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How to Install Engineered Wood Flooring

Engineered wood is an outstanding alternative to solid wood floors as it consists of a real wood layer on top of a multiply core. Therefore, it offers the authenticity and aesthetic of real wood, but with outstanding durability and easy maintenance at a fraction of the price. It’s easy to see why this flooring solution is so popular.

To further your savings, you can easily install engineered wood flooring without help and without complication. Here’s a step by step DIY guide to installing engineered flooring by yourself, even if you’re a flooring rookie.

1. Prepare your Subfloor

It’s important to ensure your subfloor is clean, dry and most importantly, flat. Use a spirit level to measure the evenness of the subfloor and then a levelling compound to smooth it out if need be. While allowing your subfloor too fully dry, allow your new engineered flooring to acclimatise to its new surroundings. So leave it in its chosen room for at least 72 hours prior to installation.

Related: The Cost of Engineered Wood Flooring

2. Measure Everything

Then, measure the length and width of the room you are planning to lay the engineered flooring. Next multiply those numbers together to calculate the room’s square area. Each of our product pages has a calculator to measure how many packs you’ll need based on this square area. However, to account for mistakes, add an extra 10% just in case.

An image of a measuring tape

3. Add Underlay

Laying underlay prior to your flooring not only makes your flooring more durable, but also adds extra insulation for warmth and soundproofing. We have a range of underlays appropriate for engineered flooring in our Underlays section. They can however, differ depending on your subfloor. For example, if you’ve got a concrete subfloor, a polyethylene film with a moisture barrier is best. If you have underfloor heating, we provide heat therm underlay especially for that.

When laying the underlay, simply place the sheets side by side, trim down with a craft knife or scissors and then tape together and at the seams. Ensure it is completely flat when taping to avoid any bumps in your new flooring.

4. Install!

Like laminate, some engineered flooring is incredibly easy to install as there are different types which don't require glue or nails. With its tongue and groove system and click structure, each panel simply fits snugly together. When arranging, it’s recommended to lay the panels horizontally along the longest side of your room to make the room to look bigger.

Start in the corner of the room with the groove facing the wall, keep the panel at least 10mm away from the wall to allow for an expansion gap. This should follow the perimeter of the room and allow the wood to expand or contract due to climate conditions. To help ensure an even expansion gap throughout, plastic spacers are recommended.

Slot each board into each other using the tongue and groove system and tap them firmly into place using a tapping block and hammer. When you reach the end of the first row, you’re likely to have to cut the last panel. Do this using a jamb saw or coping saw. You can use the remnant from this panel to start the next row.

An image of someone installing engineered wood

5. Add Beading

After all of your flooring is finally laid, you’ll need to do something about that expansion gap. We offer a range of beading or skirting that will perfectly complement your chosen flooring. After measuring the floor to decipher the length of beading or skirting you’ll require, use a saw to mitre the edges of your beading or skirting to allow it to fit neatly. Finally, fix in position with a hammer and nail, if need be, cover any holes with a small amount of wood filler.

Related: How to Install Vinyl Floors

That’s it! Enjoy your new engineered wood flooring!