One of the amazing perks of engineered hardwood flooring is that installing it is much easier than installing traditional hardwood. It’s so easy, in fact, that many people choose to install their new flooring themselves. If you’re preparing for a DIY flooring project, there are a few things to know about the process and methods. To make your renovation a success, here are our tips for installing an engineered hardwood floor.
Prepare the Subfloor
No matter how you choose to install your engineered hardwood floor, you’ll need to start the process by preparing your subfloor. Carefully clean the subfloor until it’s free of dirt, debris, and any damage. Keep an eye out for loose staples or nails left from the last flooring. Your new flooring needs a solid foundation, so make sure there’s no damage or loose boards. Decide whether you need tar paper or another type of padding between the subfloor and your flooring. Once you’ve prepared a clean and dry subfloor, you can start laying down your engineered hardwood flooring.
If you install a floating engineered hardwood floor, place the first row by gluing the planks to the wall, not the subfloor. After snapping each plank into place, use a tapping block to tap it into place against the subfloor. You can also use painter’s tape to further secure the boards as you work. Make sure you leave the proper expansion space between your flooring and every vertical surface to give the planks room to expand. This will prevent buckling or noise issues after the floor has settled.
When gluing down your new flooring, make sure you once again leave room for expansion between your boards and the walls. Use a trowel to spread the glue across the subfloor. Work in small sections so that you can focus on two or three rows at a time without the glue drying or making a mess. Try to stagger the ends of each board by a few inches to create a more stable surface. Use a cleaner or wipes to clean up any glue that squeezes through the boards.
Stapling or Nailing
The installation methods for stapling and nailing your engineered hardwood flooring are similar. Lay down your first row—once again leaving room for the expansion space between the wall and your boards—and make sure the tongue of the plank faces the wall. This positioning means you won’t be able to use a staple or nail gun for the first row, so use a nail punch or manually nail down these boards. For subsequent rows, use a pneumatic staple or nail gun. Place the gun at a 45-degree angle over the tongue of the board to insert the staples or nails. As you go, be sure to occasionally check that the stapler or nail gun isn’t creating dimples or other damage to the flooring surface.
From the Forest has everything you need to make your DIY project a success. From these tips for installing engineered hardwood flooring to gorgeous flooring options such as our white oak plank hardwood flooring, we’re here to help you lay a solid foundation for your dream room.