Thank you so much for all your support yesterday about my grandfather heading to the nursing home. Stay tuned, I am working on a post (it’s like 5 million words long) about how he transitioned and how he is doing. Today we are sharing how to install engineered hardwood flooring. If you have been following along, you know that we have partnered with Shaw Floors to install hardwoods in our family room. Last week I shared the removal of the carpet and tips on prepping your floor for hardwood and prior to that, best tips for choosing hardwood flooring. Now for the fun part!
How to install engineered hardwood flooring
Once we had our carpet removed, the tackless and staples removed, we squared up the room with a tile laser and got all of our boxes full of hardwood open. We had 17 boxes total and that covered the 480 square feet of the room.
We started along the far side of the wall under the baseboard. Be sure to note, the Shaw Installation Guide requires a 1/2″ expansion space around the perimeter of the room. The Installation Guide also requires a space of 1/16″ between the bottom of the baseboard and the top of the floor. Be sure to review the Installation Guide to ensure proper installation.
Maple Fairbanks in gold dust color
The planks are 5″ wide and vary in length so we decided to just create a random pattern. We decided to use the floating floor installation method which means, we glued the pieces together.
I simply added glue to the “groove” part of the wood and then inserted the “tongue” part of the wood. We used a tapped block and hammer to ensure they were tight.
The entire room took about 6 hours to install once we got going. It was so easy! One little trick to save time is to lay 3 or 4 pieces of flooring up against the wood box with the groove side face up and then fill the groove with glue. This little shortcut saved a ton of time. Simply insert the tongue into the groove, tap it tight and move on to the next!
We used a chop saw to the cut the pieces at the end of each row that abutted up against the wall, under the baseboard.
Depending on whether or not you remove your baseboard, you may have difficulty tapping the hardwood together as the tapping block and hammer won’t fit behind the wood because the wall will be in your way. In the situation above, we used the flat bar and the tapping block to pull the pieces together but if you have a wall jack (see below), I would suggest using that instead of the method above. The method above will work, it’s just not as quick and efficient as the wall jack.
The wall jack interlocks the boards and secures them together. A pretty nifty little tool!
By not removing our baseboard (because the shiplap was in the way), we ended up with a small gap between the baseboard and the new floor.
We decided to use a quarter round molding which we nailed in place using an 18 gauge finish gun and a 1.5″ finish nail. It looked great once the nail holes were filled and the molding was painted white.
We used a 1/2″ thick oak reducer molding to transition from the hardwood floor in the family room to the tile in the kitchen. I found some stain that was very similar to the hardwood floor color and added two coats to the oak transition piece. This is an easy way to tie two rooms together that have different flooring.
Can I just tell you, we absolutely LOVE this hardwood flooring and the room looks so much bigger, cleaner and brighter.
It’s amazing how hardwood floors can change the look of a room. They are so easy to clean and so far, we are very impressed. Hopefully you got some good tips on how to install engineered hardwood flooring. Don’t be afraid to tackle this project on your own. It’s VERY doable and if you take your time prepping your floor and have a buddy to help you, you too can do this. Stay tuned, the big reveal is coming soon!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shaw Floors. The opinions and text are all mine.