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Flooring

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    Installing Hardwood Strip Flooring

    A flooring expert provides tips and tricks for installing perfect hardwood floors over plywood and concrete.

     
  • Installing Laminate Floors

    Plastic laminate, with its choices of colors and patterns, has moved from countertops to floors. We follow a professional flooring contractor as he shows how to lay a flat, durable finish floor with this versatile material.

     
  • Fast, Accurate Trim

    A high-quality trim job doesn’t have to take forever. A finish foreman tells how to measure, cut, and install wood trim quickly and without error.

     
  • Trouble-Free Stairs

    In stair-building, most finish headaches start out as framing foul-ups. A veteran builder shows how to accurately figure rise and run, locate landings, and install squeakless treads and risers.

     
  • Q&A: Health Effects of Foam

    Q: We typically build energy-efficient houses with 1-inch foil-faced polyisocyanurate foam on the interior of our walls. But more than one customer has questioned us about the potential health effects of the foam. Their concerns seem to stem from the outgasing of chemicals, more than the potential...

     
  • Laying Wide Pine Floors

    In many parts of the country, softwood is a traditional flooring material. A veteran finish carpenter explains his method for installing wide-board softwood floors.

     
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    Q&A: Cure for Wet Basement

    Q: We are working on a house with water in the basement. The homeowner got a bid from a specialty contractor for a comprehensive dewatering system that includes injecting a coating around the outside (without digging up the soil) and cutting the slab to install an interior perimeter drain connected...

     
  • A Contractor's Guide to Carpeting

    Laying carpet isn’t as easy as it looks. It requires preparation by the contractor and a knowledgeable installer. Also: Carpet and Air Quality

     
  • Q&A: Insulating Old Plaster Walls

    Q: What is the best way to insulate and vapor-proof an existing plaster wall without demolishing the surface?

     
  • Coping With Shrinking Wood Callbacks

    Whether it’s framing lumber or finish flooring, wood shrinks and swells, causing problems in your finish work. Here’s how to prevent callbacks.

     
 
 
 
JLC Field Guide to Decking