Solid flooring can be installed with nails or staples. Nailing involves driving a nail at an angle through the tongue of the hardwood floor into the wood subfloor. The nails are hidden by the groove in the next row of boards. Stapling follows a similar process to nailing.
In addition to staples, engineered flooring can also be installed using a glue-down or a floating method. Gluing involves troweling glue on the floor and setting the engineered planks into the glue. The floating installation method is only suitable for engineered flooring that is a minimum of 3 inches in width, and it requires a foam underlay designed specifically for floating floors, as well as a special adhesive to glue the tongue and groove of the boards together.
Whether you hire a professional installer or choose to go the “do-it-yourself” route, remember that wood flooring is a natural product that will expand and contract through the seasons. It is important to allow a 3/4-inch space, or the thickness of the flooring, between the wood flooring and the wall of the room to allow for this expansion and contraction. Mullican Flooring offers a line of complementing moldings to cover the space.
Moisture levels in the areas where the flooring will be installed should also be considered prior to installation, since changes in moisture can create issues that include warping and gapping. To mitigate the effects of moisture, keep moisture levels within the recommended range. For optimum performance, wood flooring should stay within the relative humidity range of 35 to 55 percent and a temperature range of 68 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit. To learn more, view this chart from the Wood Handbook, published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For added moisture protection, use Mullican Flooring’s Moisture Mat. More information about the moisture mat is available here. Hardwood flooring should not be installed in bathrooms due to fluctuating moisture conditions.