If you’re looking for reliable information on hardwood installation, you’ve come to the smart place.
First, because installing a hardwood floor is hard work, exacting and detailed, we recommend that professionals do the job.
However, your understanding of the basics of installation will increase your knowledge of the process, and enhance your confidence in the installers.
So let’s cover these basics.
There are four methods of installing hardwood flooring.
The first, called Nail Downis typically used with the 3/4-inch solid products, however there are adapters available for thinner flooring sizes.
Two-inch nailing cleats are used with a nailer and mallet to attach the flooring to the subfloor.
The second method is Staple Down.
Here, one and one-half inch to two-inch staples are used to attach the wood flooring to the subfloor.
A pneumatic gun drives the staples into the flooring and subfloor.
Glue Down is the third method of installation.
A mastic or adhesive is spread on with a trowel to adhere the flooring to the subfloor.
Engineered wood floors and parquets can be glued down.
Solid strip floors and plank floors can only be nailed or stapled.
Fourth, and last, is Floating installation.
With this method the floor is not mechanically fastened to the subfloor.
A thin pad is placed between the wood flooring and the subfloor.
Then, glue is applied in the tongue and groove of each plank to hold the planks together. Some wood floors today do not require the use of an adhesive due to technological advancements.
The padding protects against moisture, reduces noise transmission, is softer under foot, and provides some additional "R" value.
Some Engineered floors and all Longstrip floors can be floated.
Now, a few words on your responsibilities – the things you should do before installation day, during and after.
Before installation day, remove all furniture and other objects from the area of installation.
Consider how your old floor covering will be taken up and disposed of. We will be happy to discuss with you the method of disposal and associated costs.
If you prefer to remove your present floor covering yourself, do it at least one day prior to installation, to allow for cleanup and floor preparation.
If removing old carpet, please remove the tack strips and pull the staples out of the floor from the original pad.
Moldings and baseboards may need to be removed prior to installation.
We can do this for you but at an additional charge and we will not be responsible for damage due to dry or brittle wood.
Painted baseboards, woodwork and paint may need retouching after the installation is complete. This is your responsibility.
Your existing subfloor may need to be prepared to receive the hardwood, or a new subfloor may be required.
If subfloor work is necessary, it should be done by qualified professionals and we can help you with this determination.
When hardwood is installed, some doors may not clear the new floor and swing free.
Some installers will remove doors to install the hardwood, and re-hang them if possible.
They probably won’t shave or cut down doors to insure clearance.
Please check with us regarding our specific policy and cost.
You may need to arrange for a qualified carpenter to provide this service.
Be sure you’re clear about the clean up, if there are added costs to do so, and ask about the plan for hardwood remnants.
On installation day, be at home and available. Because it’s difficult to estimate the length of each job, we may not give you an exact time of arrival but rather an approximate time frame.
Keep children and pets out of the work area on installation day.
Prior to the completion of work, you should walk thru the job with the installer, so you’re clear on final details.
After the installers have left, good ventilation should be established for up to 72 hours.
When it comes to your hardwood flooring installation, we want you to be as smart and well prepared as possible.
It will make installation day easier on you and your family, and provide your home with beautiful, professionally installed hardwood for years to come