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What is the installation technique for hardwood flooring?

Both solid and engineered hardwood have similar but yet different installation techniques. Before we get into any details, it's important to understand that the installation itself will affect the appearance, performance, and longevity of any floor. As a hardwood flooring retailer, we know that wood floors can last for decades if installed and cared for properly.

Which type of wood flooring?

Solid hardwood is a tongue and groove method of fitting similar objects together, edge to edge. There is a tongue side and a groove side; the "tongue" is inserted in the "groove." Installers do this because it gives the floor a flat, smooth surface. Once the tongue and groove are completed, the floor is nailed or glued to the subfloor.

Engineered wood flooring offers an additional technique called a floating floor. The pieces click together, much like a tongue and groove. It forms a mat which then becomes a loose lay installation because it hovers over existing subfloors with no glue or nails needed.

What are subfloors and why are they important?

The subfloor lies underneath the surface floor. Subfloors are important because a damaged one can spoil. the surface floor's appearance. There can also be uneven surfaces, gaps, squeaks, cupping, and warping.

While engineered is more stable and can better handle moisture, solid wood can be damaged by excess water. It also moves around to adjust to the weather; when a floor cups or crowns, it means there's moisture somewhere, and the planks are expanding and trying to make room for each other. Therefore, as part of the installation, the crew will take moisture readings of the subfloor to ensure that there is no hidden moisture. It's not recommended to install over a concrete subfloor, because those floors can get damp.

Engineered can be installed over concrete and the subfloor needs to be clean, dry, and level. An underlayment is recommended if it's installed via a floating floor. That's because there's no attachment to the subfloor so it's the cushion that will provide the foundation. It is recommended to use only engineered wood floors below grade or in a basement. Both solid and engineered can be used in the above-grade applications. In our over 25 years in the flooring industry, we've seen the importance of complementary products. Whether window treatments or custom cabinets they all work together to transform your room. Let us help you turn your vision into reality!

Hardwood flooring can be the jewel in your home’s crown. We offer free in-home measurements and consultations, so visit our showroom in Gonzales, TX. At Aptiva, we serve the communities of Gonzales, TX, Shiner, TX, Yoakum, TX, Hallettsville, TX, and Luling, TX. Come in and take advantage of our hardwood flooring expertise for your next flooring project.