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How to Install a Hardwood Floor

Installing a hardwood floor is a relatively easy thing to do.  With some patience and preparation you shouldn’t have too many problems achieving a great looking floor with minimal amount of fuss.  Before going ahead with your project there are few things you should look into first.  Please check the following articles before proceeding:

Types of Hardwood Flooring 
Hardwood Flooring Plank Edge Styles
A Guide to Hardwood Finishes

In general, we recommend using a pre-finished flooring material.  With a pre-finished flooring material you won’t have to sand and finish the floor after it has been laid.  Not only does this save you time, but buying a pre-finished hardwood generally means that you will end up with a higher quality finish.  Generally a pre-finished hardwood is sanded 3-4 times and is coated around 8 times with an aluminum oxide surface finish which is baked and makes for a much more durable high quality product.
Depending on the site, there are several ways of installing your hardwood floor.  We’ve tried our best to explain each type of installation as follows:

Nail-down Installation Method

This method is commonly used when installing ¾” thick solid hardwood floors. The flooring is attached to the sub-floor using two in inch nailing cleats using a wood flooring nailer and mallet. 

Staple-down Installation Method

This method is similar to the nail-down method where the nails are replaced with staples.  The staples are driven into the tongue of the wood planks and through to the sub-floor underneath using a pneumatic staple gun.  The staple down method is much easier for DIY installers.  When purchasing your hardwood make sure to ask the recommended staple size for your installation. 

Glue-down Installation Method

The glue-down method requires that you glue that actual hardwood planks to the sub-floor.  Using a trowel and the recommended adhesive for you product is spread onto the sub-floor upon which the wood is set into place.  This method works equally well on a wood sub floors and fully cured concrete slabs.  It is important that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing your hardwood floor.  Not doing so could cause mistakes and void your warranty.

Glueless Installation Method

Many manufacturers offer engineered hardwood flooring products with a special glueless locking system.  These types of engineered hardwood flooring products are especially versatile and can be installed on a variety of sub-floors.  Make sure to read the manufacturers guidelines before installation.
Floating Installation Method

As is suggested by the name, the floating installation method does not require you to fasten the flooring planks to the sub-floor.  A thin pad is inserted between the flooring planks and the sub-floor.  Glue is applied to the tongue and groove of the flooring planks which hold the floor together.  The padding gives the floating floor a number of advantages in that it protects against moisture, is lighter on foot, and stems the transfer of noise.  The floating installation method is a very easy and practical way to install your flooring. Please be sure to ask your manufacturer if your flooring product is suitable to be floated.


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