Choosing the right method for wood floor installation can be an uphill battle for many people. If you are considering hardwood flooring for the first time, you should know the commonly used installation methods.
The three major ways to install hardwood flooring are glue-down, floating, and fastening, also known as nail-down. In this post, we’ll take a look at the installation techniques and pros and cons of each of these methods.
Glue-Down Hardwood Floor Installation
The glue-down method of hardwood floor installation involves the use of a heavy-duty glue to affix the hardwood to the subfloor or a moisture barrier attached to the subfloor. Glue-down is typically recommended when the hardwood products are engineered.
To make sure the wood floor installation is done properly, the subfloor must be fully dry and even. You’ll find a wide range of high-quality adhesives on the market; however, only a hardwood installation expert can help you pick the type of adhesive that is best suited for your specific hardwood flooring material.
Floating Hardwood Installation
The floating method does not involve gluing or fastening of the hardwood to the subfloor. Instead, the planks are affixed together and they float over the subfloor. Typically, a pad is located in the space between the subfloor and the hardwood which helps decrease noise and safeguards the floor from dampness.
The floating wood floor installation method should be used only when the hardwood products are engineered. While this method is feasible for virtually all types of subfloors, it will deliver impressive results when the installation is done over an existing flooring material. Another key benefit of this method of hardwood floor installation is that it can be carried out fairly quickly.
The Fastening Hardwood Installation Method
Fastening is the most used method for hardwood floor installation. This method involves the use of clips or nails to affix the hardwood to the subfloor. Whether you have compact or engineered hardwood flooring products, fastening will serve your purpose in the best way possible.
During the fastening process, you should be careful about the space between the fasteners. If the spaces that are too wide or too narrow, complications could occur down the road. For the best results, you should engage a flooring installation expert and rely on their years of experience completing this kind of home improvement work.
Which Method of Hardwood Installation is Best?
Each of three major hardwood installation methods explained here come with their own unique advantages and disadvantages. However, the best hardwood floor installation method will depend on the type of subfloor and whether or not you plan to install the floor above or below grade.
If the hardwood floor is solid, it should be fastened to a wooden subfloor above ground only. If the products are engineered, you can use any of these wood floor installation methods. For slab constructions, the glue-down method is recommended since the floor can be directly affixed to the solid slab.