GUIDELINES for Floating an Engineered Hardwood Floor

  • 6 Mil Polyethylene not required over a vinyl, wood, or a wood product sub floor.
  • 6 Mil Polyethylene required over concrete type subfloors – on grade or below grade.
  • Do not install over carpet.
  • If installing over vinyl, ensure that the vinyl is secure to the sub floor. Do not install over perimeter glued vinyl.
  • If installing over an existing wood floor, install the flooring at right angles to the wood floor.
  • Secure creaking and loose floorboards with screws.
  • Do not install over wood flooring glued to a concrete sub floor.
  • Note: Larger rooms require additional expansion space. Add1/16” to the width of the expansion space for every 3’ the room extends beyond 25’. Dimensions exceeding 40’in length or width – it is recommended to use a T-Molding for proper expansion.

Getting Started

1. Remove all doors and shoe moldings. Undercut all door casings 1/16” higher than the thickness of the flooring and underlayment to be installed. Place a scrap piece of plank and a sheet of underlayment against the door casing to act as a guide and cut the door casing with a hand saw or power jamb saw set to the correct height.

2. After determining the direction to run the planks, measure the width of the room (the dimension perpendicular to the direction of the flooring). The last row of the flooring should be no less than 1 "” wide; if it is less, cut the width of the starter row to avoid a narrow last row.

3. Select a starter wall. An outside wall is best: it's most likely to be straight and square with the room. Measure out from the wall, at each end, the overall width of the plank plus "” for expansion. If the first row requires ripping then measure from the wall the width of the ripped board plus "” for expansion.

4. Snap a chalk line using a (brightly colored chalk) from these points.

5. Install Underlayment: Unroll the 6 mil. Poly sheeting overlapping edges 4” and seal seams with clear plastic tape. Allow the poly to run 2” up the wall and trim back after installation of flooring. Install 1/8” foam underlayment.

Note: Use of a floating floor 2 in 1 underlayment may be used. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application installing the 2 in 1 underlayment.

6. Prior to installing the flooring, secure a straight edge (starter board) inside the chalk line to act as a guide and to prevent the row of planks from shifting during installation. The straightedge could be a straight piece of lumber or piece of flooring. This is temporary and will be replaced as the floor is completed.

Installing the Floor

7. Insert spacers at walls to maintain the expansion space between the flooring and the wall.

8. Before starting to glue planks, dry lay the first two rows of flooring. Working from right to left, install planks so that the groove faces the straight edge (starter board). When reaching the end of the first row, cut the plank as necessary to fit. On the first 4 rows stagger end joints a minimum of 16” and then 8” thereafter.

9. Use the remainder of the plank from the first row to start the second row. If the piece is less than 8” long, cut a new plank in half and use that piece to start the second row.

10. Lay the remainder of the planks in the second row. Make sure that the rows are straight and no gapping exists on the sides or ends. Once you have dry laid the first two rows, remove all the planks in order. You are ready to begin.

11. Begin gluing the boards; Run a continuous bead of adhesive along the groove of the short side (width) and the plank’s side groove (length). Proper alignment is critical. Misaligned starter rows can cause side and end gaps to appear in proceeding rows of flooring.

12. Install first row of planks with groove facing the straight edge. Work from right to left. Complete the first row. Make sure there are no gaps between the boards. Use a tapping block if need to close the boards together. Immediately wipe away any excessive adhesive with a clean, slightly dampened cloth.

CAUTION: Adhesive that is allowed to dry on the finish surface can be difficult to remove and may leave a haze.

13. At the end wall use an end pry bar, if needed, to pull the ends of the planks tight.

14. Continue to install the floor working left to right, repeating the process until the completion of the floor. Continue to use the spacers on all vertical surfaces to maintain the "” expansion.

DO NOT USE laminate straps as they may damage the flooring

15. The last row will most likely require cutting to width but it should be no less than 1 "” wide. To do this, lay the plank face up on top of the last full row installed. Trace the wall contour on the last plank using a scrap piece of plank and a pencil.

16. Install cut planks and pull into place with a pry bar. Install spacing wedges between planks and wall.

17. Remove the straight edge (starter row) and install the last row using the pry bar. Allow floor to dry for a minimum of 12 hours before removing all spacing wedges and allowing foot traffic.

18. Install trim and moldings the following day.