Looking for advice/tips to speed up engineered floor installation

Discussion in 'Hardwood and Laminates Q&A' started by xt-seattle, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. xt-seattle

    xt-seattle Member

    A decade ago I installed about 1000 sqrt prefinished hardwood floor in my previous home, although it turned out beautifully, it took much, much longer than I expected.

    I am considering to do this again for my current house, here are some lessons I learnt from last project -

    1. Lower back pain. Nailing solid hardwood floor alone is not a good idea for amateur. For every board I have to knee down, position it, then stand up and hit the nailer. It's really tough on my lower back. This time I plan to avoid nailer and use staple gun instead, which also means I will be installing engineered wood floor.

    2. Too much back and forth walking. I set up miter and table saw in garage, which was 40 feet walk from most area I nailed the boards. Also I only put 2 rows of boards in advance before nail them, this not only took longer walk back and forth, it broke the pace, drained energy and wore me out. So this time I will try to setup miter saw in same room.

    3. I did not have all the tools I needed. Air vent registers, gas valve round holes took me long time to cut with miter/circular saw + hand saw. I was told a jigsaw would make this much faster. Also it was a lot harder/slower for me to work in narrow spaces like in small closets, Kitchen. This time I am also looking at Kahrs' boards with woodloc 5S joint, they allow stapling down in 90 degree angle. which should speed up installation in small spaces.

    4. The board (3" 1/2) I purchased was not the best quality so I tried hard to mix them right and cut out parts with knots. It was very time consuming. This time I will be installing wide plank (at least 5") boards, and I will lay out boards as much as possible before start nailing, and hopefully the I will be using good quality boards that I don't have to spent much time mixing/matching boards.

    I'd really appreciate advice/tips especially right tools that can save time and frustration during installation. I hope this time I will be able to finish this project in 2 weeks.

    Thanks!

    -X.T.
     
  2. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    The best way to get fast is to do it LOTS!!

    Pre sort as many rows on the floor was you can. With tongue and groove nail down boards are guided together with the same mallet you staple with. Hardwood Shears (guillotine) are the best thing since sliced bread since you can set them right up where your last row is and move em a's needed.

    Thousand feet install, usually two and a half days with 5 inch plank. Floating, day and a half.
     
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  3. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    Get one of the bullet shears for cutting your planks. Hands down the biggest time saver you can invest in. You can sell it on Craigslist when your done and recoup some of your money. The Fastcap chop saw hood is an excellent option for when you want to set the saw up in the room. You will still get some dust but nothing compared to not using one.
     
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  4. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    Hey @Chris 45 compared to just a dust collector to the dust port, how good is that hood? I am intrigued
     
  5. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    Depends on your saw. I’m a dewalt slider kinda guy. The DW708 has a worthless dust port contraption and hooking a vac up to it just sucks the dust chute shut. The DW780 is so much better with a vac and an Isocket hooked up to it. If you use the hood you don’t need a vac because the hood catches the majority of the dust. I’d say using both would just be overkill.

    The hood does a couple things for you. First off it does work and it works well. Not 100% containment but 85% to 90% is very realistic. Secondly, it gives the customer the impression that you give a shit and are trying to contain the dust even if you’re just cutting in the garage. When it comes to clean up time you will definitely see how much dust the hood captures because it won’t be on the floor or everywhere else. The hood also gives you protection from the rain if you set your saw up outside.
     
  6. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    that last part sounds good. I have the Bosch 12inch knuckle thingy saw and the dust port works rather well with a vac on it but now I want that hood thingy
     
  7. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    Rousseau makes a chop saw hood as well and theirs has a 4” dust port as well. The biggest downside to both of them is where you gonna put them in your van that they won’t get smooshed. A shifting pallet of wood will toast them in a hot second. Still very much worth the money though. For the record I never set my saws up inside the customers house. But the garage or wherever else, you definitely will notice the difference and you will also appreciate the boost to your image of professionalism.

    If you’re looking for a little rain protection I think the Fastcap is the better choice.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  8. Barry Carlton

    Barry Carlton I Support TFP Senior Member Published

    Who knows, you may even be able to sell it on here. ;)
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. xt-seattle

    xt-seattle Member

    @Mark Brown , @Chris 45
    When you pre sort the rows, I assume you will have to cut the last piece for each row since that affects how you stagger the next row?
     
  10. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    yeah bit as you are going along you get a lot of end cuts. Starting out I will just use the sizes I have or failing that make some random sizes. If I'm really feeling brave (not common) I will tight rack and cut the ends but that is extreme.
     
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  11. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    The shears cut square and sometimes good enough for a seamed piece.
     
  12. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    we are talking engineered wood here mate, I don't think that's gonna work
     
  13. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Still cutting hardwoods/laminate/anything is carcinogenic. No vacuum exhausting air to exterior is no good. Till this day I haven’t seen an effective exhaust for a miter saw.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

  15. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    yeah I got that guy... well to be fair one step down. You telling me the Magnum shears so clean it's like an end cut on wood??
    cause I got money... and I love to dance :)
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  16. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I got that one, half price but you’re not close or a snowbird.

    Gluedown Hardwood is not a one man show.
     
  17. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    but does it really cut that clean, that's what I want to know! !
     
  18. Barry Carlton

    Barry Carlton I Support TFP Senior Member Published

    I've done 10's of thousands of feet. Never a helper.
     
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Yes Mark but you have a smaller cutting height with the ez shear. I cut trims with it too.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    Looks like I'm going hunting for a magnum
     
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