Make Installing Flooring a BreezeMake Installing Flooring a Breeze

Installing hardwood flooring can seem overwhelming, and you may think that you can’t do it yourself. However, you don’t need to hire someone to install your flooring for you. There are so many different home flooring installation methods that there’s bound to be one that works best for you.

Choose Your Installation Method

The first thing you’ll need to do is choose your installation method. There are three different popular methods for installing flooring:




There’s also tongue and groove installation, which is similar to click-lock flooring. However, click-lock flooring is a lot more prominent these days.

General Tips

When starting your project, you should keep these general tips in mind:

Begin installing from the straightest and longest wall in your home.

Make sure you have enough flooring for your space.

Install on or above grade.

Safety is key, use work gloves and knee pads to make installation safer and more comfortable.

If you’re not comfortable installing your flooring, it’s better to hire a professional.

Keep your room’s temperature at 75 degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity level of 30 to 5 percent. Let the hardwood acclimate to the room for five days before you install it.

Make sure you have a sturdy subfloor.

Prep Your Space

You’ll need to prep your space for installation, meaning removing the baseboards in the room where the installation will take place and make sure that the subfloor is level and smooth. If there are any raised spots in the subfloor, sand it down if needed.

Lay your boards out in the order that you’re going to install them. This is called racking your boards. If you don’t rack your boards you may end up with noticeable light and dark spots. To avoid this, mix and match planks from different flooring packages. This will ensure that lighter and darker wood planks are spread out around the room.

Glue-Down Method

If you’re going to use the glue-down method for your flooring, follow these steps:

  1. Spread flooring adhesive with a towel. Only spread enough to work on a few rows at a time. If you spread too much glue, it will dry before you can get to it.
  2. Lay the first row at the starting line.
  3. Cut the last board of the row to fit using a table saw.
  4. Add the second row by fitting the groove onto the first row’s tongue and gently tapping it into place with a rubber mallet.
  5. Use spacers if you want to have a neat expansion gap between each row.
  6. Always cut the boards to width with a table saw when needed.
  7. Install the baseboard and shoe molding to cover the expansion gaps after removing spacers.
Nail-Down Method

If you’re going to use the nail-down method, follow these steps:

  1. Place the first board against the wall with the tongue facing into the room. Use a 3/4s spacer against the wall.
  2. Drill pilot holes into the face of the first board.
  3. Drive flooring nails through the pilot holes.
  4. Drill additional holes through the tongue of the board at a 45-degree angle.
  5. Countersink all nails.
  6. Work your way across the room, nailing down planks by the tongue.
  7. Install the baseboard and shoe molding to cover the expansion gap when complete.
Click-Lock Method

The click-lock method is probably the easiest method for installing flooring. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Put the first board up against the mason’s line with the groove side facing away from your wall.
  2. Use the nail-down method to install the first row.
  3. To install the second and additional rows, insert the tongue into the groove until it clicks into place.
  4. Tap with a rubber mallet to ensure it’s secure.
  5. Install the baseboard and shoe molding.
Ask For Help If You Need It

If you aren’t sure if you can install flooring on your own, there’s no shame in having it installed professionally. It’s better to have it professionally installed than to try installing it yourself and have it come out messy. Hiring someone will ensure that it comes out just the way you pictured it in your head.