How to Lay Hardwood Floors | 7 Step Guide

How to Lay Hardwood Floors | construction2style

8 Step Guide How to Lay Hardwood Floors

The light oak wood floors we put in during our kitchen remodel have been our saving grace!

Kids and blonde hair don’t mix well with anything but light.

We chose the design Lambrusco from Urban Floor to put into our kitchen remodel. And we’re now sitting down to write this post having lived in it and on our newly refinished floors for almost four months now and let me tell you; I can’t imagine anything else.

We still sweep regularly, because we get sick of walking on crumbs, but I can’t even imagine living with anything else.

How to Lay Hardwood Floors | 7 Step Guide 1

Besides the quality of floors, the collaboration behind our kitchen project and working with this brand, Urban Floor, was such a great experience. Any feedback we gave, they took it. Any shortage we had, they had it to our home within a few days.

No questions asked.

We’ve worked with a number of flooring companies prior (in which we’ve paid a lot for), and the customer service with Urban has without question been the best. Sometimes that’s all anyone wants.

How to Lay Hardwood Floors | 7 Step Guide 2

Choosing the finish for our flooring was easy, we wanted light. We had been chatting with Urban Floor on Instagram, and once they heard about our kitchen remodel, they were on board for the collaboration.

We had dark floors in our last home and never again. No matter how much we clean up after the kids, with dark floors, it always looked like a hot mess.

Any scratch or crumb was visible.

I’ll never forget, we put bamboo into our last home and once we finished, we had our family over for Easter. Half of them left their shoes on, which whatever we don’t care about stuff like that.

But, when they all left, white scratch marks completely covered the floor. And that dark bamboo flooring was not cheap. We both just took a deep breath and said never again will we put dark and especially bamboo into a home.

Especially our crazy chaotic homes…

How to Lay Hardwood Floors | 7 Step Guide 3

With these floors, I’ve yet to notice one scratch, and I’m wearing my shoes all the time in the house, and the boys drag their bikes across the floor ALL.THE.TIME.

Greyson rides his bike throughout the place 24/7 and Beckam is hammering toys or pulling all the dishes out of the cabinets nonstop. And again, not one scratch. I kiss these damn floors every day!

How to Lay Hardwood Floors | 7 Step Guide 4

How to Lay Hardwood Floors | 7 Step Guide 5


Besides the excellent quality, Jamie and Topher installed all the flooring, and they said it was a really easy process.

So today we’re wanted to share with you how to install engineered hardwood floors. P.s. I’m having the guys take the blog post over from here.

how to install hardwood floor | construction2style

Gather Tools & Materials

  • Pencil
  • Pry Bar
  • Wood Glue
  • Miter Saw
  • Tape Measure
  • Table Saw
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Air compressor and hose
  • Nail Gun or Staple Gun
  • Knife
  • Wood Putty
  • Vapor Barrier
  • Engineered Hardwood Flooring, Lambrusco Urban Floor

In order to lay hardwood floors, first, you must gather all of your tools and materials. Make sure to buy 10-15% more material than you need.

Mistakes and broken boards happen, and the last thing you want to do is run into being shortboards and then waiting for material to delay your project. To get the accurate measurement measure the length and width of the room and multiply and that will give you your square footage. (LxW=SQ FT)

Step 1. Prep Space

Our kitchen had a vinyl floor and then a wood underlayment stapled to the subfloor. This was the worst part for us because of the million narrow crown staples all over our subfloor that we pulled out to get it back to as close to new as possible.

Your subfloor could be in better shape than ours making this part a breeze for you. Or if you’re working in a new home just sweep the floor and you should be ready to go.

Note: Minimum requirements are 3/4″ subfloor.

How to lay hardwood flooring | construction2style

Step 2. Sort Boards

Take your boards out from a few different boxes and sort them into sizes and mix and match. I never like to grab the same boards out of the same box and install them next to one another.

Typically we like to have at least 12″ of difference from one seam to another. So if you start a new row and the first board is 8″, the next row over the first board should be at least 20″ so you get that 12″ difference.

This helps avoid getting a uniform look and more of a random pattern.

Step 3. Dry Layout

You also will want to determine how you want to run your boards. We typically say to have them run straight in from your walkway, or the longest run of the room.

We chose to run them straight from the step up from our living room into our kitchen.

Step 4. Install Vapor Barrier

Next, you’ll roll the vapor barrier out and get it stapled onto the floor. Make sure you cover all of the flooring.

Vapor Barriers help keep moisture under control, which is essential when you lay hardwood floors. An added bonus with using vapor barriers is that you get a clean and somewhat flat surface to lay your flooring on compared to laying it on the bare sub-flooring.

How to lay hardwood flooring | construction2style

Step 5. Measure & Cut

When you lay hardwood floors, start the installation on the longest even wall. Snap a chalk line about 3/8″ from the drywall, which allows for expansion in the summer and contraction in the winter.

This is a really important step. Otherwise, if you tighten it all up, it will buckle, and it will ruin all of your floors.

Begin by selecting a long board on that first row, aligning the edge of the board with the chalk line. Place the entire first row, remembering to keep the floorboards random sizes.

For example, you don’t want to put two long boards right next to each other. The flooring you purchase will come in a few different length sizes.

Make sure to space them out before you get to work.

Step 6. Lay & Nail

Once you have the first row down, using your staple or nail gun, nail them down. We use a flooring staple gun, in which you place the staple gun firmly over the lip on the edge of the board and use a mallet strike into place. 

You don’t have to use a flooring nailer and is not something you need to go buy if you are only doing the job once. The bonus with using a flooring nailer is that it hides the staples and it’s a lot less stress on your back.

How to lay hardwood flooring | construction2style

Step 7. Install Transitions

Tying the wood floor into other floors such as tile or carpet or into steps is made very easy for you. Typically the transition pieces will come with the wood floor that you’re ordered.

You will cut your piece to size and fit it flush with your last row of floorboards. In some cases, you may have to glue or nail the transition with a brad nailer rather than a flooring nailer because the space won’t allow for such a big tool.

If you guys or ladies have any questions, leave a comment and we’ll be sure to help you out!

How to Lay Hardwood Floors | 7 Step Guide 6

Hope you enjoyed our 7 Step Guide How to Lay Hardwood Floors! Also thank you Urban Floor for having such amazing products.

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Extreme Epoxy Coatings

Thanks for sharing such a great information, it is really helpful. Keep up the work.

4 years ago

Do your research before you decide to purchase your bamboo or hardwood flooring. Look for established brands to make sure your flooring is genuine, meets quality standards and follows all of the environmental guidelines. Most of the bamboo floors are produced in countries that don’t have many regulations for manufacturers to follow.


[…] Once we were ready to roll we rolled up the paper and rolled down this underlayment, which is the first step to laying any engineered hardwood flooring.  […]


[…] We also have a full tutorial on how to lay engineered hardwood flooring here. […]


[…] You can also rewind and check out the full blog post on how we laid our hardwood flooring here.  […]


[…] And how perfect does it match our flooring?!  […]

Landon "Lumber Master" Edgington

It’s paid off, for all the struggles you had in the past! Thanks for sharing these great tips. I have ideas now for what wood should I get for my floor.


[…] kitchen will be gutted and brought back to life with fresh hardwood floors, new cabinets, backsplash, a giant sink, new appliances, and a range hood. Granite countertops […]


[…] We made a tutorial behind how we laid these hardwood floors with Urban Floor here: How to Lay Hardwood Flooring […]