Today prefinished hardwood flooring is beautiful, durable, and a great investment for any home. These installation instructions go over the essential things you’ll need to know during your prefinished hardwood installation.

Hardwood Installation Methods

You can install prefinished hardwood flooring with one of these methods:

  1. Glue Down – For solid hardwood above wood or concrete subfloors.
  2. Nail/Staple – For solid and engineered hardwood above wood subfloors or above concrete subfloors overlaid with a plywood underlayment.
  3. Click Lock Floating – For engineered click lock flooring above wood or concrete subfloors.
  4. Engineered Floating – For engineered hardwood above wood or concrete subfloors.

Tools and Materials

You will need most of the general tools and materials plus anything specific for your installation method.

  • 4′ or 6′ level
  • Broom
  • Carpenter’s square
  • Chalk line
  • Crow, pull bar and/or power bar
  • Electric and/or hand saw with carbide tipped blade
  • Hammer
  • Jig saw
  • Safety goggles and mask
  • Soft rubber mallet and/or white tipped mallet
  • Spacers for expansion gaps
  • Tape measure
  • Tapping block or clean piece of scrap wood
  • Utility knife
  • Utility towels

Extra Tools for Glue Down Installation

  • ¼” square notch trowel (for planks 5″ or wider)
  • 3/16″ notched trowel (for planks 5″ or less)
  • Blue painters tape and/or ratchet straps
  • Flooring adhesive
  • Flooring adhesive remover
  • Weighted items (books, buckets of glue) to weigh down areas of the floor

Extra Tools for Nail/Staple Installation

  • Electric drill (to predrill nail holes)
  • Nail punch
  • Staple or nail gun
  • Staples or nails
  • Pliers
  • Wire Cutters

Extra Tools for Floating Engineered Installation

  • Adhesive remover
  • Tongue and groove adhesive

Hardwood Installation Arear

Prefinished hardwood flooring can be installed in areas that are Above Grade or On Grade over these types of subfloors: