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Hardwood Installation Tips

What should you do to prepare for installation?

Hardwood flooring installation is a relatively difficult project for the do-it-yourselfer, especially solid hardwoods. For best results, we recommend having our professional technicians install your hardwood floors.

When you have your hardwood flooring installed by our expert installers, you will enjoy:

  • The fastest installation available.
  • Reasonable prices.
  • Professional, courteous installers.
  • Quality results down to the finest detail.
  • Long term guaranteed performance.
  • Intact manufacturer warranties.

Engineered floors are more forgiving and easier to work with. If you’re thinking about installing your engineered hardwood floors yourself, the following are the basic steps you’ll need to take.

Where to Install

Solid hardwood floors may be installed above grade over wood floors. Some engineered floors may be rated for sub-grade installation or installation over cement, but the cement must be relatively dry.

Flooring Preparation

Store your flooring for at least two days in the room where you plan to install it to allow the flooring to adjust to the humidity and temperature in the room. This will help prevent problems such as cupping and gapping after installation as the floor expands and contracts.

Subfloor Preparation

Subfloors must be clean, level, dry and structurally sound. If you want to install engineered hardwood over cement, you’ll need to measure the moisture level of the floor first using kits available at your local hardware store to ensure that it is not too moist for engineered hardwood.

Trim and Prep the Room

Remove all baseboards and other moldings along the floor. Trim door jambs to allow the laminate planks to slide underneath. To cut the jambs, lay a piece of flooring against the trim and use it to mark your cutting line. Then cut the jamb along the line, parallel to the floor.

Install the Vapor Barrier

If installing over cement, install vapor barrier according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Lay the First Row

Lay the first row of hardwood along the longest side of the room with the groove facing the wall. Place ½” spacers along the wall and push the plank up against them. This creates a gap to allow the floor to expand and contract after installation. If you’re installing over wood, the floor will be nailed in place. When installing over cement, it may be floated or glued. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for fastening boards to the subfloor.

Lay the Floor

Install subsequent planks by laying them in place and using a scrap board to tap them together with a rubber mallet. Tap until the tongues and grooves are joined and no gap remains. Make sure to stagger the joints of the planks for the best appearance. This will require trimming at the ends of the room. Remember to use spacers along every wall.

When installing over a wood subfloor, the planks are nailed down. When installing over cement, the floor may be floated or glued.

Install the Final Plank

The final row of planks will have to be trimmed to fit. Remember to use spacers along this wall as well.

Install Moldings

Install thresholds and base moldings to complete your installation.

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