Engineered hardwood is a popular choice for homeowners who want to add the timeless beauty of hardwood to their homes. Unlike solid hardwood, engineered hardwood is made up of multiple layers of wood veneer that are cross-laminated and bonded together. This construction provides greater stability and resistance to moisture, making it suitable for installation in areas where solid hardwood may not be recommended, such as basements and bathrooms. If you are considering installing engineered hardwood flooring, this guide will take you through the step-by-step process.
Step 1: Prepare the Subfloor
Before you begin installing engineered hardwood, it is essential to prepare the subfloor. Ensure that the subfloor is clean, dry, and level. If you are installing over a concrete subfloor, make sure it has cured for at least 30 days. Remove any existing flooring, baseboards, and trim. Inspect the subfloor for any damage or squeaks and repair them as necessary.
Step 2: Acclimate the Flooring
Engineered hardwood flooring needs to acclimate to the room’s conditions before installation. It’s crucial to bring the flooring inside the room where it will be installed and leave it to adjust for at least 48 hours. This process allows the planks to adapt to the room’s temperature and humidity, reducing the risk of warping or buckling after installation. Keep the room’s temperature and humidity levels consistent during this acclimation period.
Step 3: Install Underlayment
Before laying the engineered hardwood, consider installing an underlayment. Underlayment helps with noise reduction, moisture protection, and provides a smoother surface. Unroll the underlayment perpendicular to the direction of your flooring. Trim any excess material, but make sure there is overlap between the strips to create a seamless barrier against moisture. Tape the seams using adhesive or moisture-resistant tape.