Installation of Engineered Hardwood

What tools will I need to install my engineered hardwood?

  • Pneumatic Flooring Nailer / Stapler
  • Drill
  • Drill Bits
  • Hammer
  • Nail Set and Nails
  • Nails
  • Circular Saw, Miter Saw or Table Saw
  • Pry Bar
  • Spacers, Tapping Block, Pull Bar
  • Tape Measure
  • Utility Knife
  • Wood Glue
  • Safety Glasses
  • Work Gloves
  • Dust Mask
  • Knee Pads

What do I need to do before having engineered hardwood installed in my home?

  • Allow at least two days to complete this project.
  • You can’t walk on new flooring for 24 hours, so plan your work accordingly. You may have to leave a walking strip bare and complete the flooring the following day.
  • Check all boards for warping and defects.
  • Purchase a Trowel with teeth for applying glue if you’re using the glue-down method.
  • Wear safety glasses and latex gloves.
  • Mix Planks from different containers to avoid patches of color. Stains and finishes can vary from batch to batch and mixing pieces from different boxes creates a more unified look.

Can you install engineered hardwood over existing flooring?

Yes, but it’s better to follow manufacturer’s recommendations for installation over existing flooring.

Is Engineered Hardwood easy for Do-It-Yourself installation? What are the tips and tricks?

  • Glue-down over a concrete subfloor
  • Step 1: Lay spacers along the walls to create the expansion gap specified in the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Step 2: Pour a small amount of glue on the concrete – about the width of two or three boards – and use the trowel to scrape the glue and drips clean away from the bucket. 
  • Step 3: Hold the trowel at a 45-degree angle and spread the glue – make sure the teeth of the trowel touch the concrete.  Continue to spread glue in small sections; you only want to work on two or three rows at a time.
  • Step 4: Using the straightest boards, lay the first row along the guideline you created when prepping the subfloor with the tongue side of the board facing toward the room.
  • Step 5: Fit the second row’s groove on the first row’s tongue and tap the board into place using a rubber mallet and block. 
    • Staple-Down Installation over a Plywood Subfloor
  • Step 1: For the first row, pre-drill and nail with finishing nails about 1 inch from the wall at 3- to 4-inch intervals.  Use a nail punch and fill the holes with wood filler.
  • Step 2: For the second and third rows, drive staples every 3 to 4 inches at a 45-degree angle, just above the tongue using a pneumatic staple gun.  Staples must not interfere with the tongue-and-groove fit of additional boards. 
  • Step 3: Your last one or two rows will be face-nailed, as your pneumatic stapler will be difficult to operate in a small space.  Pre-drill the holes and use a nail punch to countersink the nails.  Fill the holes with matching wood filler to camouflage the marks. 
  • Step 4: Once your new floor is complete, install transition pieces and remove the spacers.  Then nail the baseboards and shoe mouldings to the wall. 

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