Click Engineered Hardwood Flooring Installation – Oh. Mine. Goodness. YOU GUYS. Is it possible to fall completely in love with your hardwood floor?! Because that’s happening right this very second. Our new hardwood floor looks SO GOOD!!! If you remember, we had three different types of flooring on the main floor of our house: dated honey oak hardwood, builder beige carpet, and dark laminate (my least favorite thing in the world) that was installed over ceramic tile (ok, that’s technically four different types of floors). I’m not sure why there were so many different floor choices to begin with, but I’m a big fan of a cohesive, seamless look throughout. Replacing the mismatched floors was one of the things we wanted to do as soon as we moved into this house. I am thrilled to be partnering with The Home Depot on this hardwood flooring project!
I researched a ton of different flooring options, from vinyl plank to tile. I talk more about why I chose engineered hardwood in this post. While all wood floors expand and contract due to changes in temperature and humidity,
Click Engineered Hardwood Flooring Installation
Hardwood is more stable than solid wood floors because of the way it is constructed. Engineered hardwood is made up of layers of real hardwood and high quality plywood, each layer placed in opposite directions. This makes for a more stable product, so the wood is less likely to warp and bend in damp or humid conditions. This is especially important in rooms where moisture can be a problem, such as a kitchen, bathroom or laundry room.
Install Tongue And Groove Wood Veneer Flooring
While that’s all well and good, let’s be honest. The main reason why I chose this floor is because it looks INCREDIBLE. When we lived in Texas, we rented a house with dark wood floors and it showed every dust particle and dog hair, it was next to impossible to keep clean. I vowed never to have dark floors again, so when I laid eyes on this wide plank French oak hardwood floor from Malibu Wide Plank, I was smitten. It is absolutely GORGEOUS!!! I love the light (but not too light) wood tone, the wide 6 1/2-inch planks, the depth of the dirty, wire-scraped oak grain, and the matte finish.
Also this floor can be installed as a floating floor (not nailed or glued) or it can be glued. We chose to just float the floor for ease of installation (and because I’m a bit of a commitment-phobe). It can be installed at, above or below grade and no acclimatization is required. I love that it comes in different lengths, with 70% of the shelves being 48 inches long.
This floor comes with click-lock construction, so installation is a breeze. Every piece fits together like a puzzle; you shouldn’t have to wrestle with the floorboards to lay them flat and lock them in place. Once you put the tongue in the groove, it should click, lock and fit like a glove.
“Like a glove!” That’s what my husband said after each shelf was laid, Ace Ventura style. Oh, did I mention we had 1600+ square feet to cover?
Advantages & Disadvantages Of Engineered Wood Floors
The most challenging part of this project was the fact that we were laying hardwood over such a large space. Because the dining room opens to the foyer, which opens to my office, which leads into the living room, we had to make sure the floorboards went straight from room to room. And we didn’t want to use transition boards if we could help it; we wanted a beautiful, seamless floor everywhere.
This is the first time we’ve ever laid hardwood floors, so I called on my good friend and custom home builder, Josh Brantingham, to help us get started. Josh has built and renovated several houses and he was a huge help! The first thing we did was find the longest outside wall to start on. An exterior wall is straighter than interior walls, so we wanted to reference that. We measured and cut a chalk line from one end of the house to the other. As long as the floorboards stay parallel to this chalk line, we know the floors are straight.
Once we had our chalk line, we rolled out the underlayment over the plywood subfloor. We chose this 2mm underlayment because it was cost-effective, yet provided a good moisture barrier and some sound dampening. It was an upgrade from the tar paper that the contractors put under the original floors.
We laid the first few rows from left to right, top to bottom, checking to make sure we stay parallel to the chalk line. The more rows are laid, the safer the floor becomes. You also want to leave a small gap between the floorboards and the wall, to allow for any wood movement. The baseboards will bridge this gap. This floor installation kit comes with a pull bar, tap block and spacers. The spacers keep the boards at the same distance from the wall, while the drawbar and tenon block are useful for tapping the joints tightly in place.
Buying Guide: Shop For Engineered Hardwood
Also worth mentioning…if you are installing hardwood floors in one room, you would typically measure the room and figure out what width the first and last rows should be. Finally, you want the first and last rows to be similar in width – you don’t want to start with a wide plank, then end up with a super skinny plank. But since we are laying this floor over the entire first floor of our house, this step was unnecessary. These floors are going in our foyer, dining room, home office, living room, kitchen, laundry room, powder room and hallway, so there will be many, many different walls and doors where the floorboards will die. It would be next to impossible to make every start and end plank match in width.
We laid the boards in a random pattern, staggered the seams. There should be a minimum of 6 inches from the seam of one board to the seam of the board below it. In other words, do not line up your seams – allow there to be at least a 6-inch overhang.
For vents, floor exits, around door posts and so on, we had to cut or turn out parts of the floorboards. First we took measurements, then we laid out the board with a puzzle.
For this floor outlet, we first drilled a pilot hole for the puzzle sheet to start, then followed the pencil lines with the puzzle. When we were done, we had a neat little window for the floor exit to look through.
Diy Engineered Hardwood
There were other times when we had to refit the door casing so the floorboard would fit underneath – the Dremel Multi-Max worked well for this task. We also used the Multi-Max in the floor demo, which you can see here.
Once the difficult parts were taken care of, we could rock and roll. It was really easy to get our groove on and make great progress in a very short time. Get it?
It’s fascinating how each plank clicks and clicks into place, like a puzzle. And since we floated the floor, it was easy to go back and lift the boards if we made a mistake. This floor is incredibly forgiving. The thing I can’t stress enough is this: just start. If you make a mistake, you can easily go back and fix it. It may take more time, but since there are no nails or glue involved, your mistakes will be easy to correct.
You guys. I can’t believe we did this!!! It was our first time laying hardwood floors and they look absolutely amazing! It was a little difficult to photograph because the light coming from the windows washed out the wood tones a bit, but take my word for it, they look spectacular in real life. We saved ourselves thousands of dollars by installing these floors ourselves – the click lock installation really made things pretty foolproof.
Home Legend Saddle Brown Oak 5
Oh, and don’t forget about the missing baseboards and trim – they were special ordered, along with my new French doors and custom transom windows. We can’t wait to put this house back together – hopefully before we have to host Thanksgiving this year (!!!). We’ll also be tackling a home office makeover soon, so stay tuned for that! It will be so good.
*I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in the Flooring Campaign. As part of the program, I receive compensation in the form of products and services for promoting The Home Depot. All opinions and experiences expressed are my own. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines. This post contains affiliate links. To read my full disclosure policy, click here. How you install your wood floor will depend on the type of wood you’ve chosen, as well as the type of subfloor you have: concrete, wood, carpet or tile. These factors
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