Every flooring company has their own way of installation but in general, these are the steps:

  1. Prep and clean
    1. It is crucial that the sub floor the hardwood will be on is clean and free of any debris including nails or tack strips if there was previously carpet. Next, follow up with a good sweep and vacuum!
  2. Lay the moisture barrier
    1. After the floor is clean, underlayment will be put on top of the over the sub flooring. This will protect the subfloor underneath from water damage. In addition, it will make a smooth surface to lay the hardwood on.
  3. Hardwood Installation
    1. Finally, it time to install the hardwood flooring!
    2. Most people choose to start at the furthest wall from the door and work backwards. However, this is a personal preference. Most hardwood floors installers will leave about a 3/8″ gap between the hardwood floor and wall trim to accommodate wood expansion.
    3. Next it the tricky part. The most common way to install hardwood is by nailing the pieces down. Drill small holes (the size of the nail that will hold down the floor) into the hardwood pieces. After that, line up the first piece of hardwood against the line that is 3/8″ away from the wall trim and hammer the nails in directly to the subfloor.
      1. Note: There must be a 3/8″ gap between all of the wall trims in the room the hardwood is being installed
      2. Once the edge pieces have been installed, place the next piece against the original pieces and hammer a nail into the tongue (side of the hardwood piece) at a diagonal.
    4. After a couple rows of manual hammering, a Pneumatic nail gun will be used for the much of the installation process. This makes it much faster.
    5. Finally, as the hardwood gets closer to the opposite edge of the room it will be impossible to use the nail gun. Therefore, nails will have to be manually hammered into the hardwood. When laying the last row, rather than hammering the nails at an angle, nail them straight down into the subfloor.
  4. Quarter Round
    1. The final step of the hardwood installation process is to add the quarter round. This will cover the gab between the hardwood and the wall trim.
    2. Use a brad nail gun to nail the quarter round to the wall trim, not the hardwood. This will give the room a completed look!