Install Your Own Wood Floor: Part 1
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Taking on a home improvement project yourself can be an overwhelming task, but with the right guidance and information, you can do it. As designers and manufacturers of wood floors, we can help you make the right decisions to get the perfect floor for your home, whether you buy from us or from another manufacturer. Let’s get started.
The first steps in the process are perhaps less exciting but, very critical decisions. They help you to determine the type of wood floor you should choose from and the type of installation method you should use, based on the subfloor type your floor will be on.
Where To Install?
Starting with a question you probably have the answer to, where in your home do you want to install your floor? A bedroom? The living room? Do you know what kind of subfloor is in that space? The subfloor is what's beneath your floor covering, not the carpet, vinyl, or tile itself. Under your existing floor covering is likely either a conventional subfloor made of wood or a concrete subfloor. Typically, wood subfloors are in homes with crawlspaces and floors over other living spaces, like a 2 story home. Concrete subfloors are in ground floor levels or basements of homes, and multi-residential buildings. Your subfloor type determines which floor type you should use, and the kind of installation method to use.
With a conventional wooden subfloor, you have 3 installation options. Nailing the floor down, gluing it, or floating the floor.
- Floating means the floorboards either snap together at the side and ends or are glued together at the tongue & grooves, and not fixed to the subfloor in any way. This method is good for spaces where glue-down or nailing isn't an option. A floating installation allows the floorboards to expand and contract freely without causing damage, and when done right, in largely unnoticeable from other install methods.
- A glued down (or glue down) floor is, as it sounds, glued directly to the subfloor surface by troweling an adhesive onto the subfloor first and laying the floorboards onto it.
- Nailing, or stapling, is the more traditional method of the three. Both floor cleat nailers and staplers function the same, they’re just two variations of the same process. A flooring gun is used to drive fasteners through the tongues of the boards and into the wood subfloor.
If you have a concrete subfloor, you cannot nail your flooring to the concrete. Glue down and floating are the two options with concrete. Although, there is a method commonly used in slab floor homes where a plywood subfloor is attached . . .