An Overview of Three Wood Floor Installation Methods

Posted By : Aubrey Mead , on May, 2017


Most homeowners spend more time choosing the perfect hardwood floor for their home than they do the method of Wood Floor Installation to use. Flooring experts believe the method used to install a hardwood floor is critical to achieving a successful installation. In either scenario, there are basically three installation methods used to install hardwood flooring.  It’s important to look at each method.

  • Fastening or Nail-Down. As implied, nails are used to secure the wood planks to the subfloor in this most common method of installing hardwood floors. This method works for engineered hardwood and 3/4-inch solid hardwood flooring. When fastening 3/4-inch planks, 2-inch nailing cleats are typically used to attach the planks to the subfloor. When installing hardwood floors, the space between the fasteners can make the difference between a squeaky floor and a quiet one. To ensure the best installation, only install hardwood flooring on a wood subfloor at or above grade.
  • Glued-down. This method of Wood Floor Installation is recommended for use with engineered hardwood flooring only. The hardwood planks are either glued directly to the subfloor, or a moisture-preventing barrier laid on top of the subfloor, using an adhesive designed for the specific hardwood floor material. There are many types of adhesive products available, and not using the manufacturers recommended adhesive may void any warranties.
  • Floating. It’s called a floating floor because the hardwood planks are not directly in contact with the subfloor but rather separated by an underlying pad. The pad creates a cushioned walking surface that not only makes the floor softer to walk on but reduces noise. This is considered the quickest and easiest installation method for engineered hardwood flooring products, making it an excellent choice for the DIY homeowner. The planks are neither nailed or glued in place, but glue is applied to the planks or they snap together before being placed on top of the padding. Another advantage of this method is that it can be installed on top of nearly any surface.

Each hardwood floor installation method offers its advantages, and choosing the proper method is key to a successful and long-lasting installation. The flooring experts at take into consideration the subfloor material and if the installation is above or below grade. In general, solid wood floors are installed above grade on a plywood subfloor. Engineered hardwood can be nailed, stapled, or glued down, on practically any subfloor at or below grade. You can also connect them on Facebook for more updates.

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