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Hardwood Floor Borders Installation

Tools and Materials Required:

Estimated work time:

3-4 hours


Please read all the General Hardwood Floor Installation Requirements for wood floor parquet installation first. Make sure that all the conditions for environment, subfloor and materials are met before attempting to install the border.

Note: Prior to installation, keep the border in the climate controlled environment, flat, in horizontal position to avoid possible warping. Acclimate the border for at least 24 hr. in the room where it will be installed. Keep the border in the original plastic wrap prior to installation.

Humidity and Winter season warning: Please keep the humidity level in the house within acceptable range of 40 to 60%. Dry in-house air is typical for a cold season. This is the primary cause for wood warping, gaps and cracking in the inlays and is not covered by warranty. Use either HVAC build-in or portable humidifier to maintain the environment. Inlay are more sensitive to the moisture fluctuations than regular plank hardwood floors due to the combination of different wood species with different hygroscopic properties. Simple electronic Hygrometer can be purchased from Radio Shack for approximately $20 to monitor the environment.

General information

Wood floor borders are installed by cutting the floor down to the subfloor. The border is glued-down. The floor can be new or existing, prefinished or unfinished. Typically it's installed at about 1 ft off the wall.

Unfinished floor installation is a preferred method. The border and the floor are sanded and finished together on-site. This process offers a better fit of the inlay and the rest of the floor. Gaps can be patched with the wood patty. Sanding of the entire floor insures that the floor and inlays are at the same height and seamless transition.
Unfinished borders already presanded and have a smooth surface. The unfinished floor can be rough sanded before installing the border to avoid the heavy grit lines on the inlay.

Prefinished floor installation requires the border to be already finished and to be the same thickness as the rest of the floor. Inlay installation can be done at any other time after the floor is installed. Czar Floors offers prefinished borders for an additional charge. Alternatively the unfinished border can be finished on-site by the installer.

  1. Draw the line on the subfloor where the border will be installed.
  2. Lay down the floor with the planks randomly extending beyond this line toward the wall.
  3. Pre-sand the edge area of the floor to insure it's flat and even. Retrace line on the floor to match the line on the subfloor.
  4. Cut the ends of the plank floor using skilllsaw and the special guide nailed to the floor. Use fine-cut saw blade. Lower the blade to match the thickness of the floor.
  5. Clean the flooring in the cuts area and vacuum
  6. Apply the adhesive on the opposite side of the border.
  7. Place the border against the flooring.
  8. Secure the border with the staples from the open side of the border
  9. Install the apron area flooring between the border and the wall.

Note: If installing in existing floor, cut two parallel cuts with the skillsaw to create a channel for the border.

The cutting guide can be purchased as accessory to the circular saw or can be built DIY. To build one:

  1. Cut the 1/2" material into 2 strips.
    • One, about 1 1/2" to 2" wide
    • The other the width of the first strip, plus the width of your circular saw base, plus the width of your router base (if you have a router) plus about 1".
  2. Make the long edges of the smaller strip perfectly straight. Snap a line on each edge using the plumb line (the lines do not have to be exactly parallel). Cut this line very precisely. It is critical that these cuts be made very well, it might behoove you to do this with a hand saw. Try to make one side be the 'factory' straight edge on the piece of material you are using, that will save you one cut.
  3. On one end of the larger strip, mark the width of the circular saw base. Do the same on the other end (same edge).
  4. Using the plumb line, snap a perfectly straight line between the two marks.
  5. Align the small strip with this line, so the saw base can ride up against the small strip. Screw the smaller strip to the larger strip.
  6. Saw along the guide, riding the saw base against the smaller strip, and removing material from the larger strip.

Saw Guide

Align the edge of the guide to the mark where you want to cut, clamp in place, do the same with the other side. Saw along the guide, riding the base of the saw on the guide, up against the smaller strip. Be sure to have enough blade showing to go through the wood plus the thickness of the guide.


For borders installations, Bostik makes a very convenient glue cartridge 1100 FS. A fast curing, one-part, cartridge/gun applied, moisture cure urethane adhesive that does not contain water or chlorinated solvents, is V.O.C. Compliant and has no ozone depleting chemicals. Read Data Sheet for 1100FS.

Typically one cartridge is sufficient for 30" border, two cartridges for 40 " and 48" borders. For larger installations, Bostik Best glue is available in two and five gallon cans. Another good adhesive made by Sika - SikaBond.

Bostik Best or Sika are the only adhesives tested and certified by Czar Floors. Use other adhesives at your own risk. Czar Floors does not provide warranty on subfloor separation for other adhesives.

Ask about the glue when placing the order or purchase separately on-line.

$15 each + $8 S/H anywhere in U.S.

General Guidelines, Tips, and Safety: