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How to Install Engineered Wood Flooring

How to Install Engineered Wood Flooring

Engineered wood floors offer a range of installation options. The majority feature a tongue and groove installation method. However, newer products can also come with a click system. The technique for installation will vary between floors.

To help, we have provided a brief installation guide below. This includes tips, advice and methods you can use.

1. What Tools Will You Need?

You are going to need the following tools and equipment:

  • Tape measure
  • Handsaw or electric saw
  • Spacers
  • Rubber mallet
  • Pencil and ruler
  • Underlay

You’re going to need the tape measure to accurately measure the floor. A saw will also be required to cut the planks to size when needed. You can either use a handsaw for individual planks, or an electric saw to cut down multiple planks. 

Spacers will help you to leave an appropriate expansion gap around the room. A pencil and ruler will help you to sketch the right measurements. You’re also going to need a good quality underlay. All engineered wood floors should be installed with underlay in place. Finally, a rubber mallet can help you to gently but firmly, tap the boards into place.

You may also need adhesive and nails depending upon the method.

2. Measure The Room

Before you get started, you’re going to need to know how much flooring you need. To do this, it’s important to measure the room.

If the room is a perfect rectangle or square shape, multiply the width of the room by its length. For example, a room which measures 5m x 2m would equal 10 square metres of flooring. 

If the room has recesses, you’re going to need to measure the individual areas. Mark down the measurements. Split it into small rectangular sections to work out how much flooring you will need. Remember to account for 5% to 10% of waste when working out how much you will need.

3. Acclimatise Your Engineered Wood Planks

With wooden flooring, it is important to acclimatise the floor prior to installation. It will need to be placed, unboxed, in the same room you’ll be installing it in. We recommend acclimatising it for 5-7 days. This allows the wood to adjust to room temperature.

Acclimatising the floor ensures it does not move or warp during installation. This is important for both the aesthetics and to ensure it doesn’t become damaged. 

The acclimatisation method differs for underfloor heating. We recommend laying each box on the floor, rather than on top of one another. Then, turn the heating on at a low temperature. Increase it by around 2 Degrees every couple of days. This will slowly get the wood used to the underfloor heating system.

4. Prepare the Subfloor

Before installation, make sure the subfloor is well prepared. This means, ensuring it is clean, even and smooth. Ideally, you’ll want to fit it over either a wooden or a concrete subfloor. If you’re installing the planks onto a concrete subfloor, make sure you use a moisture protecting underlay to protect it against damage.

If you aren’t going to be using beading, you should remove the skirting boards. You can then refit them after the flooring has been installed.

5. Is Underlay Required?

Although not all types of engineered wood flooring require an underlay to be installed, it is recommended you use one. This will help to boost the stability of the floor, while also protecting the floor against moisture underneath. 

If the subfloor does contain moderate levels of moisture, it’s worth investing in an underlay with a damp-proof membrane built in. 

6. Choose Your Installation Method

When you’re fitting engineered wood flooring, there are a few different installation methods you can follow. These include:

  • Floating floor
  • Glued down
  • Nailed down

The floating floor methods tends to be the most popular option. You’ll need to use the floor’s tongue and groove system to slot the planks together. Ensure you place them alongside a good quality underlay. 

With the glued and nailed down methods, you’ll still utilise the tongue and groove system. However, you’ll secure the planks into position. All follow a similar installation process, starting with installing the planks in the direction of the longest wall.

You’ll want to work left to right, leaving an expansion gap around the room with your spacers. The gap should measure 8mm to 10mm. To connect the planks together with the tongue and groove system, you’ll need to place them at a 30 Degree angle. Then, push them down into place. A rubber mallet can be useful here if you find it difficult to slot them together properly. 

With each row, the joints should be staggered slightly. You may need to cut the planks to size along the way so have your saw ready just in case. 

The exact installation process will differ depending upon the exact floor you’ve invested in. They will always come with manufacturer instructions, so be sure to follow these correctly. 

If you run into any problems while installing your engineered wood floor, give our flooring experts a call. We will be happy to assist you with any issues you may be experiencing. 

You can view our full range of engineered wood flooring here: https://lifestyleflooringuk.co.uk/engineered-wood-flooring

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