In most cases, the installation of wood flooring is well within the average do-it-yourselfer’s ability, and is a very satisfying job because it results in such a dramatic transformation. Job-site sanding and finishing, which is only required for unfinished wood flooring, is a job we think best left to the professionals. If the room is ready for installation, and all materials and tools are present, one can expect to lay about 200 square feet in a day. Professional installers, working as a team, can often accomplish three times that amount.
There are three common ways to install a wood floor:
- This is the traditional method of installation using nails or staples. It requires a wood subfloor or wood nailing surface. All solid floors and most engineered floors can be installed this way. The nails or staples are driven at an angle through the tongue, and are hidden by the next piece of flooring. This is called “blind nailing.”
- A glue-down wood floor is installed in trowel-spread mastic, much like flooring tile. This method is popular for installations directly onto a concrete subfloor, an can also be used on plywood. All engineered floors and some solid floors can be installed using the glue-down method.
- A floating floor is attached to itself, but not to the subfloor, thereby “floating” over a seamless cushioned vapor barrier. This method is suitable for any subfloor, and is especially recommended for radiant heat or below-grade installations. All floating installations use engineered flooring.