How to Install Engineered Hardwood Flooring

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

1. Prep Space

If you previously had a vinyl floor and then a wood underlayment stapled to the subfloor, you’ll have to pull out the narrow crown staples, which can be time-consuming. If your subfloor is in better shape, then this step will be a breeze. Or if you’re working in a new home just sweep the floor and you should be ready to go. Minimum requirements are 3/4″ subfloor.

How to Lay Hardwood Flooring | construction2style

2. Sort Boards

Take your boards out from a few different boxes and sort them into sizes and mix and match. To ensure an even look, never grab the same boards out of the same box and install next to one another. It’s typical to have a 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.

3. Dry Layout

You also will want to determine how you want to run your boards. Typically, it’s best to have them run straight in from your walkway, or the longest run of the room.

4. Install A 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 and 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.

Installing a Vapor Barrier for Hardwood flooring | construction2style

5. Measure & Cut

Start the installation on the longest even wall and snap a chalk line about 3/8″ from the drywall to allow for expansion in the summer and contraction in the winter. This is a really important step because 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 floor boards 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.

6. Lay & Nail or Glue

Once you have the first row down, use your staple or nail gun and nail them down. When using a flooring staple gun, you place the staple gun firmly over the lip on the edge of the board and using 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 its a lot less stress on your back.

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 your ordered. You will cut your piece to size and fit it flush with your last row of floor boards. In some cases you may have to glue or nail the transition with a brad nailer rather than a flooring nailer because the space wont allow for such a big tool.

How to Install Engineered Hardwood | construction2style