Engineered Wood Flooring Installation

Engineered Wood Flooring Installation

Although they look similar on the surface, engineered wood flooring is much different than solid wood flooring. Engineered wood flooring consists of three to ten layers of structural wood layers, including a prefinished veneer face layer.

Installation Options with Engineered Wood Flooring

It is important to test moisture vapor transmission and alkalinity of a concrete slab before installing flooring. A nice feature of tongue-and-groove engineered wood floors is that you can choose how you want to install the flooring.

Non-floating Installation of Engineered Wood Flooring

Engineered wood flooring designed for non-floating installation is either nailed down into a wooden subfloor or glued down. Some products are only meant for floating application, while others are suitable to either installation style. 

Non-floating flooring is generally installed with the following steps:

  1. Unpack and acclimate the flooring planks for three to four days in the room where it will be installed.
  2. Remove the baseboard trim around the perimeter of the room, using a pry bar.
  3. Remove the old flooring, if necessary.
  4. Clean, level and prepare the subfloor by nailing down loose areas, and checking for dips and other imperfections.
  5. Trim door case moldings at the bottom so the new flooring can slide under. 
  6. Install the recommended underlayment, if you are doing a nail-down installation. 
  7. Begin installation along a long wall, using spacer blocks to create a small gap between the wall and the first row of flooring. 
  8. Begin installing flooring pieces, nailing or gluing as appropriate. 
  9. With nailing applications, strips installed after the first row are often “blind-nailed” with a special power nailing tool that drives nails into the edge of the tongue-and-groove joints.
  10. Trim and fit flooring pieces as necessary around floor obstructions;
  11. Install baseboard trim, then do a final cleaning of the floor.

Floating Installation of Engineered Wood Flooring

Floating engineered wood flooring interlocks together and is generally installed with the following steps:

  1. Unpack and acclimate the flooring planks for three to four days in the room where it will be installed.
  2. Remove shoe molding from baseboard trim, using a pry bar.
  3. Remove the old flooring, if necessary.
  4. Clean, level and prepare the subfloor.
  5. Trim door case moldings at the bottom so the new flooring can slide under.
  6. Install foam underlayment as recommended by the manufacturer.
  7. Install wood spacer blocks along the wall where you will start. 
  8. Set the first plank of flooring in place along one of the long walls of the room. 
  9. End joints on this first row of planks will likely have interlocking joints. 
  10. On subsequent rows, holding the  wood floor planks at a bit of an angle, tap them into the starter strip row of planks with a special hammer called a dead blow hammer, which is a tool made to absorb the shock of a hammer strike.
  11. Trim and fit planks as necessary around floor obstructions. 
  12. Install baseboard shoe molding trim, then do a final cleaning of the floor.

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