How to Install Hardwood Floor Panels with the Nail Down Method

Hardwood flooring is one of the most favorite choices of flooring when remodeling or renovating a house. Because of the warmth that it gives to your house and its durability, it is one the most sold flooring in the market till date. Once you have installed a hardwood floor, you need not change the flooring for 15-25 years (depending upon how well are you able to maintain the flooring).

Once you have bought the perfect flooring for your house, it needs to be installed. A lot of people opt to get it installed by professionals, but if you want to do it yourself, this article will help you through the basic steps. A word of caution- if the flooring board has some defect, make sure to return it before installation because once its fixed to the floor, manufactures can deny the responsibility for judgment of error and/or for poor installation quality of their product.


There are certain tools that you would require to install the hardwood floor panels. These include a hand saw, hammer and nail punch, a measuring tape, chalk, level and leveling compound, tapping block, utility knife, dust pan, safety glasses and dust mask, finishing nails and flooring screw.


Hardwood is a living material and hence reacts according to the changing conditions. In summers, when the humidity is high, the flooring tends to expand whereas in winters, when the humidity is low, the flooring tends to shrink. It is recommended that suitable measures be taken according to the surrounding conditions for the proper installation of hardwood panels. It is important to store the hardwood floors in dry areas and handle them with care so that they do not crack/break during installation.

Hardwood InstallationInstallation Guidelines:

The first thing to do is to ensure that all the above sub-floor conditions and general instructions have been met. Determine a starting wall from where you want to start your installation. Generally this wall is the straightest wall which is an outside wall in most cases.

Place the first row of hardwood panels tentatively on the floor and draw the chalk lines. Then install the first panel along that line. Then, drill holes through the face of the board at 6″ intervals. Secure the starter boards to the subfloor with 1″ long finishing nails, by driving the nails until the heads are just above the board, then sink the nails with a nail set. Install the other tiles of the first row in a similar manner. Some things to keep in mind while doing the exercise are that first, use the rubber tape to secure all the panels together. Second, it is highly recommended that the first few panels should be nailed by hand using a hammer instead of a power nailer or stapler. Third, fill nailed areas with appropriate colored wood filler to match the flooring.

After the installation:

Once the installation is done, clean the floor thoroughly using a wet mop and then with a dry mop so that the floor does not absorb the water. Also, don’t forget to store a few spare boards for later installation if one panel gets destroyed etc.

How to Install Hardwood Floor Panels with the Nail Down Method was last modified: March 27th, 2019 by Express Flooring