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How to Install Wide Plank Flooring in a Kitchen

Wide plank flooring is a great option for flooring in a kitchen. The experts show how to install this sturdy flooring.

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Step 1: Prep the Area

If there is a center island, remove it. If the cabinets are sitting on plywood, lay an additional subfloor to meet it.

Note: Make sure you overlap the joint, and align the edges with the joints as well.

a sub flooring will need to be put down on plywood

Step 2: Make a Reference Point

Before you start laying down the planks, make sure the room is square. Measure off the exterior wall. Snap a line the length of the kitchen and use that line as a reference point.

snap a center line and use as a reference point

Step 3: Snap Chalk Lines

Snap chalk lines to mark where you will nail the boards down.

Step 4: Cut the Boards

Use a miter saw to cut the boards. The goal when you install the boards is to have a staggered look. You don't want all long or all short boards. Once each board is cut, be sure to round them off with a palm sander.

Step 5: Apply Construction Adhesive

Apply construction adhesive to the back of the plywood.

Step 6: Nail the Boards

Line the plywood up in front of the door and then nail it down with a power nailing gun raising the subfloor to the level of the cabinets.

Note: Run the boards perpendicular to the floor joists so you can nail the planks into the joists. But since it will actually be construction adhesive holding the boards down, not the nails, it is okay to line up the boards with the joists.

Step 7: Lay Down and Glue the Boards

Start with the threshold. Since you are using construction adhesive to hold the boards down, line up the boards with the joists. Mark every 16" to determine where to put the boards to keep the layout square. Glue the boards down.

glue the boards down

Step 8: Place a Block

Put a wedge between the planks and a temporary block. Nail the block in place.

temporary block nailed in place

Step 9: Tap in the Wedges

Measure out to the chalk lines to make sure the boards line up straight. Tap in the wedges until the planks are even.

Step 10: Nail the Boards

Measure a finger's width from the edge of the board and face nail it in place (Image 1). Counter sink the nails so they do not become shiny when the floor is sanded.

Expert Tip: Use square-head smit nails, which give a traditional cut-nail look. There are many reproductions available (Image 2) depending on the look you're going for.

Step 11: Remove the Wedges and Blocks

When the nailing is done, tap out the wedges and pry up the blocks. Continue cutting boards and laying down planks.

Step 12: Fit the Vents

Fit the flush mount vents by marking off the vent plate. Cut out the opening with a circular saw and fit the vent in place. Do the same thing to notch out the vent if you have an island.

fit the flush mounts by marking off vent plate

Step 13: Lay the Final Planks

Cut the boards to size making sure you do not have a sliver at the end, and then lay them in place.

Step 14: Place the Spacers

Put spacers by the wall allowing 1/4" for expansion and contraction. The trim should cover the gap.

spacers by wall will allow for movement

Step 15: Nail the Final Boards

Pre-drill at the end joints so you do not split the boards. Nail the final boards in place.