Hardwood flooring is an interesting trade, it is the art of speed and craftsmanship. Sure, there are anomalies, but for a normal business in the United States for hardwood flooring I think there has to be a balance to be a functioning company. Speed allows your company to make more money, but craftsmanship ensures that errors are not made and a quality product is done at the end of the project.
Racking out hardwood allows you to create the speed you need when nothing at this point is critical. To rack out a floor you want to put all the flooring pieces on the floor and not worry about making cuts. By getting the wood on the floor it is kind of like when you were in high school or college and just “wrote subconsciously” without thinking. You then go back after and make sure there are no mistakes. But, in hardwood you “go back” when you are nailing in the boards and can change out a board that does not work.
You can see below some pictures of a dance floor (maple hardwood) we racked out. It took 4 hours to rack out 3,000 sq. It took another day to hit it in. Without the method of racking it out we would still be nailing.
How I start raking out is to set my line, then nail in my starter row. After the starter row is done I begin 3 inches in front of my starter row and just begin laying wood out. By doing the following you are saving time:
- not thinking
- doing a stair step
- not cutting one item at a time but all at once
- not transitioning between cutting, nailing and laying flooring
By doing the above items you will move much faster, saving time, giving you time to see an issue and fix it prior to be nailed and allowing you to spend more time on sand and finishing a floor.