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Hardwood Buying Guide Installation Questions

Choosing a professional installer for your hardwood flooring or even deciding to do–it–yourself (DIY) should be a well thought–out decision as it will be a large part of your time, budget, and may ultimately affect your project results. In this section you will learn specific questions to ask both professionals and/or yourself before moving forward. Once you've made a decision, review our DIY Installation Guides for step–by–step instruction, or use our Find It Locally search directory to find a certified professional installer in your area.

Use a Professional Installer or "Do–It–Yourself"?

We want to help you get the information you need to either choose a qualified professional installer or be prepared for a "DIY" project. Download our printable list of questions as a checklist of topics to cover when getting estimates from an installer or getting ready to do–it–yourself!

Within our complete Installation Questions checklist, you will need to answer or consider questions such as...

  • Does the professional installer offer a warranty & what does it cover?
  • Has the installer done a project similar to yours before?
  • Do you have a level subfloor? If not, a leveling compound can be purchased to achieve a level surface.
  • Have you checked the moisture content of the subfloor and the new flooring prior to installation? Don't know what this is? Refer to our Hardwood DIY Installation Guide for help.

Be prepared! Let us help you with the next step; finding a local installer by using our search directory at the top of the page or review our Hardwood Installation Guide for detailed steps on "do–it–yourself".

Helpful Definitions

Different types of flooring installation:

  • Glue–down: Flooring glue (adhesive) is spread onto the subfloor at which time the hardwood flooring is applied.
  • Float: The floating method of installation means that the hardwood floor is not attached by glue or fasteners to the sub–floor below; it literally floats. Most hardwood floors that are "floated" are engineered floors with either a click–and–lock system or tongue–and–groove edges that are snug–fitting.
  • Staple or Nail–down: In this application hardwood flooring is nailed down onto the sub–floor with flooring nails (called cleats) or flooring staples using special nailing equipment.

Install Preparation Tips


Before beginning your hardwood flooring project, be sure to consider the various steps that should be taken. All furniture from your project area must be removed. You should have a designated place where you plan to store the shipment of your hardwood when it arrives. You will also need to close off the areas of your home where hardwood will not be installed to protect against possible dust and debris from the installation.


Prepare to spend time researching your options for purchasing, installing, and of course scheduling the full extent of your project. Once you have selected your hardwood, be sure to schedule the time that is required for hardwood to acclimate to your environment after it is delivered. Acclimation time is specified by the manufacturer, and is often determined by your environment. Depending on temperature and humidity ranges, flooring can acclimate in as little as a couple of days or may take several weeks.

Full Project Budgeting

Beyond the selection of your flooring, be sure to research and plan your budget for the installation process and any accessories or custom work you've chosen. Purchasing the materials for your hardwood flooring installation is just one part of the process. Make sure to take into account the cost of installation as it can be a significant part of your total budget.

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