Wood Floor Installation

Hardwood floors a truly a beautiful addition to any room but when it comes to wood floor installation you have two options 1) do the work yourself or 2) have a professional installer do the work. While some people are very handy and capable of installing floors, you want to keep in mind that this is not for the faint of heart. Even with innovative designs to make installation easier, wood floor installation still requires time, skill, and attention to detail. Therefore, you might want to plan to have the work done or at least do your homework on choosing the right type of floor and the correct process of installation. In fact, many home improvement stores now offer weekend classes for this very thing.


Now, if you decide to have a professional conduct the wood floor installation, you want to start with a clean room, void of furnishings, artwork, window treatments, etc. The reason is the typically, hardwood floor installers are not insured against damage to personal property. You would then choose the wood you want, which would be ordered and delivered. To ensure the wood acclimates to its new environment, it will need to rest or site at the property for a few days to a few weeks.

Finished or Unfinished

Keep in mind that when you order your hardwood floors, you will have many choices, one being finished or unfinished. If the floors were finished, then no sanding would need to be done at the home. However, if the floors were unfinished, the installed would need to sand them down and apply a finish. As you can imagine, this process is messy so you would need to provide protection around the door, vent, and any other open areas dust does not filter through the house.

Fastening the Wood

With hardwood floors, no two boards are ever the same. While they might be made from the same material and with the same finish, you would likely notice some variation. Of course, buying a higher grade of wood means fewer noticeable imperfections. When it comes time for the actual wood floor installation, the installer would use a number of methods to include staple down, nail down, glue down, and free float. While a little confusing, the professional should know exactly the method required for your particular type of wood.

The staple down option of wood floor installation is typically used for engineered strip or plank floors. Keep in mind that this method would use varying sizes of staples depending on the exact type of job. Since solid wood floors are thick, the nail down method of wood floor installation is commonly used. The primary reason for this is that wood naturally expands more than you would see with engineered wood. Next is the glue down method that is often used for the installation of engineered plank or strip wood. The one downfall to using this method is that for it to work, the sub-floor must be perfectly even. Then, you have what is known as free float. Considered one of the most stable and forgiving of wood floor installation processes, the free float installs the wood but without attaching to the sub-floor.