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Installing Engineered Floating Hardwood Floors

How to Install

Download Hardwood Flooring Installation Instructions | PDF's
PDF icon for PDF fileQuick Guide on How–to–Install Hardwood Floor – 300kb pdf | Our short installation guide for those with DIY experience.
PDF icon for PDF fileFull Guide – Complete Installation Instructions on Installing your Hardwood Floor – 1.5 mb pdf | Our full set of DIY installation instructions.

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Use this method for engineered tongue and groove (T&G) hardwood above a wood or concrete subfloor. Keep these things in mind before you begin:

  • Only use this installation method if approved by your flooring manufacturer.
  • An engineered floating floor is NOT secured to the subfloor. Only the tongues and grooves are secured together.
  • Always choose a urethane–based adhesive designed to be applied to the tongue or groove of the flooring. Do not use any adhesive that lists water as an ingredient or adhesives designed to be troweled onto the subfloor.
  • This method is not recommended for 3/8" engineered hardwood floors unless specifically approved by your manufacturer.

Install First Row

Take extra time when installing the first row of hardwood. It is critical that this row be straight even if the walls are not.

  1. Measure out your expansion spacing in at least two spots along the longest wall. Snap a chalk line between these places.
  2. Dry fit the first row by laying out the hardwood flooring with the groove toward the wall. Do not glue yet. Add spacers between the wall and the flooring. Make sure this first row is completely straight. Scribe fit (if necessary) so that the flooring matches the shape of the wall.
  3. Once satisfied with the fit, remove and stack boards in the order they will be installed. Take care not to scratch the finish while stacking.
  4. Apply adhesive along the entire top of the tongue of the first board to be installed. Apply glue on the bottom of the groove of the second plank to be installed. Fit tightly together on the floor. Wipe away any excess glue. Place a spacer between each board and the wall.
  5. Work your way down the wall installing the floating hardwood planks.
  6. At the end of the wall, measure and cut a board to fit. Use a pinch bar (if necessary) to fit the last plank in place. Place a spacer at the end of the first row.
  7. Evaluate the first row to ensure it is straight and level. Adjust where needed.

Install Main Part of Floor

  1. Use a short plank (it should be at least 8"–10" in length) to start the second row.
  2. Apply adhesive to the entire top of the tongue of the installed board and the entire bottom of the groove of the plank to be installed. Fit tightly together and wipe away any excess adhesive.
  3. Work your way across the floor until you reach the last row. Install spacers where needed.

Install Last Row

  1. Measure out your expansion spacing in at least two points along the wall. Snap a chalk line between these spots.
  2. Dry fit the last row by laying out the hardwood with the tongue or cut part of the board toward the wall. Scribe fit (if necessary) so that the flooring matches any curves in the wall. Make sure this last row is completely straight.
  3. Once satisfied with the fit, remove and stack boards in the order they will be installed. Take care not to scratch the planks while stacking.
  4. Apply adhesive as before to install the entire last row. Fit all planks tightly together and place spacers along walls.
  5. At the end of the wall, measure and cut a plank to fit. Use a pinch bar (if necessary) to fit the last board in place. Place a spacer at the end of the first row.
  6. Evaluate the last row to ensure it is straight and level. Adjust where needed.

Let It Set

Allow the adhesive to set for between 8–24 hours. Do not walk upon or place anything on the newly installed floor during this time. Leave the spacers in place until the floor is completely dry.

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