• Caitlyn McConnell

Tools Installers Use - Hardwood/Laminate

Updated: May 31, 2018


In this edition of Tools Installers Use, we will be discussing Hardwood and Laminate flooring installations. These two types of flooring require similar techniques, although hardwood may require a more complex install than laminate. We will be presenting a second article with a more in-depth look into laminate installs. See this chart below for a list of tools you might see during your installation.



Several different installation techniques you might see depending on your flooring choice include floating, nail down or glue down methods. Let’s break these down:

Floating (glueless) - Although there are many different types of “floating” flooring, meaning no little to no adhesive is used in the install, this method generally requires the least amount of tools to complete. Installers also maintain a specific expansion gap to allow the flooring to naturally expand and contract with temperature changes. Depending on the flooring type, the flooring is then layed or “clicked” together in varying lengths to create a natural look. Here are the tools you can expect to see for floating installs.


Floating Installs Tools

Floating (glueless) - Although there are many different types of “floating” flooring, meaning no little to no adhesive is used in the install, this method generally requires the least amount of tools to complete. Installers also maintain a specific expansion gap to allow the flooring to naturally expand and contract with temperature changes. Depending on the flooring type, the flooring is then layed or “clicked” together in varying lengths to create a natural look. To the left you will find a list of tools you may expect to see during a floating install.



Nail down - Typically seen with tongue and groove hardwood flooring, this method requires more specific tools and knowledge than it’s floating counterpart. Pilot holes are drilled into the hardwood plank and into the subfloor and joists at specific depth and angles. These are then filled with the appropriate color to blend in with the wood. Blind nailing is used for the rest of the job to hide the nails from sight, although some installers use blind nailing throughout the entire process.




















Glue down- A challenge with adhesive installations is to avoid movement in the flooring while the glue is still wet. “Starter rows” are blind nailed into the subfloor, securing a base to build off of for the rest of the job. A hammer is used to ensure a tight fit between the planks, while still keeping the mandatory expansion gap.



You installer understands best which method to use for your flooring, adhering to the manufacturers recommendation and considering several other factors such as, the type of material, environment, and subfloor type. This article is to inform you of the tools you might be seeing during your installation. Installation methods can vary, so please speak with your installer if you have any further questions. Our installers here at Emerald Installation are here to help you with your next project!


Sources:

  1. https://www.builddirect.com/learning-center/flooring/installing-hardwood-floors-nail-down/

  2. https://na.pergo.com/how-to/install-flooring-installation

  3. https://www.calibamboo.com/content/installation/instructions/cali_bamboo_flooring_installation_guide.pdf

  4. http://www.usfloorsllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/USF-Drop-and-Lock-Glueless-Installation-Instructions.pdf

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