THE BASICS OF ENGINEERED HARDWOOD INSTALLATION
Engineered Hardwood Installation
Engineered hardwood is becoming an even more popular flooring choice for homeowners these days. If you're interested in engineered hardwood flooring, or if you already have some in your living room, you could probably use some tips on engineered hardwood installation. We'll be discussing the floating, glue down, and staple down methods of engineered hardwood installation.
First, a few general tips:
- Allow the flooring sit in the room of installation for at least 72 hours. This allows the planks to get accustomed to the room temperature.
- Mix planks between packages to ensure differing shades when installing. A combination of shades will give your engineered hardwood flooring tons of character.
- Check for damaged boards. Obviously, you don't want to use any warped planks for your flooring.
- Buy necessary tools: Cutting saw, painting tape, pull bar, rubber mallet, tapping block, trowel, spacers, hardwood cleaning solution.
The floating method consists of laying the engineered hardwood planks over a subfloor and connecting planks by clicking and locking them together. This is considered the easiest form of installation since no gluing or nailing is required. It takes precision just like the other methods, but the preparation is less tedious and the room for error is larger. As long as the subfloor is dry and flat, using the floating floor installation method is a great option.
Glue Down Method
The glue down method is pretty straight forward as well. It is best if your subfloor is made of concrete. A flooring adhesive has to be spread across the subfloor and the engineered hardwood planks are applied over the adhesive to keep them in place. Some planks have to be applied while the glue is still wet, while others are to be applied once the glue has dried. The first option is more reasonable since you'll be able to complete the installation faster by not having to wait for the adhesive to dry first.
If you do decide to have the planks installed over the wet adhesive, consider applying the adhesive two feet at a time. This helps with the general flow of installation since you won't have to worry about the adhesive drying prematurely.
Staple Down Method
The staple down method is the most difficult, but many homeowners prefer this method because it's the most reliable. Your carpentry skills will be tested, so if you don't have experience, you should either rely on the help of a professional or try a different installation method (either floating or glue down).
With this method, planks are literally stapled into the ground, about six inches apart. Because engineered hardwood includes other non-hardwood layers, it’s best to use staples instead of nails for installation. In the end, you'll have sturdy, durable flooring.
- It's a good idea to lay out the first two rows of planks before securing them into place. Visualize the beginning of the engineered hardwood installation and draw a chalk line at the end of the second row. Also, leave about a half-inch gap between the first row and the wall. The use of spacers will secure the first row while keeping the half-inch gap.
- Make sure the tongue of each plank is facing the wall.
- All planks should be staggered six inches to avoid pattern repetition. You don't want H joints or a stair step pattern to appear in your engineered wood floor installation.
- You can chisel planks into place by placing a tapping block over each and tapping the block with a rubber mallet.
- If you use the glue down method, make sure that top of the planks. Glue will probably get onto the planks, so have a cleaning solution (specific to cleaning engineered hardwood) handy to clean off any glue.
- Once the installation is complete, avoid walking on it for at least 24 hours.
Engineered hardwood installation is more difficult than it sounds, so keep the contact information for a flooring installation expert handy. Sure, you’ll save money by installing the floor by yourself, the installation will take longer and you’ll be more prone to making mistakes than a professional. Mistakes with flooring, no matter how small, can really throw a project out of whack, especially one as long-term as installing a brand-new floor.
Give Nadine Floor Company a call at (469) 666-4530 for your engineered hardwood installation needs. Also, please visit our website—nadinefloors.com—and check out our blog for more helpful flooring and home remodeling input.