Here are a few photos of the process:
We put down tongue and groove oak, 3.25 inches wide (real width), 3/4 inch thick. The first course was face-nailed next to the baseboard where the nails will be covered with quarter-round trim. This meant holes had to be drilled and the nails hammered by hand. The string served as a guide to get the first couple of rows in evenly. After that we just kept going. We did pretty well because the difference was only 1/8 inch off by the time we got to the other side of the room.
We rented a pneumatic nailer for this job. It is hooked up to an air compressor, but the nails are popped in manually with a mallet. One side of the mallet is used to tap the board into place (as above), the other is used to hit the "trigger."
I've never helped put down an hardwood floor before, so I was surprised at the nails used (photo left). They are shot into the tongue of each row and so are hidden by the groove of the adjacent row of boards.
Our snoopervisor was not at all happy with all the noise (compressor roaring and nailer popping loudly). After complaining about it to no avail, he eventually consoled himself with a nice long super-sound sleep.
It was slow going at first, but eventually we developed a rhythm. I set the succeeding rows in place while Dan nailed. Since I had pre-laid the floor, very little sawing was necessary and it went fairly quickly.
The doorway between the dining room and hall once had a door, but it was gone before we got here. We plan to leave it open, so no threshold is necessary here.
It ended up taking us two days to do the dining room and front portion of the hall.
The blue ribbon dangling from the dining room light, BTW, was put there by Dan because I kept hitting my head on it when I was laying out the floor. I thought is was a silly idea, but I never hit my head on it again, so it worked!
Still to do:
- finishing with polyurethane
- refinishing the French and swinging kitchen doors
- painting and remounting the built-in corner hutch doors
- finishing the baseboard trim
- new thresholds between living room/dining room & living room/hallway