Installation Guides & Tips

Engineered Wood Flooring Installation – How To Guide

Completed Engineered Wood Floor Installation

Renovating your home with the beauty and durability that is engineered wood flooring is a great choice. This comprehensive guide provides all the necessary information on how to install your new engineered wood flooring, starting from gathering the essential tools to prepping your subfloor and familiarising yourself with different installation techniques such as floating, glueing and secret nailing. Discover how to properly acclimate your flooring, map out your layout and carry out a professional level installation for results you can be proud of. Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or a seasoned professional, this guide guarantees a seamless installation experience.

Tools For installation


Before beginning your installation, gather the necessary tools to ensure a smooth process:

  • Measuring tape, spirit level, and pencil for accurate alignment.
  • Sawhorse or workbench, along with a handsaw or electric saw for cutting.
  • Spacers, a rubber mallet, and a tapping block for plank adjustment.
  • Appropriate underlay, with underlay tape if required, to cushion beneath your flooring.
  • Drill, moisture meter suited to your subfloor type, and chisel for detailed fittings.
  • Beading or skirting boards for edge finishing, and adhesives or nails for securing planks.
  • Safety gear: knee pads, goggles, dust masks, and ear protection.
Engineered Wood Flooring Installation Icon

Installation Options


Engineered Flooring offers three main installation methods:

Note: This guide focuses on straight plank engineered wood flooring. For parquet, refer to the specific guide.

Floating Method

Perfect for click-lock flooring where planks interlock without being directly attached to the subfloor. This method can also be applied to tongue and groove floors by gluing the connecting joints. Remember, an underlay is essential for the floating installation approach.

Nailing Method

This method requires secret nailing the planks through the tongue section directly into a wooden subfloor. It's necessary to have a layer of wood over any concrete subfloor to use this technique. Note that this nailing method is not suitable for floors with click-lock mechanisms.

Gluing Method

This method involves applying an adhesive to the subfloor and laying the planks on top. It’s suitable for tongue & groove flooring, but we don’t recommend using it for click-fit boards unless installed over underfloor heating.

Important Information:

Tongue & Groove
Engineered wood boards feature a tongue on one side and a groove on the other. When assembled, they interlock securely, resembling a jigsaw puzzle.

Click-Fit
These boards effortlessly lock together which help to simplify installation. The floating method is typically recommended for this type of joining.

Perparing To Fit Your Floor


 

1

Check The Planks

After your flooring has been delivered, inspect your packs to ensure you’re completely happy with everything. It’s normal to expect variety between  planks and batches due to natural variations in the wood. Variations help create colour contrasts and deliver a more natural look.

2

Allow Acclimatisation

Allow the engineered wood floor to acclimatise in the installation room for 48 hours. You should keep the packs horizontal with equal weight distribution. Make sure your room temperature is between 18°C - 27°C and ensure there is no exposure to extreme elements. For underfloor heating, you should gradually increase the temperature as per your heating supplier’s guidance – this helps get the wood more familiar with the heat.

3

Prepare The Subfloor

Before laying the new floor, remove any existing flooring and ensure you have a clean, dry, and level subfloor. We recommend either a concrete or wooden subfloor. To make sure your subfloor is dry use a moisture meter, especially where concrete is used. Next, you’ll need to install a damp-proof membrane to prevent any moisture reaching the engineered boards. Secure screws or nails below the surface to avoid piercing the underlay. Make sure to clear the floor of any old adhesive and debris left over from the previous floor. If you’re using underlay, this will be the final step of this stage. Lay the underlay out in the same direction as the floor and secure it in rows using tape.

4

Plan The Layout

Before you start installing the floor, look through the boards and pick out any natural grains, knots and colour variation. You can then use these boards as focal points, mixing the planks to achieve the desired look. If you come across some planks you’re not happy with, keep them for cutting or use them in hidden spots on your floor. When laying out your planks, think about which direction you want them to go. It’s usually best to run them along the longest wall. In square rooms, you can also consider how the light flows or start from the entrance. Most of our packs come with a shorter starter plank to help you begin the pattern and create a staggered effect.

5

Final Considerations

Make sure installing your floor is the last thing you do. Work from top to bottom to minimise damage. Avoid screwing heavy furniture directly into the floor. Gluing the floor down with adhesive may be necessary for extra stability with extremely heavy furniture. If you have a kitchen island, this can be installed on top of the floor as long as the subfloor is level. Don’t screw the island feet directly into the floor, as this may affect the wood’s natural contractions.

Installing Your Floor


Floating Method

1

Measure Final Row Width

Calculate the width of the final row to ensure proper plank alignment. To determine the width of the final row, divide the total width of the room by the width of a single board. This will enable you to trim the first row of boards, ensuring the final row is at least 60mm wide.

