This issue’s tip is from Joshua Crossman of Yelm, Wash.-based PTL Hardwood Floors LLC:
When installing header boards in doorways, I like to use full-length boards. It looks nicer, and the floor performs better. Sometimes, though, we come up against an existing floor and the door casing is already installed, so we use a little trick to get our board in using one piece. We rip the board to width, removing the tongue, then remove the bottom of the groove side. Next we kerf-cut the bottom of the board in the middle until it is slightly bendable, making sure not to cut through the 1/4-inch wear layer. How many cuts we have to make is determined by the species and length. It also helps to back-bevel-cut the ends so they tuck in more easily under the casing. We apply a liberal amount of adhesive to the subfloor, then stick one board end under one side of the casing, and then slowly bend the middle upwards as we put the other side in. That’s all it takes to look more like a craftsman.