the stunning look of new hardwood makes anyhome great. it comes in many colors and species to match the style of your home. you can choosetraditional solid hardwood, or a more budget-friendly alternative, engineered hardwood. you can install engineered hardwood severalways: staple down, glue down, nail and floating. your application will depend on your subfloorand specific product. for each method you’ll need to prep yoursubfloor. lay out any underlayment, if needed, and mark a starting line. you can see howin our online video. here are some tips for all methods. let yourflooring acclimate to the room temperature and humidity for at least 72 hours. some productsneed to be removed from the boxes, others

don’t. check the instructions--follow thespecifics for installation. also, before you get started check for warpedand defective boards. a few bad pieces are not uncommon.and it’s a good idea to install the boards from several boxes to mix up color and shades.add up the flooring width to calculate the width of the last row. if it’s skinnierthan 1-inch, cut the first row in half. while you’re installing, try to keep a fewthings in mind. maintain the recommended expansion gap at the perimeter of the room, always staggerthe joints about 6-inches, and avoid stair-stepping and h joints. try to get a few rows betweenjoints that are lined up. got it? let’s get to work.

of all the installation methods floating isthe easiest. it works great over existing vinyl. and some flooring even locks togetherto make the installation even easier. to start be sure you’ve prepped the floorwith underlayment and layout lines. use the longest, straightest boards for row one, andset your first piece on the starting line—tongue side facing the wall. place spacers againstthe wall to maintain the expansion gap, typically about â½-inch for floating. on the next piece, overlap the boards so theend joint is tight. work left to right to finish up row one. at the end you might needto cut. set the piece face up and cut. for row two, angle the piece into the firstrow and fold flat to lock it in place. same

thing for the next piece. you can use a tappingblock to help lock pieces together, then just keep going. it’s that easy. remember to keep your joints tight and staggeredat least 6-inches. cut around any obstructions like vents orcolumns. to get under doorjambs with locking engineered you might have to shave off theledge of the groove in the previous row. apply a bead of glue to both pieces and slide intoplace. hold the pieces together with painter’s tape until the glue dries. when you get to the end, you might need touse a pull bar to wedge the final strips in place.

that finishes the floating installation. want more great ideas and how-to’s? go or click subscribe. to see the other installations, like how toglue down on concrete, check out part two.

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