Best Ways of Installing Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood floors have been a staple of home design since ancient times. Their durability has made them a top choice for low-maintenance flooring, and their attractive, timeless appearance is great for homes of any era. Through the years, a number of different installation methods have been used. Here are a few of the most popular.


According to experts on the subject of installing hardwood flooring, nailing the hardwood floor into place was the most popular method used in the Western world in the 18th and 19th centuries. Nailed flooring is durable, and many find that the nails provide a nice accent to wood floors.

Wooden Floorboards
Wooden Floorboards

This technique is popular for thicker wood; thick wood expands and contracts more than thin wood, and this expansion-contraction cycle can cause other installation techniques to fail over time. This technique is fading in popularity, however, as thinner wood is becoming much more popular than in the past.

Staples and glue

As hardwood flooring planks have become thinner, stapling has become a viable option for many woods. Another similar method is to use strong glue to keep flooring in place, and recent advancements in glues and epoxies have lead to bonding agents that can be used to create strong, long-lasting floors.

These techniques are some of the most popular among beginnings, and do-it-yourself flooring packages often use this method. While some prefer the appearance of nailed floors, others prefer the appearance of flooring without nails that these techniques produce. If you want to remain eco-friendly, choose glue that is VOC-free.


The methods discussed above involve attaching individual strips of wood to the underlying surface. The free-floating method, on the other hand, does not require attaching the wood to the floor at all. Instead, the planks of wood are glued together. Many worry that this technique will lead to unstable flooring, but these methods have proven to be durable and effective.

The expansion-contraction phases discussed above can cause planks to push against each other and form gaps over time; free-floating flooring, on the other hand, expands and contracts as a single unit. This method is also one of the easiest to install.

Older techniques

The methods discussed above are most commonly used in modern flooring installations, but older techniques have seen a resurgence in recent years. The craftsmanship of older designs is well tested, and some of the older technique give a appearance that some find preferable. The tongue and groove technique may be the most popular method that is making a major comeback.

Using similar pieces of wood, experts or specialized machine create so-called groves and tongues that latch together and when the planks are installed. Like the free-floating method discussed above, this flooring is better able to handle changes in weather, and many older hardwood floors installed with this technique have lasted for decades or centuries.

Hardwood information sources both online and offline can help those who are thinking about installing hardwood flooring make the right decision. Fortunately, there are no bad options. Hardwood flooring’s durability ensures that flooring installed well will last for decades or longer.

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