Nailed floor installation is usually required for solid hardwood flooring construction. Professional installers use either a high-velocity compressed-air gun or manual pressure gun to fasten cleats into the hardwood. To compensate for expansion, installers will leave expansion gaps around the edge of the wall and hide these areas with base or quarter round molding.
This technique is also used for engineered hardwood installation. Unlike solid hardwood, engineered flooring is less susceptible to relative humidity due to the products plywood foundation. In this instance, only small expansion gaps are required around the perimeter of the installed room.
Glued installation is an optional technique used when installing engineered hardwood flooring. A urethane adhesive with vapor retarder technology is applied by trowel directly to a suitable subfloor (typically a concrete slab or plywood foundation). The urethane adhesive provides optimal moisture protection, maximum bond adhesion, and sound control depending on the product. Once the floor is installed, long strips of painter’s tape are applied to the floor to control board movement as the glue sets up.
A floating installation method may be used when installing an engineered hardwood over a flat foundation. When floating a floor, floorboards have no direct attachment to the subfloor or concrete slab. Boards are instead glued together at the joints to allow for floor expansion and contraction.
The technique and execution of a stapled hardwood installation, is similar to that of a nailed floor. Professional installers use pneumatic staple guns to fasten either engineered or solid hardwood to a wooden subfloor.