Types of Wood Flooring Installation

Wood flooring installation methods vary widely. Here's what you need to know before buying.

You want the look of wood flooring in your home, but with so many options available, it’s hard to decide. Solid or engineered hardwood? Laminate? Wood-look luxury vinyl or vinyl sheet? How do you choose?

Begin by considering where the flooring will go and how much traffic and other wear and tear it will get. Next, think about the installation. Depending on the type of floor, you might want to consider hiring a skilled professional installer. Many wood-look floors, however, are designed for the DIYer. If you have basic handyman skills and want to save on labor costs, you might want to take a closer look at these.

Here are the recommended installation methods for popular wood and wood-look floors.

Types of wood flooring installation
Solid hardwoodSolid hardwood flooring is typically attached to a wood subfloor using nails or staples. Unless you’re an advanced DIYer with experience in wood flooring installation, it’s best to hire a professional hardwood installer. If you choose to install your floor yourself, follow the specific installation directions for your product type.

Engineered hardwood – Engineered hardwood floors are typically installed using glue or staples, or floated using Armstrong’s exclusive Lock&Fold® technology. The new Midtown hardwood collection has an engineered construction and is designed to be installed as a floating floor.

Laminate – With the Lock&Fold installation method, tongue-and-groove laminate planks lock together and fold down over a subfloor without nails, staples, or adhesive. Lock&Fold makes installing laminate wood flooring fast and easy for any level DIYer.

Luxury vinyl tile – Wood-look LVT uses another floating system that’s easy for even the beginner. Each luxury vinyl plank attaches to the planks beside it with self-adhesive – simply peel, place, and press.

Vinyl sheet – Wood-look vinyl floors use a full-spread adhesive installation that’s best done by an experienced DIYer or professional. Fiberglass-backed floors are installed in either a modified loose-lay (no adhesive except at seam line) or a fully adhered installation, depending on your room size and features.

Before you make a final decision, it’s a good idea to read the wood flooring installation instructions for the products you’re considering.