How to Lay Those {Stubborn} Last 5 Rows of Flooring

by Rachel Blackburn in ,

When laying narrow plank wood floors, those last 5 rows are something we've come to dread.  If you've ever laid wood flooring, chances are you know the feeling.  

Those are the rows the floor nailer and mallet can't reach.  It's annoying, because you essentially spend as much time on the last 5 rows of flooring that you did on the rest of the room.  

Time to get inventive.  After spending hours and days on finishing the first room's last 5 rows of flooring, Michael got creative.  

We're putting up a little tutorial on how we did it.  Keep in mind, we are homeowners and DIY-ers, so if a professional tells you this method is nuts, believe them.  But, it worked for us.

- How to {Somewhat Quickly} Lay the Rows of Flooring Your nailer Won't Reach - 

You will need: 

Large clamps that have padding on the edges - we used trigger clamps

Scrap wood - 2 short pieces and 1 long piece


Drill bits

Finishing nails


Wood filler

1. Lay as much of the floor as you can using your floor nailer and your usual technique.  Seriously - squeeze out every last inch you can.

2. Starting at one side of the next row, place your next piece of wood to be nailed.  

3. Create a bracket for you to clamp that piece of wood down with - see the photo below.  Essentially, you want to put the 2 short pieces of scrap wood perpendicular to where you're working and a long piece against those, so that you have something to clamp to.  We used scrap 2x4's and they worked great.

4. Make sure that your bracket/scrap wood does not cover where you need to nail.  I won't tell you how we figured that out...

5. Place your large clamp with one end on the flooring you are going to nail down and the other on the scrap wood bracket.  Tighten.  If your clamp does not have rubber padding on the ends, you may damage the tongue of the wood flooring.  Use caution.

6. Drill holes where you will face nail your flooring down to prevent splitting and then nail the flooring down.  

7. Fill the holes with wood filler.

8. Repeat until done, shifting your bracket as needed, then finish your floor!