Father's Day Gift Centre event is on now. Don't wait!  Shop Event

How to Install Engineered Hardwood Floors with Nails

How to Install Engineered Hardwood Floors with Nails

Because of its construction, engineered hardwood brings with it a number of advantages including quick installation.

This project focuses on installing an engineered floor with nails. Nail, Float and Glue installation are three main methods used for installing this type of floor.

Nail Installation: A face-nailer is required to fasten planks in the first and last rows. Wood sub-flooring is required.

Skill Level: Intermediate
  1. Step 1 Prepare the Floor for Installation

    Prepare the Floor for Installation

    Staple down felt paper or rosin paper to moderate the effect of humidity beneath the floor.

  2. Step 2 Snap a Chalk Line

    Snap a Chalk Line

    For a strong floor, it is recommended to install the planks perpendicular to the joists. If possible, start along one of the outside walls and lay out the first row, measuring the width of the plank and adding the recommended room for gap expansion along the wall. Snap a chalk line this distance from the wall.

  3. Step 3 Prepare to Install the First Row

    Prepare to Install the First Row
    Prepare to Install the First Row

    Lay a trial run of the first row, facing the groove along the starting wall. Put 1/2" (1.3cm) spacers between the wall and flooring. If, at any point along the wall, the space is less than 1/2" (1.3cm) or is greater than the thickness of the baseboard you'll apply, you'll have to scribe the floor. 

    To scribe: i. Hold the edge piece parallel to the layout line, setting where it touches the wall at least at one point. ii.Set a compass to the amount you want to remove. iii. Cut along the line with the saw appropriate for engineered flooring. Bevel the cut so the blade trims more off the bottom than the top.

  4. Step 4 Lay the Starter Row

    Lay the Starter Row

    Put the tongue of the first plank on the layout line and nail through the face of the board into the subfloor. Fasten each plank with at least two nails. Drive them 1 or 2" (2.5 or 5cm) from the end of each plank and about every 8" (20cm) in between.

  5. Step 5 Complete the First Row

    Complete the First Row

    Cut the last board of the first row to fit, leaving the recommended expansion gap. Push the board into place with a pry bar, protecting the wall with a putty knife or a scrap piece of wood. A pull bar can also be used for this task.

  6. Step 6 Install the First Plank on the Second Row

    Install the First Plank on the Second Row

    Begin the second row with the piece cut off from the first row. This keeps the ends of the planks from lining up, creating both a stronger and better-looking floor. Do not use the cut off piece if its end is within 4" (10 cm) of the end of the board in the first row (measurement can fluctuate; check manufacturer instructions). Slide the cut off into place and push the boards together. Seat the board by tapping with a tapping block.

  7. Step 7 Install the Remaining Floor

    Install the Remaining Floor

    Continue down the second row, putting the new planks tight against those already in place. Tap each plank to seat it against the previous row then tap the end to join the planks together. Space the nails as before. Cut the last piece of the row to fit, leaving the proper expansion gap between the plank and the wall. Push the last board of each row into place using the same method from Step 5.

  8. Step 8 Complete the Last Row

    Complete the Last Row

    Measure and cut planks to the width of the distance from the second last row to the wall, allowing for the expansion gap. Face-nail the planks of the last row into place. Countersink with nail set and fill in holes with wood filler.

  9. Step 9 Install Baseboard

    Install Baseboard

    Install baseboard around the room to cover the expansion gap and protect the walls.


What You Need for This Project

Related Resources