Engineered hardwood is becoming an increasingly popular flooring choice these days, especially because it’s more resistant to moisture and humidity unlike solid hardwood (you can read all about the differences between the two woods here). If that was one of the many selling points for you, then you may be well on your way to purchasing an engineered hardwood floor of your own. Before you hit the buy now button, make sure you’re aware of what the install job will look like.

PLEASE NOTE: GoHaus wood flooring warranties require that installations meet the National Wood Flooring Association‘s installation guidelines. The below instructions are intended to offer general guidance and not a replacement for a professional, certified installer.

Sub-Floor Preparation

  • If plywood is used as a sub-floor, the moisture content difference between the engineered hardwood floor and the sub-floor should be no more than 4%. Sub-floor moisture emissions must not exceed 3 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft. in a 24-hour period per ASTM 1869
  • Sub-floor is suggested to be ¾” x 48” x 48” with a ⅛” gap between sheets for expansion.
  • The sub-floor must be free from any type of paint, oil, grease, dust or other residues.
  • The sub-floor should be level. The level drop must be no more than 3/16” over a 10-foot span.

Keep in mind; proper acclimation is required for all engineered hardwood flooring. Acclimation time is determined by a number of variables. For this reason, proper acclimation is best left to a professional with knowledge of such variables. The National Wood Flooring Association has volumes of material related to this subject. Woodfloors.org.

Glue-Down Installation Guidelines (Recommended method of installation for both concrete and plywood sub-floor)

  • Make sure to properly test sub-floor before installation. Please follow the sub-floor preparation instructions previously discussed.
  • If needed, apply a moisture barrier to slab. Bostik’s MVP moisture barrier is recommended
  • Urethane-based adhesive should be used exclusively. Bostik’s Best glue is recommended.
  • Read the glue manufacturer’s instructions (printed in detail on the glue container) to choose the correct size trowel.
  • Create a working line parallel to the starting wall, in multiples of our engineered hardwood plank width, to set-up the baseline of installation.
  • Following the spread rate and curing time suggested by the glue manufacturer, spread glue evenly on the sub-floor to cover an area appropriate to the number of planks that can be laid in time for the best result of the glue.
  • Lay one row of flooring planks along the entire length of the work line. Add each additional row of flooring, watching the pattern repeat and offsetting or staggering the joints as desired. Generally, joints should either match in a specific pattern or be staggered by no less than six inches.
  • A ½” expansion space should be left around the perimeter. Roll the whole floor with a 150 lb. roller within 3-6 hours after installation. Finished areas should be covered with a breathable protective paper – NEVER PLASTIC – immediately after installation to prevent damage. Do not tape protective paper to finished surface of the wood for extended periods of time.

Nail-Down Installation Guidelines (Only for plywood sub-floor)

  • Make sure to properly test sub-floor before installation. Please follow sub-floor preparation instructions previously discussed.
  • A 15 lb. felt paper moisture barrier should be applied to the plywood sub-floor with 6” overlaps before installing the new wood floor per ASTM D-4869.
  • Create a working line parallel to the starting wall, in multiples of our engineered hardwood plank width to set up the baseline of installation.
  • Install the first row of wood with the groove side towards the wall using top nails as necessary to hold the first row firm and in place. Adjust as necessary.
  • Use adjustable pneumatic power hammer or nailing machine with 1½” – 2” nails as is required and make sure nailing foot is appropriate to the nails/staples used. To avoid damage to the tongue, be sure to adjust for proper pressure on the compressor.
  • Add each additional row of flooring, watching the pattern repeat and offsetting or staggering the joints as desired. Generally, joints should either match in a specific pattern or be staggered by no less than six inches. Finished areas should be covered with breathable protective paper – NEVER PLASTIC – immediately after installation to prevent damage. Do not tape protective paper to the finished surface of the wood for extended periods of time.

Floating Installation Guidelines

  • Make sure to properly test sub-floor installation. Please follow sub-floor preparation instructions previously discussed.
  • If needed, apply moisture barrier to slab. Bostik’s MVP moisture barrier is recommended.
  • After the moisture barrier has cured and dried, apply a floating floor poly-foam underlayment – please follow manufacturer’s installation instructions.
  • Floating floors is generally a more difficult installation to start, as the boards will move. It is imperative that the first few rows be straight and gap free.
  • Create a working line parallel to the starting wall, in multiples of our engineered hardwood plank width, to set up the baseline of installation. A bead of adhesive should be applied all along the TOP groove of each plank, any glue meeting European DIN EN 204 D3 standard is recommended.
  • Lay one row of flooring planks along the entire length of the work line. Work with the tongue side outward. NEVER engage material by striking the groove edge – use a tapping block against the tongue or board puller to avoid edge damage while engaging plank. Add each additional row of flooring, watching the pattern repeat and offsetting or staggering the joints as desired. Generally, joints should either match in a specific pattern or be staggered by no less than six inches.
  • A minimum ½” expansion space should be left around the perimeter.
  • Finished areas should be covered with a breathable protective paper – NEVER PLASTIC – immediately after installation to prevent damage. Do not tape protective paper to the finished surface of the wood for extended periods of time.

Keep in mind; a floating floor installation method requires diligent cleanup, as glue squeezes out when the boards are tapped into place. Measure the application along the groove carefully to avoid excess glue seepage. Excessive glue can void the warranty of your engineered hardwood floor. Immediate clean up is required using approved glue remover that will not affect the floor finish, any glue not cleaned within minutes can leave stains and/or marks that will not be covered under the warranty.