Installation

For the do-it-yourselfers, it's important to understand the installation requirements of your desired flooring material before making a purchase. Knowing the right way to install will save you time, material, and headaches!

Click Lock

Description

Hardwood, laminate, and vinyl click lock products are created with a unique edge like a puzzle piece. Two sections of flooring "click" together and are "locked" firmly to one another. Click lock flooring floats; it's not attached to the subfloor. As a result, this is a simple, glue-free installation that is DIY-friendly.

When using click lock products, you must let the material "acclimate" inside at room temperature before you begin your installation. Otherwise, expansion, contraction, or warping may occur. The acclimation time varies by material, so consult the documentation that comes with your flooring.

Additional Tips: Be sure to provide space at the wall for expansion on all sides, and always begin the first row with the tongue (not the groove) facing away from the wall.

Requirements

Can be used on ground-level or above-ground subfloors, including those made of plywood, OSB board, concrete, tile, or radiant heating systems. The subfloor must be clean, level, and free of bumps or loose nail heads before installation. A thin underlayment can also be used to decrease noise.

Tongue & Groove

Description

Similar to click lock flooring, tongue & groove hardwood planks are created with unique edge profiles which slot together. However, unlike click lock, this method requires an extra step: a bead of adhesive must be applied to the bottom of the groove before planks are placed together.

When using tongue & groove products, your must let the material "acclimate" inside at room temperature before you begin your installation. Otherwise, expansion, contraction, or warping may occur. The acclimation time varies by material, so consult the documentation that comes with your flooring.

Additional Tips: Be sure to provide space at the wall for expansion on all sides, and pull planks from a variety of cartons to blend the color tones.

Requirements

Can be used on ground-level or above-ground subfloors, including those made of plywood, OSB (Oriented Strand Board), concrete, tile, or radiant heating systems. The subfloor must be clean, dry, level, and free of bumps or debris before installation. A thin underlayment can also be used to decrease noise.

Nail Down or Staple

Description

With nails or staples, planks are secured directly to the subfloor. As a result, this installation method requires the purchase or rental of the hardware and various tools (for example, a pneumatic nail gun and air compressor).

Exact instructions vary slightly by product type; engineered hardwood requires a nail or staple every 4–6” along the edges, while solid hardwood only needs to be fastened every 8–10”. Consult the documentation that comes with your flooring. And, be sure to orient your boards perpendicular to the floor joists.

Additional Tips: You must let your material "acclimate" inside at room temperature before you begin your installation. Otherwise, expansion, contraction, or warping may occur. Acclimation time vary by material, so consult the documentation that comes with your flooring.

Requirements

Can only be used on suspended wood subfloors, such as plywood or OSB (Oriented Strand Board). The subfloor must be clean, dry, level, and free of bumps or debris.

Glue

Description

Gluing down flooring is one of the most durable installation methods, because boards are completely and permanently adhered to the floor. Squeaks and noises are unlikely, and the glue offers enough flex to accommodate expansion.

First, adhesive is spread on a portion of the floor. To prevent it drying out, only use as much as can be covered within 2 hours (generally around 2.5 to 3 feet). Then, planks are pushed directly down into place on the adhesive; never slide them into place. Finally, plank tops are cleaned of any excess glue with mineral spirits.

Additional Tips: You must let your material "acclimate" inside at room temperature before you begin your installation. Otherwise, expansion, contraction, or warping may occur. Acclimation time vary by material, so consult the documentation that comes with your flooring.

When using this installation technique, orient your boards perpendicular to the floor joists. Provide space at the wall for expansion on all sides, and pull from a variety of cartons to blend the color tones.

Requirements

Can be used with ground-level subfloors including those made of plywood, OSB (Oriented Strand Board), concrete, tile, or radiant heating systems. The subfloor must be clean, dry, level, and free of bumps or debris.

Laying Tile

Description

Installing tiles utilizes thinset mortar, which is the "glue" that is applied under the tile and holds it to the floor or wall. Tiles are then laid on top, with plastic spacers between each tile for consistent distance between them. After the mortar cures (usually in 1 to 2 days) grout is worked into the spaces between the tiles to create a waterproof barrier. Lastly, excess grout is buffed off the tiles' surface.

If considering installing tile yourself, understand that precision is imperative with this installation method to ensure a quality result. To avoid crooked rows or uneven surfaces, tiles must be constantly checked during installation to ensure they are level horizontally as well as vertically.

Requirements

Proper surface preparation is critical. The surface–subfloors especially–need to be completely flat and level, then covered with the appropriate water-resistant underlayment. After installation, consider sealing tiles and grout for further waterproofing.

Your browser may not be able to experience all that our website has to offer.

To best enjoy our site, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Internet Explorer 11 and above.