Roe Osborn

Several years ago, I wrote an article (“Installing Hardwood Strip Flooring,” Mar/99) on the basics of installing solid 3/4-inch unfinished strip flooring. I went into great detail about making sure the jobsite and subflooring had dried completely before the installation. I also talked about checking the flooring’s moisture content to make sure it was at the proper level for your area of the country. Those basics apply to wood flooring installations—especially in new work and especially with unfinished strip flooring.

But I’ve often been asked to retrofit strip flooring in existing homes in rooms that are already finished. In the past, the only option was unfinished flooring, and the homeowners had to endure the hassle of sanding and finishing after the installation. These days, prefinished strip flooring has been gaining popularity—in fact, it now makes up...

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