Hardwood floor installation is a project that can be done by seasoned professional contractors or by skilled “Do It Yourselfers” ambitious enough to attempt the job themselves. If you are considering installing your own floor, be sure you understand the different types of hardwood floor installation. The subfloor you will be installing the new floor on may dictate which hardwood floor installation method you can use.
Hardwood floor installation using the nail down method is typically used for solid wood flooring of ¾” thick strip or plank flooring to a wooden subfloor. The flooring cleats are driven down through the tongue of the flooring and fasten securely in the subfloor beneath.
A floating floor is engineered hardwood that is installed by attaching each board to the next without any adherence to the subfloor. The boards are attached using a bead of glue on the tongue or by a click-together system. Floating floors are easier to install for a DIY project and can generally be installed over existing flooring such as tile or vinyl. When nailing or gluing flooring down, each board expands and contracts independently. On a floating system, the entire floor moves as one unit which will help reduce any cracks between boards in areas of fluctuating temperature/humidity levels. Floating floors can also be sanded dependent on how thick the wear layer is.
Glue is primarily used to attach hardwood flooring to fully cured and dry concrete substrates or wood when nailing is just not an option. Glue is also used as a sound reduction barrier and can help soften the transfer of noise when hardwood is installed in applications such as apartment buildings and high rises. Hardwood that is installed using the nail down method can tend to have higher noise transfer between floors. Please refer to the flooring manufacturer for recommendations on installation.
In some cases when installing plank flooring 4” and wider, nailing and gluing the boards are recommended. Please refer to the flooring manufacturer or the National Oak Flooring Manufacturers Association (NOFMA.org) for recommendations on installation.
With all the variations in hardwood floor installation, knowing the different methods will better prepare you making the decision of hiring a professional contractor or doing the installation yourself.
If you are looking for someone to install your hardwood floor, contact a Bona Certified Craftsman to explore your options. A Bona Certified Craftsman is a professional contractor specially trained in the Bona Floor Care System and can provide you with a wealth of experience and expertise concerning hardwood floors.