2

Lay First Plank

Lay the first plank in the corner of the longest wall with the tongue side facing the wall. Ensure this row is perfectly straight as it will guide the direction of the entire floor.

3

Insert Spacers

Insert spacers between the first row and the walls to create an expansion gap of 10-12mm. These gaps help to accommodate seasonal wood expansion and contraction.

4

Securing Planks

If your planks feature a click-joining method, proceed to click them into place. For tongue & groove joining, apply glue to the groove before joining it to the tongue. Secure the tongue & groove with a rubber mallet and tapping block.

5

Continue Installation

Stagger the joints from row to row to achieve a natural wood appearance.

6

Maintain Consistent Gaps

Maintain consistent spacing by placing spacers along the sidewalls.

7

Finalise Installation

The final row may pose challenges, but a pull bar and rubber mallet can assist in achieving a snug fit.

Floating Wood Floor Installation

Installing Your Floor


Gluing Method

1

Measure Final Row Width

Calculate the width of the final row to ensure proper plank alignment. To determine the width of the final row, divide the total width of the room by the width of a single board. This will enable you to trim the first row of boards, ensuring the final row is at least 60mm wide.

2

Apply Adhesive

Apply adhesive one metre from the longest wall before laying the first row.

3

Lay First Plank

Start laying planks in the corner of the longest wall with the tongue side facing the wall, ensuring each are straight. This is a crucial step, as it will establish the direction of the entire floor.

4

Insert Spacers

Place spacers between the first row and the wall to establish an expansion gap.

5

Stagger Joints

Continue to apply adhesive approximately one metre ahead of the previous row, staggering joints for a natural appearance.

6

Maintain Consistent Gaps

Throughout the installation place spacers along sidewalls to ensure uniform gaps.

7

Finalise Installation

Utilise a pull bar and rubber mallet to snugly fit the last row into place. Allow 24 hours for the adhesive to set before moving furniture or walking on the floor.

Glued Wood Floor Installation

Installing Your Floor


Nailing Method

1

Measure Final Row Width

Calculate the width of the final row to ensure proper plank alignment. To determine the width of the final row, divide the total width of the room by the width of a single board. This will enable you to trim the first row of boards, ensuring the final row is at least 60mm wide.

2

Lay First Plank

Start laying planks in the corner of the longest wall with the groove side facing the wall, ensuring each are straight. It’s crucial to ensure that this row is perfectly straight, as it will establish the direction of the entire floor.

3

Insert Spacers

Place spacers between the first row and the wall to establish an expansion gap (10-12mm).

4

Secure First Row

Using a nail gun, surface nail te first row of boards to the wooden subfloor to ensure they’re secure.

5

Continue Installation

Continue to lay the floor and secure it by secret nailing with a powered flooring nailer or Tongue-Tite screws and a screwdriver bit. Stagger joints for a natural appearance.

6

Maintain Consistent Gaps

Ensure consistent spacer placement along sidewalls to maintain uniform gaps.

7

Finalise Installation

Use a pull bar and rubber mallet to snugly fit the last row into place. Use the same surface nailing technique as used for the first row.

Nailed Wood Floor Installation

Finishing Touches


 

Fitting Around Pipes

To accommodate pipes, mark their positions on the board and drill a hole accordingly. Then, make angled cuts to form a wedge from the edge of the board to the hole. After fitting the board around the pipe, reattach the wedge with glue behind the pipe to create a seamless look.

Fitting Around Door Frames

Start by removing the door from the frame. Align an offcut of flooring with a threshold bar to ensure it fits underneath the architrave. If necessary, trim the bottom of the architrave to the correct height using a handsaw and chisel. Also, consider trimming the bottom of the door before refitting it.

Covering Expansion Gaps

Use matching beading and thresholds to cover expansion gaps and seamlessly blend the new floors with existing walls. Avoid attaching trims directly to the flooring, as it may affect the expansion gaps.

Spare Planks For Repairs

Keep spare planks or cuttings for potential repairs in the future.

Addressing Large Expansion Gaps

If the expansion gap is too large and the skirting or moulding doesn’t cover it, cut strips from spare floorboards using a handsaw. Glue these strips into place to cover the gap.

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About Floor Warehouse

Welcome to Floor Warehouse, where spaces are transformed. Experts in a wide range of premium flooring options, we have an exquisite selection of solid and engineered wood flooring, vinyl floors in both LVT and SPC along with laminate to suit every style and need. Floor Warehouse’s commitment to sustainability and durability ensures that each product not only uplifts your interiors but stands the test of time. From the initial browse to the final click, our easy-to-navigate online store makes finding your perfect floor a delightful experience. Join us in redefining spaces with flooring that speaks of quality and design.

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