The Ultimate Manual for Hardwood Flooring

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Home Improvement

How to Install a Floating Wood Floor

Observe the modification of flooring direction in this photo.


Prior to starting the installation of hardwood floors, it is important to read the instructions provided by the manufacturer. These instructions will guide you on how to prepare and lay the floor. Different types of wood flooring may require different treatments, so make sure to read the instructions thoroughly.

Since a floating hardwood floor is not attached to the subfloor, it can be installed over almost any kind of subfloor. Proper preparation of the subfloor is essential. Firstly, ensure that the subfloor is clean. Next, check if the subfloor is level or even. You can check this by placing a plank of wood on its edge. Is there any gap between the wood and the subfloor? If the gap is more than 3/4 of an inch, then you will need to spread some self-leveling joint compound on the floor. Once it dries, your subfloor should be level. Decide the direction you want to lay the flooring. Consider the light and entrances and exits of the room. Floating floors can be laid in any direction. Choose the direction that suits your preferences. Once the preparation is complete, let’s take a look at the tools you will need to complete the job.


Generally, the tools required for this job include:

  • glue
  • spacers
  • pull tool
  • tapping block
  • chalk line
  • hammer
  • ruler
  • straps
  • saw

You can purchase these tools at any home improvement store. Don’t forget to check the manufacturer’s instructions to see if any additional tools are necessary.


The first three rows of the floor are critical. They should be straight, and all the joints should be snug. Use clamps and straps to keep all the connections tight. Your goal is to prevent the installed planks from opening up as you tap the next planks into place.

The most common way of attaching planks of wood in a floating installation is to use an adhesive between the joints of the wood planks. To apply the glue, run a bead of glue along the joint or edge of the wood. Snap that piece into the first piece you set down.

Plan where you want the planks of wood before you begin gluing. Remember that the glue dries in seven to ten minutes, so you want to be clear on placement. Try not to use too much glue. Wipe away any excess glue with a rag. You’ll also have to make wood cuts during installation. It’s a good idea to measure twice. You don’t want to end up with a lot of waste instead of enough floor boards.

To install plank flooring, use a hammer and tapping block to knock the pieces together gently, ensuring that the tongue or edge of the plank is not damaged. If there are gaps between the planks, check for trapped objects, too much glue, or dirt in the grooves. Plan your work carefully since it’s difficult to adjust the joints once the floor has set. Leave space around the edges of the room for the wood to expand and contract, and use a pulling iron and hammer to draw the planks together when you run out of space for the tapping block. Protect the floor’s finish by using a towel or soft cloth to set your tools and kneel. Finally, add transitions, trim and base molding to cover all the expansion spaces, and let the floor set according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Some tips of the trade include using long flooring strips at entrances, working left to right, framing floor obstructions with mitered joints, and ensuring that the subfloor is of good quality.


1. What is hardwood flooring?

Hardwood flooring is a type of flooring made from solid wood, typically from hardwood trees like oak, maple, and cherry. It is highly durable and long-lasting, making it a popular choice for homes and businesses.

2. What are the benefits of hardwood flooring?

Hardwood flooring is durable, long-lasting, and easy to maintain. It also adds value to your home and has a timeless look that never goes out of style. Plus, it can be refinished multiple times, making it a sustainable choice.

3. What are the different types of hardwood flooring?

There are two types of hardwood flooring: solid hardwood and engineered hardwood. Solid hardwood is made from a single piece of wood and can be sanded and refinished multiple times. Engineered hardwood is made from layers of wood stacked on top of each other and can also be refinished, but not as many times as solid hardwood.

4. How do I choose the right hardwood flooring for my home?

You should consider factors like the type of wood, the color and finish, and the width and length of the planks. You should also consider the level of foot traffic in your home and the climate in your area.

5. How do I install hardwood flooring?

Hardwood flooring can be installed using several methods, including nail-down, glue-down, and floating. It is recommended that you hire a professional installer to ensure that the job is done correctly and safely.

6. How do I maintain hardwood flooring?

To maintain your hardwood flooring, you should sweep or vacuum regularly to remove dirt and debris. You should also use a hardwood floor cleaner to clean the surface and avoid using water or harsh chemicals that can damage the wood.

7. How long does hardwood flooring last?

Hardwood flooring can last for many years, with some types lasting up to 100 years or more. The lifespan of the flooring will depend on factors like the type of wood, the level of foot traffic, and the maintenance and care it receives.

8. Can hardwood flooring be repaired?

Yes, hardwood flooring can be repaired if it becomes damaged or worn. Minor scratches and dents can be sanded out, and larger repairs may require replacing individual planks or sections of flooring.

9. Can hardwood flooring be refinished?

Yes, hardwood flooring can be refinished multiple times, depending on the thickness of the planks. Refinishing involves sanding the surface to remove the old finish and applying a new coat of stain and sealant.

10. Is hardwood flooring a good choice for homes with pets?

Yes, hardwood flooring can be a good choice for homes with pets. However, you should choose a harder wood species like oak or maple that can withstand scratches and wear from pet claws.

11. How does hardwood flooring compare to other types of flooring?

Hardwood flooring is more expensive than other types of flooring like carpet or laminate, but it is also more durable and long-lasting. It also adds value to your home and has a timeless look that never goes out of style.

12. Can hardwood flooring be installed in basements?

Hardwood flooring is not recommended for basements because of the potential for moisture and humidity. If you want the look of hardwood in your basement, consider using engineered hardwood or a laminate that looks like wood.

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