- Stack flooring indoors for a few days to allow the wood time to adjust humidity level.
- Plan to install the flooring perpendicular to the floor joists.
- Mark the positions of the joists along a wall for reference and nail into joists wherever possible.
- Cover the subfloor with a layer of 15-pound asphalt felt.
- Mark the centerline of the room and another line about 1/2 inch from the starting wall exactly parallel to your centerline.
- Stagger them so no end joint is closer than 6 inches to an end joint in the next row.
- Face-nail the first row through the plywood subflooring to the floor joists or sleepers using a nail set to recess the nails below the surface.
- Blind-nail with a hammer and finishing nails this and the next two rows by hand.
- When installing the second row and every row thereafter, move a short piece of flooring along the edge and give it a sharp rap with a mallet to tighten the new row against the previous row before nailing.
- Use a flooring nailer once you’ve installed the first three rows.
When you reach the final row, use a block and a pry bar to wedge the last boards tightly into position and face-nail boards.