There are numerous methods available when installing wood flooring, choosing the right installation method is dependent on the wood’s construction, type and the home’s sub-floor and climate. Solid wood is a bit more limited as to how and where it can go, but engineered and composite wood are suitable for all levels of the home, including the basement, as well as over radiant heating.
We advise that before you install your new wood flooring, that you allow the uninstalled wood to be placed into the area to be installed prior, so as to reach a moisture content (MC) level that is in equilibrium with the surrounding environment. From a temperature standpoint, the ideal temperature range is 60-degree to 80-degrees Fahrenheit with a relative humidity of 30%-50% (this may differ depending on product and geography.)
The most common installation method for solid wood is for it to be nailed down. This is in addition to the fact that solid wood is usually designed as a tongue-and-groove product.
Another installation option for solid wood is to staple the solid wood floor in place; but this is only possible where the solid wood flooring is being installed over wood substrate such as on the second level of a home. This staple down method is not possible when solid wood flooring is installed over concrete slabs.
Installing solid wood flooring over slabs is difficult given the contraction and expansion properties of wood. This is where engineered and composite wood flooring is ideal and where a glue-down installation method is recommended. In addition, the glue-down method can also include a water-barrier for moisture mitigation.
The floating floor installation method is the simplest and easiest method for installing planks over virtually any hard surface (even sheet vinyl.) This floating floor installation method is also the cheapest installation method but in order for this installation method to be possible, the product must have a “locking” system, meaning that the luxury vinyl planks ‘click’ together to create stability and rigidity on the floor, and to stop it shifting when walking. This method enables the floors to be easily removed and replaced.