In this second part of installing engineered
hardwood, you’ll learn the basics of glue down and staple down methods, as well as finishing
steps for all installations. To see how to install a floating floor, watch How to Install
Engineered Hardwood Flooring: Part One, and be sure to watch the Prep video too. The glue down method is often the best choice
for concrete floors, like in your basement. With your floor prepped and marked, begin
by spreading flooring adhesive along the starting line with a v-notched trowel. Hold it at a
45-degree angle and spread just enough to work on a few rows at a time. Install row
one on the starting line. Use spacers to help maintain the expansion gap. To begin row two, you might have to tap the
first piece in place with a rubber mallet and tapping block. For the next piece, attach
the ends, then squeeze into place. Try to avoid sliding the pieces through the glue
too much. Continue with the installation, staggering
the joints and keeping the ends tight. Periodically check that the glue is adhering to the boards,
if not it’s probably dry. Just scrape away the dry stuff and put down fresh glue. Wipe
any glue off the surface as you go with the recommended cleaner.
Also, you can use weights to hold down any slightly bowed pieces.
Continue installing. Near the end you might have to kneel on the
flooring. Tape will prevent the flooring from sliding apart.
For the last row, install using a pull bar. After the floor is finished, avoid heavy traffic
for 24 hours. The staple down method works for 3/8- to 5/8-inch
flooring. With the underlayment down, start with the
straightest boards, groove side toward the wall on the starting line. Use spacers to
hold the expansion gap. Face nail a ½-inch from the edge, about 1- to 2-inches from the
ends and every 6-inches in between. Drill pilot holes if you’re using a hammer and
nail set. Finish off this row and start the second.
Tap the piece of the second row in place with a tapping block and mallet, and blind nail
at a 45-degree angle just above the tongue. Make sure the heads are countersunk.
Finish the row. On the third row you can use the floor stapler.
Staples are typically used on engineered woods, and nails on solid hardwoods.
You can practice on a scrap piece to adjust the air pressure. The staples must be countersunk.
Set the stapler against the boards and space the staples every 6-inches. Keep installing the floor. The joints need
to be tight and staggered. For the last few rows where the blind stapler
won’t fit, you might have to face nail the boards. If the last row is about 1-inch, just
glue it to the previous row. For any method you use, cut around any vents
or columns with a jig saw. To finish things up, cut any excess underlayment,
fill nail holes with putty, and install transitions, baseboards and mouldings. Nail to the walls,
not the flooring. See how great engineered hardwood looks? Three
different methods with the same striking results. Now it’s time for you to give it a try. Want more great ideas and how-to’s? Go to
Lowes.com/HowTo or click subscribe. Now that your flooring is down, learn how
to install new cabinets.