If you've installed any type of floor before or have average DIY skills, you can learn how to install hardwood floors successfully. All you need is the right floor system, preparation, tools, and installation instructions. If you don’t have any flooring installation experience, you may want to consider a lock-and-fold hardwood installation. This floating floor system is the fastest and easiest to install without glue, nails, or staples – boards simply lock together and fold into place.
From leveling the subfloor to installing trims and moldings, there’s a lot to know when it comes to how to install hardwood floors. Fortunately, a hardwood installation project can be broken down into three manageable steps: preparation, installation, and finishing.
Hardwood Floor Installation Overview
Preparation – Before you begin, carefully read the detailed installation instructions on how to install hardwood floors included with your product. Watch hardwood installation videos available online to see exactly how it’s done. You may even want to take a DIY flooring skill assessment to determine your DIY level.
- Gather together the recommended tools and materials.
- Be sure the subfloor is dry, clean, and flat.
- Gently remove wall base, millwork, or trim you’ll re-use.
- Properly acclimate the hardwood according to the instructions.
Installation – Have all your materials and tools easily accessible.
- Roll out the underlayment recommended for your hardwood floor.
- Lay floor pieces parallel with the longest wall in the room.
- Begin on the left side and work right, with the small tongue side facing the wall.
- Use spacers between boards and walls to allow for expansion.
Finishing – The finishing details can make or break the success of a professional-looking job, so don’t cut corners here.
- For the last row, you may have to cut boards lengthwise.
- Trace for contours to be cut and fitted according to installation guide.
- After installing the last row, remove spacers.
- Attach trim and moldings.
For more detailed instructions, download the flooring installation guide for your product.
There’s nothing like the warmth and beauty of a hardwood floor. Learning how to install hardwood floors can be a challenging but rewarding DIY project.