Hardwood Flooring Installation

Depending on the type of hardwood floor you’ve chosen, the installation directions will vary. Solid wood flooring is either glued, nailed or stapled to a wood subfloor. These types of installations are best left to professional installers. Engineered wood floors can be either nailed or glued down like a traditional hardwood installation, or installed as floating floor installation.

Installation options

  • Nail-down – attached with flooring staples
  • Glue-down – attached with adhesive
  • Floating – floor boards are not attached to the subfloor but to each other.

Professional vs DIY hardwood floor installation

Installing hardwood floors is complicated. Aside from requiring specials tools, installers need special skills and the know-how to address any subfloor issues, such as an uneven surface or excessive moisture. Even for experienced DIYers, installations can be challenging.

If you have the DIY skills and experience to complete larger projects and want to tackle a hardwood floor, then consider a floating installation. Floating floors are the easiest to install and can go directly over an existing floor. The interlocking edges of boards fit together seamlessly – you simply push down gently until boards lock into place. There’s no need for staples, glue or special carpentry skills.

Installation tips

  • Solid wood boards need to be acclimated to the room’s normal lived-in environment several days prior to installation.
  • Engineered boards do not require acclimation but some manufacturers recommend it.
  • Before installation day, set aside some time to move furniture out of the room and secure cables and wiring up off the floor.
  • You’ll need to select coordinating trim and molding. These finishing details hide expansion gaps around the room’s perimeter.
  • Factory finished floors can be walked on immediately after installation is complete.