Types of Installation

A wood floor is only as good as its installation. You can have a very good product but if it is poorly installed, you will be wasting your money, it happens all the time. Basically there are three types of installation.

NaildownNail-Down

This method is by far the best way to install a hardwood floor. It is the only way to install solids, and also excellent for engendered. It consists of a layer of moisture barrier (visqueen), a layer of plywood, a layer of tar paper (another moisture barrier and sound reducer between woods) and finally the nail down of planks or strips.

Please see Installation Steps in our web site for detailed step by step description of this process.

The benefits of this type of installation:

  • We have 2 moisture barriers.
  • Very sound and solid, no hallow spots.
  • Plywood helps to flatten irregular concrete slabs, and some leveling is possible.
  • It is very easy to repair and remove planks. (Just the opposite of glue down).
  • Much better and sometimes the only way to make borders, medallions and inlays.
  • It is the only type of floors that can be uninstalled and reinstalled. Completely renewable.

floatingFloating Floors

It is when we glue the tongue and grove together and float the planks over an underlayment that is also a moisture barrier. It is our second favorite type of installation, but only can be used on ½” or thicker engineered floors.

The benefits of this type of installation:

  • We also have a moisture barrier.
  • It is more economic than nail down.
  • It reasonably easy to repair, and very easy to remove.


Glue-DownGlueddown

This is our least favorite method. It only can be used with engineered wood. You have no moisture barrier or underlayment, and because of it most of the time we can see the imperfections and moisture from the concrete slab on the wood, the planks get that wavy look. It is also common to have some loose spots or air pockets. There are some concrete sealers for moisture, but they are not 100% and expensive. By the time you pay for the sealer and the glue, it is cheaper to install plywood. When comes to repairs or remove a glued down floor be prepared for a nightmare.

The benefits of this type of installation:

  • Basically there is only one; It is easier for stores to sell the product, which is why it is used so much. They sell the floors and subcontract the installation to any installer that has a chop saw, a table saw and a trowel. Requires minimum tools.