How to Install Interlocking Wood Flooring

The charm and warmth of wood flooring are undeniable. If you wish to transform your space with a beautiful wooden floor, consider installing interlocking wood flooring. This type of flooring offers a practical and efficient solution, allowing you to achieve a seamless look without the need for adhesives or fasteners. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps of installing interlocking wood flooring.

Step 1: Prepare the Subfloor

The first step in installing interlocking wood flooring is to prepare the subfloor. Ensure the subfloor is clean, level, and dry. Remove any carpet, existing flooring, or baseboards. Repair any damaged areas and ensure the subfloor is free from protruding nails or screws. Dust and sweep the area thoroughly to create a clean and smooth surface for installation.

Step 2: Acclimate the Wood Flooring

Prior to installation, it’s crucial to acclimate your interlocking wood flooring. Unbox the flooring and let it sit in the installation area for at least 48 hours. This allows the flooring to adjust to the temperature and humidity of the room. Failure to acclimate the wood may result in gaps or warping later on.

Step 3: Install the Underlayment

Next, install a suitable underlayment to provide cushioning, sound insulation, and moisture barrier. Roll out the underlayment perpendicular to the direction you plan on installing the interlocking wood flooring. Trim the excess underlayment using a utility knife. Ensure the underlayment is securely attached to the subfloor with staples or adhesive if required.

Step 4: Begin Installation

Now it’s time to start installing the interlocking wood flooring. Begin in one corner of the room, preferably the corner farthest from the main entrance. Leave a 1/2 inch gap between the walls and flooring to allow for expansion. Take your first plank, align it with the starting wall, and interlock it with the subsequent plank. Use a tapping block and mallet to securely lock the planks together. Repeat this process, ensuring each row is tightly connected before moving on to the next.

Step 5: Cut and Fit the Last Row

As you approach the last row, you will likely need to cut the planks to fit the remaining space. Measure and mark the planks accordingly, ensuring you leave the necessary gap from the wall. Use a jigsaw or circular saw to make the cuts. Once cut, install the last row, interlocking the planks in the same way as previous rows.

Step 6: Install and Trim Baseboards

After completing the flooring installation, reinstall or install new baseboards to cover the expansion gap between the walls and flooring. Nail or glue the baseboards to the wall, ensuring they are flush against the flooring. Use a coping or miter saw to cut the baseboards at the appropriate angles for corners and door frames.

Step 7: Finishing Touches

Finally, give your interlocking wood flooring the finishing touches. Clean the flooring thoroughly to remove any dust or debris. Apply a recommended wood floor finish to protect and enhance the wood’s appearance. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for applying the finish, and allow sufficient drying time before walking on the floor or placing furniture.

Congratulations! You have successfully installed interlocking wood flooring. Enjoy the beautiful and timeless look of your new wood floor.