So you’re thinking about installing hardwood in your home. Hardwood flooring sets the bar when it comes to flooring. Classy and exceedingly durable (we’re talking upwards of 100 years), hardwood flooring is sure to add vibrancy and value to your home. 

Choose An Installation Method

Before you take the plunge, it’s important to first recognize the different hardwood installation methods. There are three types: glue-down, nail-down, and click-lock (a.k.a floating). It’s not one size fits all. The method that is best for you will reflect your lifestyle, installation experience, budget, choice of hardwood, and subfloor.

  • Type One: Glue-Down
  • Also known as adhesive, this method involves gluing the hardwood planks directly onto the subfloor. 


    • Solid feel and sound
    •  Least likely to experience deflections between the flooring and subflooring
    • No squeaking
    • More permanent installation
    • Can be used with both solid and engineered hardwood


    • Increased labor cost
    • Extra subfloor prep may be needed
  • Type Two: Nail-Down
  • Nail-down is the most popular installation system, particularly for solid hardwood flooring. In this method, planks are nailed into a wooden subfloor. So that the nails cannot be seen, they are nailed into what is called the ‘tongue’ of the board. The tongue is a section of the board which extends from the side of the plank to fit into the groove of the neighboring board.


    • Can be used with both solid and engineered hardwood
    • Engineered hardwood is most commonly found in this style, with a variety of thicknesses, colours, finishes, and wood species available 


    • Nails may loosen over time (a result of seasonal expansion), causing squeaky floors
    • Extra tools that not everyone will have at home are required (like the right nail gun, jamb saw, and router)
    • A wooden subfloor is required (if you don’t already have one, you can either add one in or remove the existing floor to get to the wooden subfloor, though this gets pricey)
  • Type Three: Click-Lock (Floating)
  • Click-lock is used only when installing engineered wood flooring. This design utilizes the ‘tongues’ and grooves of the boards, forgoing the need for adhesive.


    • Most affordable
    • Quickest method
    • If one plank is damaged, it can be easily changed out without damaging the nearby boards
    • The hassle and mess of glue are avoided
    • Repairs are easier because damaged planks are easily removed without harming the surrounding boards


    • More transition moldings are required
    • High-quality sound deadening underlayment is required

    Advanced Flooring’s Top 10 Installation Tips for the DIYer

    Once you’ve decided on an installation method, the project can commence! For those that would prefer to renovate their floors themselves, keep these 10 tips in mind to allow the process to go smoothly.

  • Begin installation with the straightest and longest wall.
  • Ensure you have enough material for your space by acquiring 5-10% (opt for 10% if the space is a diagonal one) more flooring than your space would technically need. You don’t want to run out before you finish installation only to find out that the flooring has gone out of stock!
  • Install the boards perpendicular to the floor joist for a stable foundation.
  • Solid hardwood flooring can only be installed on or above grade (meaning ground and upper floors only; no basements). Engineered hardwood can be installed on any floor. 
  • Prior to installation, allow your hardwood to acclimate to the temperature and humidity of the future site of the installation.
  • Remember that certain installation methods are less beginner-friendly than others. Consider getting professional help if you are inexperienced. 

    Preparing the Room

    Different hardwood products will have slightly different installation requirements so make sure to research the specifics before you begin. Besides that, these are general measures to take prior to installation. 

    1. Remove all the furniture from your room (it’s best to do this whether you’re DIYing or not to avoid an extra fee).
    2. Remove doors. In some cases, the bottom of the door may need to be shaved to make way for your newly installed floor.
    3. Remove the baseboards. Unless you have plans to replace them, be gentle when doing this so as not to damage anything.
    4. Is your subfloor level and smooth? If not, sand down the raised spots. 
    5. Map the locations of the floor joists with marks on the walls.
    6. Put in a moisture inhibitor or underlayment even if you have waterproof floors to protect from vapor coming from beneath the foundation. An underlayment will also reduce noise.
    7. We recommend marking where the first line of hardwood boards will go to avoid wonky and uneven installation. A guideline is essential.
    8. Before you begin installation, lay out the boards along the floor in the order you want them so that you have a plan to work by. Boards from the same box will have similar qualities so you must mix planks from different boxes. Rather than having obvious light and dark spots, this method, called “racking the boards” allows unique shade and texture variation.
    9. Now, you’re ready to go!


    Get in touch

    Address:283 Northfield Dr E #11A, Waterloo, ON N2J 4G8

    Hours: Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

    Saturday 10am to 3 pm

    Sunday Closed

    Phone:(519) 279-8456