Tongue and groove wood flooring is another innovation in the world of flooring that lets people install their own flooring. That is quite a mouthful to say, but surely you get the idea.
It is known as ‘tongue and groove’ wood flooring because of how the cuts are made on the wood. One of the woods has to have an edge sticking out, while the other has a convex part, so that they can both lock together. What is good about this is that not only will you save money by not having to hire an installer, but you can also saving by not needing to pay for adhesives, nails or staples. Just like other floating floorings, it is also a winner.
Now that you have a general idea of how tongue and groove wood flooring works, let us move on to how you can install your own flooring without breaking a sweat.
- Make sure that your work area is clean. If you have subflooring, see to it that the surface is as flat as possible in order to avoid any bumps.
- Unlike a regular glueless wood flooring, tongue and groove wood flooring needs to be installed closer to the wall, so detach the baseboards for the time being (if there are any). While you are at it, you need to decide too if you want your flooring to run horizontally or vertically.
- Put in place the moisture barrier or the underlayment on top of the sub-flooring. Usually, foam is used for that, so you can use that too. You can glue it or staple it down so that it will not move around.
- When you lay down the pieces, start ½ inch away from the wall, and with the tongue part facing it. You need that much space for possible expansion and contraction of the wood and/or the wall.
- Try to fit the boards tightly together. If you cannot push them together with your hand, place a block of wood at one side of the new board and then nudge it with a hammer or a mallet. You should never try to do this without a block of wood in between the board and the mallet because it can possibly break the board or ruin its edge. Nevertheless, if it still gets damage, remove it and use it as the edge piece.
- Keep on placing the tongue and groove wood flooring pieces together. If you can, try to not make it look as uniformed as a big slab of chocolate so that your flooring will look more naturalistic. Feel free to use a pencil and a ruler to measure the end parts exactly.
- After all that, and you are satisfied with all the trimmings on your flooring, install your baseboards again to hide the edges of the floor.