Hardwood Floor Installation A Step-By-Step Guide

Many homeowners prefer hardwood floors to other flooring options because of the durability and the grand appearance that the hardwood floors bring to the ambiance of the house. To achieve the much-anticipated flooring, one has to tackle many difficulties arising throughout the process, which only professional hardwood flooring service could settle. In this article, Tony Floor would walk you through a step-to-step guide to hardwood floor installation

Hardwood floors


There are fundamental choices of personal preferences, on which you have to decide to determine how your hardwood floors would turn out. Listed below are the installation options that you should know and take into consideration to have your hardwood floor installation planned out perfectly.

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  • Species of wood:There are three aspects from which you can choose to decide which species of timber to go for your hardwood floor installation, which are colors, grain patterns, and hardness ratings (which shows how resistant the wood is against physical damages, wear and tear)
  • Types of installation:prefinished (with manufactured, prefinished boards) or site-finished (with unfinished boards)
  • Installation techniques: glue down, nail/staple down, or floating
  • Customization (for site-finished): stain (change only in the hue of the wood, lighter or darker), color-washed (new color to the wood)
  • Finishing coats:polyurethane (water-based or oil-based), vanish, or (penetrating) sealer


Sub-floors is the structure that supports your hardwood floors, spreading all the loads, including that of furniture and people. Thus, one should take extra care to the sub-floor.

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  • Vacuum or mop away dust, dirt, and other debris on the sub-floor. Clearing off all the substance spills, adhesives, and coatings.
  • Make sure that the sub-floor structure is of sound quality, which means no loose or squeaky sheets, and of proper thickness (3/4 of an inch for both plywood and OSB – oriented strain boards and 5/8 for joists sub-floors) and flatness according to instructions from manufacturers.
  • Moisture level maters, for both sub-floors and hardwood floors. If trapped, moisture could create more severe damages than physical damages to the surface of your flooring. Without decent examination and prevention, the integrity of your hardwood floorswould be ruined, due to the high level of moisture. The maximum moisture level allowed is about 4%.

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The site should be free of all furnishing, including carpets. Doors, casing, and molds are to be removed to make room for the installation process and to create proper ventilation in case of sanding and staining (for site-finished.)

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All boards should be delivered and stored at the site for acclimation prior to hardwood floor installation. The boards would contract and expand under your room condition. Once acclimated, the boards would adapt to the changes in the temperature and humidity, resulting in no distortion.


There are three techniques for hardwood floor installation, depending on flooring grades (on grade, below grade, or above grade), types of sub-floor (concrete or wood), and types of board (solid or engineered.)

  • Nail down/staple downis the most preferred technique. Solid or engineered hardwood floors would be nailed down directly to a wood sub-floors with nail/staple guns (not applicable to solid sub-floors.) Because the boards are nailed on the tongue sides, the nails are hidden under the groove sides of the adjacent boards. Thus, no nail/staple is visible after installation.

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  • Glue down is the technique in which hardwood floorsadhere to sub-floors with adhesives. This technique is suitable for floorings of all grades, on both concrete and wood sub-floors. The adhesives could act as moisture retardants so at times vapor proof is not needed.

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  • With floating technique, the boards are joined together tongue to groove. The method allows the hardwood floorsto floats freely from the sub-floors, without fasteners like adhesives or nails/staples. For such reasons, floating hardwood floors is considered the easiest and fastest hardwood floor installation technique.

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With pre-finished hardwood floors, you could move the furnishing back to the room and walk on the floor once the hardwood floor installation is done. Meanwhile, if you opt for site-finished hardwood floors, there are customizations and finishing coats to be done before you could you use the room, not to include at least twenty-four hours of waiting for the finishing coats to dry off completely. To maintain the beauty and lengthen the lifetime of your hardwood floors, do regular cleaning, place welcome rugs at doorsteps, and use floor protectors to prevent scratches.

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Tony Floor is a team of qualified experts with many years of experience. We provide exceptional hardwood flooring service at the most reasonable price that one could hardly find anywhere else on the market.