How to Lay Wood Strip Flooring

Updated February 21, 2017

Wood flooring can be a great way to create beautiful finished floors, and you can do it yourself without a professional using many different kinds of wood, from beech to cherry to mahogany. Measure each room carefully and remember that this type of flooring requires a foam underlayment. To lay wood flooring, planks are glued and slotted together to form a smooth and easy to-care-for floor.

Remove your existing flooring and any nails and screws. Make any necessary repairs to the original floor before continuing. Choose what type of wood you want to use for your new wood floors.

Cover the entire floor with underlayment, connecting the strips with duct tape. For concrete subfloor, lay a thick sheet of plastic first to prevent any moisture or mould on the underlayment.

Start laying the wood at the longest and straightest part of the room's floor. Use the flooring installation kit and begin laying the first strip with the grooved side facing the wall. Use the spacers next to the wall to create an expansion gap of around 1/2 inch.

Apply glue to the grooved end of the second wood strip and insert it into the first strip. Apply glue to the third strip's grooved end and insert it into the second strip. Repeat this process until you arrive at the other side of the room. Allow a 1/2 inch expansion gap on the other side of the last strip you place down and glue.

Begin the second row. Use the offcut of the last strip in the first row to start the second. Continue adding strips and gluing joints while keeping the process neat and clean of glue.

Use the spacers at the ends of each row to maintain the appropriate expansion gap on all sides. Utilise the tamping block and hammer to tap each plank snug against the plank next to it.

Work around door frames or odd edges by cutting out the appropriate shape to fit using the small hacksaw or jigsaw. Cut the last row of strips to the correct width. Glue and slot into position and remove the spacers.

Use cut lengths of quarter-round moulding to fit around the edge of the room. Use the mitre box to cut the angles for the corners. Finally, nail the moulding into place.


Always be careful around saws and power tools. Work carefully and slowly to ensure a solid, reliable flooring job.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood strip flooring
  • Underlayment
  • Duct tape
  • Flooring installation kit
  • Glue
  • Cloth
  • Panelling nails
  • Mitre box
  • Moulding
  • Quarter-round
  • Pencil
  • Wood saw
  • Tape measure
  • Jigsaw or hacksaw
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