How to install hardwood flooring

Hardwood flooring installation is tough and expensive work. If you’re a homeowner looking to install hardwood in your abode by yourself, consider this your guide.

Determining square footage

First, you’ll need to determine the square footage of the room or space that you’re looking to install new hardwood in.

Calculating square footage involves measuring the length and the width of the room you’re planning to install hardwood in and multiplying those two numbers together. For instance, if the room in question has a length of 10 feet and a width of 12 feet, there are 120 square feet in the room that will need to be covered. Of course, if the room is not shaped like a square, this calculation becomes more difficult. This will be necessary to determine how much wood flooring you’ll need to buy.

Deciding on an installation method

Next, you’ll have to decide on a flooring installation method.

There are several to choose from depending on the subfloor in your home, budget, and type of wood flooring you wish to install.

Glue-down installation is one option, where hardwood flooring is clicked together, secured with glue, and then glued to the subfloor.

Next is floating installation, which involves connecting hardwood flooring to keep moisture out and laying it on the subfloor. This is the preferred installation method if your subfloor is cement, tile, or radiant heat.

Nail-down installation is another option and is preferred for its permanence. The hardwood is laid down and nailed into the subfloor, leaving the nails nearly invisible. Unlike the two previous installation options, this option requires that your subfloor be wood - if it isn’t, you will need to install wooden subfloor, which will raise the price of your installation.

Finally, staple-down installation is another option. It is similar to nail-down installation but uses staples instead of nails.

Preparing for installation

Once you’ve decided on your installation method and preferred hardwood material, it’s time to prepare for installation.

This involves leaving the hardwood you plan to install in the room where it will be installed for five days to allow it to acclimate to the climate of your home. You will also need to remove all the baseboards in the room where you plan to install your wood flooring.

If you have carpet or old wood flooring, you’ll need to remove it to reveal the subflooring. If there are staples or nails sticking up, make sure to knock them down or remove them.

After you’ve finished this prep, be sure to clean the subfloor thoroughly with a vacuum. Then, you’ll want to determine the layout of the hardwood in the room. Many homeowners do this by laying down pieces of wood flooring and marking where the sit on the floor.

After you determine the layout of your hardwood flooring, you will need to install a vapor barrier on top of your subflooring. There are a variety of products that can be used to keep water vapor from reaching your wood flooring, including rosin paper.


Once that has been installed, you can finally begin to install your wood flooring using the installation method of your choice.

Alternating pieces of wood from different boxes, lay your wood flooring out in your predetermined pattern and install it using glue or a nail or staple gun. Once you finish this, you will need to install smaller pieces of wood to cover the doorjamb and threshold. You’ll also need to reinstall the baseboards you removed to complete your hardwood installation.

Sounds like a lot of work? That’s because it is! If you don’t have the time, patience, or money to gather all of the necessary tools and materials to complete your hardwood flooring installation yourself, consider giving AGW Hardwood Floors a call!

We have decades of hardwood installation experience in the Guilford area and our services are 100% satisfaction guaranteed. In addition, we provide a complimentary in-home consultation and estimate for your wood flooring needs, and we provide high-quality wood samples for you to consider.

We are ready to make all of your hardwood flooring dreams come true, without the headache of DIY-installation.

Phone: (203) 640-3106


Business Hours

Monday: 7:00am - 9:00pm

Tuesday: 7:00am - 9:00pm

Wednesday: 7:00am - 9:00pm

Thursday: 7:00am - 9:00pm

Friday: 7:00am - 9:00pm

Saturday: 7:00am - 9:00pm

Sunday: Closed