Wood Floor Installation

There are various types of wooden flooring to choose from. Similarly, there are also different types of wood floor installation methods available for each.

Wood floors are popular choices for flooring because they are sturdy and aesthetically appealing. They offer a vibe of nature and comfort because of the material and the design.

Different types of wood floors need different kinds of wood floor installation methods. The four methods are Nail Down, Staple Down, Glue Down and Free-Float.

Determining the Sub-floor

The first step to identify which kind of wood floor installation method to use is to find out what your sub-floor is. The sub-floor is not the existing carpet, ceramic tile or vinyl. It refers to what the actual base of the floor is, which is most likely either plywood or concrete. Knowing the type of sub-floor you have will help narrow down your options for you. If your sub-floor is plywood, you can use any of the installation methods. On the other hand, if you have a concrete sub-floor, the Nail Down and Staple Down methods are not recommended for you to use.

Installation Methods


When solid wood floors are being installed, this is the primary method used for installation. Because solid wood floors are generally thicker, they need to be nailed down so that they will stay in place. Nailing down the solid wood floors will also keep them in place despite them expanding and contracting.

It is generally not recommended for you to do the nail down method yourself. It is best if you seek the help of a professional who has tools and experience in nailing down floors.


Since the engineered wood flooring has grown in popularity, the popularity of the staple down method has also significantly grown. The staple down method is primarily used for engineered plank or strip wood floors over a plywood sub-floor. There are some considerations to keep in mind such as staple sizes. It is recommended as a DIY project if you have a moderate amount of skill using power tools.


This method of wood floor installation is mostly used when installing engineered strips or plank wood floors over a concrete sub-floor. It can be a very stable installation method if done properly. It can help lessen the creaking of the floors should they expand and contract.

However, one downside of the glue down method is the preparation for the evenness of the sub-floor. When using the glue down method, it is vital that the sub-floor first be flattened; otherwise, major problems can happen.


This wood floor installation method has become known as the most stable methods available. It is mostly used for engineered long strip wood floors. This method is done by first laying down an underlayment which is usually foam or a foam and plastic combination. The wood flooring is then laid on top of the underlayment. A bead of water based glue is then applied to the tongue and groove according to the instructions of the manufacturers and the boards are tapped together using a tapping block. Wipe the excess glue off with a damp cloth and you are finished installing the floor. This method is very DIY friendly.