Engineered wood floors look smart and elegant and are a great alternative to traditional hardwood floors as they are durable and resistant to moisture. Besides, engineered wood flooring is easy to install, making it a good option for a DIY project. If you are not sure how to install an engineered wood floor, in this guide, you'll find easy-to-follow instructions.
How to Install Engineered Wood Floors
Engineered wood flooring is generally installed in one of three ways – it's either glued down, floated over the existing flooring, or secured with hidden nails. Typically, the glue-down application is a job for a contractor, and the other two installation methods are more DIY-friendly.
Engineered wood flooring designed for nail-down installation has tongue-and-groove edges similar to traditional hardwood flooring. With a floating floor installation method, the planks are joined together with special interlocking joints, creating a single, continuous layer that "floats" over the subfloor.
In this article, we'll take you through the general process, but you'll also need to refer to the manufacturer's guide before starting your installation because some technical details may vary based on the specific floor chosen.
Acclimate the Planks
Leave your engineered wood flooring in the space where it's going to be installed for at least 48 hours, ideally a week, so that it can acclimatize to temperature and moisture levels in that environment. Don't store engineered wood flooring in basements or garages.
Clean and Prepare Floor
Remove the shoe molding or wood quarter round from around the room, using a pry bar. Also, you may remove the baseboards if desired. Remove the old flooring, if necessary. Vacuum, sweep and wash the floor to remove any dust and debris.
Lay Down Underlayment
Install the recommended underlayment. It can be builder's paper, rosin paper, or felt for nail-down installation, and floating floors typically require foam underlayment.
Lay Engineered Wood Boards
Start in the corner of your longest wall, working left to the right. Manufacturers recommend that you install the planks with the tongue side against the wall and the groove side facing into the room. Use expansion spacers along the wall to easily keep the 10mm expansion gap.
Lay out the second and subsequent rows, so the joints between planks are offset, or "staggered," from one row to the next for a natural appearance. If your room is more than 10m wide, you need to separate the floor up into sections, leaving an expansion gap between the areas. A wood T-molding can be used to hide the gap.
Reinstall the Base Trim
Reinstall (or replace) the baseboard, wood quarter round (you may want to check our guide), or shoe moldings to hide the seams where the floor meets the wall. Give your new floor a thorough cleaning with a vacuum.
If you are looking to install an engineered wood floor in your home, at our store, you can find a stunning selection of prefinished wood flooring and choose from different wood species, including oak, acacia, hickory, and more. We also offer a wide range of wood trim moldings to add a finishing touch to your new floor.
If you are looking for more DIY tips, check out our article on how to install laminate flooring