shipping tape. Tape the edges of the plastic sheeting to the cement floor so it doesn't move.

The next step is to put down a subfloor, this is usually a thick plastic foam type of sheeting that acts as a cushion between the cement and the panels. I saw a new type recently at the hardware store that looked like 1/4" thick carpet padding. We used a 1/4" thick cork padding that was 5' wide and 40' long. It came in a roll, we used two rolls or 400 square feet for the two rooms and a hall way.

Our Brazilian Cherry wood flooring

We laid this down crossways from the wood flooring panels. We laid the lovely Brazilian Cherry wood panels the length of the two rooms. This would make the two rooms look larger and it will mean less cutting of the panels to make them fit. The wood panels we selected are called a floating floor. The panels lock together and you knock them into place with a hammer and special tools designed for this purpose. They have a finished surface so once they are locked together they are ready to use.

We started laying along the longest run which was an inside wall for us. We were told to leave a 1/4" gap between the wall and the panels. Wood expands and shrinks depending on humidity and temperature. You want enough gap so the wood panels will not buckle when they expand and you want the gap small enough so that you can easily cover them up with a base board and quarter round.

I purchased a 3.5" wide oak base board and 1/2" quarter round which I stained the same color as the cabinets in the kitchen. We secured these boards to the wall around the perimeter of the rooms. They look great.

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