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You are here : FloorFacts Home > Hardwood floors > Installing Hardwood Flooring
Hardwood Floors
Flooring trends in 2012: Tile and scraped wood
Hardwood Flooring Review
Engineered Wood Floors
Handscraped Hardwood Flooring vs Distressed Hardwood Flooring
Hardwood Flooring Brand Comparison
Hardwood Flooring Review
Hardwood Hardness Chart
How To Clean Hardwood Floors
Longstrip Hardwood Floors
Hardwood Flooring Plank Edge Styles
Solid Hardwood Flooring
Types of Hardwood Flooring
How To Clean Hardwood Floors
Understanding Wood Floor Finishes
Installing Hardwood Flooring
See also...
Hardwood Flooring Manufacturers
How to staple-down hardwood flooring
Glueless Floating Hardwood Floors
Hardwood Flooring Trends
Hardwood Flooring Prices
Mannington Hardwood Flooring Review
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Installing Hardwood Flooring

Nail-down Hardwood Flooring Installation

Typically used when installing 3/4" solid wood floors, however there are adapters available for thinner floors as well. 2" nailing cleats are used with a wood flooring nailer and mallet to attach the flooring to the subfloor. Solid Strip floors or Plank floors can only be installed on wooden sub-floors on grade or above grade. The National Oak Flooring Manufacturers Association has complete installation instructions available on their web site.

Staple-down Hardwood Floor Installation

Staples are used instead of nailing cleats to secure the hardwood flooring to the wood subfloor. A pneumatic staple gun is used to drive the staples into the tongue of the wood planks and into the wood subfloor underneath. The staple-down installation procedure is easier to do than the nail down for do-it-yourself installations. Be aware, not all hardwood flooring manufacturers recommend the same size staple or the staple gun. Read the manufacturers installation manual to be sure you are using the right staple gun and right size staples. For a step-by-step example of installing an engineered wood floor using the staple down installation method click here.

Glue-down Wood Floor Installation

This is where you glue the wood planks directly onto the subfloor. The recommended mastic or adhesive is spread onto the subfloor using the proper-sized notched trowel and than the planks are set into the adhesive. Glue-down installation of engineered wood floors can be done over wood sub-floors and dry, fully-cured concrete slabs.

Be sure to use the manufacturer's recommended adhesive with the recommended notched trowel when gluing down a wood floor. By not using the manufacturer's recommended adhesive and trowel size you could void any warranties you may have.

Glueless Hardwood Flooring Installation

Recently hardwood flooring manufacturers (such as Kahrs, Award, Armstrong, Bruce, Mannington, Shaw and Mohawk) have introduced engineered wood floors with a special glueless locking system, similar to the clic laminate floors. These floors can be installed over a variety of sub-floors such as wood, concrete slabs and even some types of existing floors.

Floating Wood Flooring Installation

Floating a wood floor means the wood planks are not mechanically fastened or glued to to any part of the subfloor, instead the planks float freely over the top of the subfloor. There is a thin pad that is placed between the wood flooring and the subfloor. A recommended wood glue is applied in the tongue and groove of each plank to hold the planks together. The padding protects against moisture, reduces noise transmission, softer under foot, and provides for some additional "R" value. Some engineered floors and all Longstrip floors can be floated. This is a very fast, easy and clean method of installation. Please consult the manufacturer installation instructions to see if your flooring can be floated.

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