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Box Builder
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys, I'm getting ready to put down hardwood in my house. Been looking over everything for awhile and I've come to the decision that some of the runs are going to have to start in the middle of rooms or where there are long runs. I am planning on using a loose spline for going groove to groove on the floors. Also going to screw and bung those pieces of floor. Should I be wary of this approach? Been reading around, and seems like a pretty common approach. Also, I'm going to space flooring around the edges of the room for movement, but where flooring hits base on end grain I was planning on putting the base down first since I shouldn't see any movement there. Any concerns with this approach? Thanks, Nick.
 

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Why do you say that you have to start in the middle? Start with a GOOD lay-out, snap a "control line" and be careful to watch the measurements as you go, don't let it grow. Sometimes ya need to spline and reverse the flow! I would still give a little on the ends. Shoe mold when finished!
 

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Sometimes you have to start in the mid of a room if you are doing long runs that flow into another room of the house and you want to line all the flooring up.

Nothing wrong with groove/groove spline. Nail/staple the spline just as you would a tongue side of a board. Some guys glue the spline as well. As long as every seam has fasteners it will be fine. Screws/plugs are overkill (and ugly) unless you are using very wide plank.

Wont the base then be lower on the butt walls then the straits?

I personally never put any molding down until the floor is in. It prob wont expand at the butts but why NOT wait?
 

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Box Builder
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I guess I didn't really mean in the middle, but I have to start to hit the long runs continuously to get a good straight run. I'm not doing shoe mold. Looks sloppy in my opinion. Also, the base would be scribed over the floors to match the height of the base already installed. I pre install base on 1/4"-3/8" shim so that is usually plenty of meat for scribing.
 

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Head Light Bulb Changer
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There's nothing wrong with starting in the middle. In fact, it's been argued that it's a better way because you'll get less movement at the wall lines (shorter runs=less movement). Use a good, hard spline (hardwood vs softwood) as I've seen the pine ones fail (split). Just nail/staple it like a regular tongue, no need for screws.
 

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Why do you say that you have to start in the middle? Start with a GOOD lay-out, snap a "control line" and be careful to watch the measurements as you go, don't let it grow. Sometimes ya need to spline and reverse the flow! I would still give a little on the ends. Shoe mold when finished!
Wide rooms need to start in the middle & go both ways. Any room wider than 18-20' I start in the middle & lay both ways. Flooring expands toward the tongue side, so going both ways reduces the amount of expansion.

I also agree, no need to screw & plug. Nail the spline in place.
 

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Box Builder
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I like the idea of nailing the spline. thanks guys. What about starting the first course? I originally was going to screw and bung the first course, but we are talking alot of bungs. What is the normal practice for setting the first run if you start in the middle of the room? I was thinking #8 finish nails into the joists with shorter ones in the field between the joists. I've also used trim head screws in the past around the edges and just filled the hole, but I'm not psyched about that idea in the middle of a room/hall. Do you guys glue the first run too? I'm planning on using rosin paper between advantech and flooring. Thanks, Nick.
 

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I like the idea of nailing the spline. thanks guys. What about starting the first course? I originally was going to screw and bung the first course, but we are talking alot of bungs. What is the normal practice for setting the first run if you start in the middle of the room? I was thinking #8 finish nails into the joists with shorter ones in the field between the joists. I've also used trim head screws in the past around the edges and just filled the hole, but I'm not psyched about that idea in the middle of a room/hall. Do you guys glue the first run too? I'm planning on using rosin paper between advantech and flooring. Thanks, Nick.
I do mostly site sand floors, so filling nail holes is easy with the full trowel fillers. Prefinished is a little harder, using a soft putty color match filler. I use a 15 guage nailer to blind nail as close as I can to the walls, then I just face nail the last few courses. If I've got a client that doesn't wanna see face nails, or working with bamboo or other woods that don't face nail well, Ill glue the last couple courses.
 

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Particulate Filter
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You don't need screws on your initial middle run. Screw down a 2x or other straight material to keep the first rows in place. Remove the 2x and run spline the length of the room and nail it. That's it. I usually nail the first two courses with a 15 gauge straight nailer and then switch to the mallet actuated to prevent the boards from getting knocked off line.
 

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You don't need screws on your initial middle run. Screw down a 2x or other straight material to keep the first rows in place. Remove the 2x and run spline the length of the room and nail it. That's it. I usually nail the first two courses with a 15 gauge straight nailer and then switch to the mallet actuated to prevent the boards from getting knocked off line.
X2 on the starter blocks.
I just use scrap whatever usually 12" long w/ 12" spaces & 15g face nail them to the chalk line.

Make sure to use the groove side in if you use scrap flooring bc it will break the good boards when you rip out the starters if you lock a tongue side
 

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sorry bad wording. I rip a spline to glue in the groove of the 'center' row, to make my first row have two tongues. I nail both tongues of that row
That's how I do it, except I don't glue in the spline.

I also don't use a guide to hold it in place while I nail it down. 15 guage nailer to tack it on the factory tongue side, then the floor nailer on both sides. Bump it back to the line if necessary. I use a block pushed up against the spline to hold it in position as I nail.
 

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All you need to do is blind nail both sides. It's no big deal. I use a dry line and it only takes a minute or two to get started. It's actually a hell of a lot faster to start in the middle. When you start in the middle, you're making the most stable row of flooring in the whole job because both sides are holding it in place. The main thing is to make sure its straight. A dry line works best for that. I like yellow, but orange is good too.
 

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I also don't use a guide to hold it in place while I nail it down. 15 guage nailer to tack it on the factory tongue side, then the floor nailer on both sides. Bump it back to the line if necessary. .
Always moves too much for me when I try something like this. If not the first pin nailed row then the second or third stapled row moves it.

I tend to smack the stapler a bit hard sometimes and then I spend too much time trying to get it all strait again.

...hence, my preference is I like to block.
 

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Hardwood floors/custom cabinets
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Always moves too much for me when I try something like this. If not the first pin nailed row then the second or third stapled row moves it.

I tend to smack the stapler a bit hard sometimes and then I spend too much time trying to get it all strait again.

...hence, my preference is I like to block.

Buy a primatech nailer & try again. Rarely moves off the initial line.
 

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Head Light Bulb Changer
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I don't use blocks either. Seems like a waste of time. If the row moves a little bit, who cares? It might move a 1/16 and that's not going to make any difference IMO. If it moves one way, smack it the other way to straighten it out. I ain't building a piano :no:

And - Pick out the straightest, longest boards for your first row(s) and the wall lines. It amazes me sometimes, watching guys struggle with bowed and twisted boards trying to pull a wall line.
 
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