When installing engineered hardwood floors, there are a few different options. Whether you choose to attach your engineered floorboards to the floor or want a floating floor, both methods of installing engineered hardwood have different benefits and will last a long time.
Whichever method of flooring you choose, it’s important to clean and prepare the existing surface. You will also need to remove any trim, as well as taking up old nails and tacks if you remove carpet before installation.
Glue Method for Installing Engineered Hardwood
Preparing the floors for gluing is the most important part of installing engineered hardwood. Your floor and subfloor must be in perfect order to make sure that your flooring will properly attach and that it will last a long time. Most beginners choose to put down the glue on the surface, attach the piece of flooring, wait until the glue becomes tacky, and move on to installing the next piece.
While the method of installing engineered hardwood using glue is a secure way to make sure your floors are installed correctly, you need to be careful. There are specific types of wood that shouldn’t be used with certain types of adhesive. Depending on the adhesive you purchase, it will react different with the subfloor and the flooring. Make sure you follow the directions of the adhesive explicitly to avoid any problems.
Installing a Floating Floor
Engineered hardwood now comes in pieces that have a tongue and groove on either side, which snap together to create a floating floor. This type of floor is used in many homes, and is especially ideal for places that experience high humidity or have a concrete subfloor, such as a basement.
With floating floors, a foam underlay is often laid first on the subfloor. This way, the floating hardwood floor has more support. The first pieces of floor are installed so that the next row can be snapped into place. It’s important to make sure all of the tongues and grooves are facing the same way, so the next layer can snap into place correctly. If the pieces aren’t snapping into place, they can usually be lightly tapped with a rubber mallet until they fit right. It’s important to use a rubber mallet and not a hammer, because a hammer will damage the wood.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Each Method of Installing Engineered Hardwood
People tend to like to use the glue method for installing engineered hardwood, because it feels more like natural hardwood. Walking on glued flooring feels more solid, because it is directly connected to the subfloor. The downside of glued flooring is that it takes more skill and knowledge than a floating floor. While floating floors have the advantages of being easier to install and withstanding humidity better, they have a more hollow feeling when walked on. It’s easier to tell that they aren’t natural hardwood.