A floating or suspended wood floor is one of the best floor types for many homeowners. The floor does not need any nailing or gluing down. Installing the floor may seem complicated, but with proper DIY skills, it may be a walk in the park. Floating floor protects the floor and is flexible in use in case you’d need to install new flooring.
The wood floor has an ever-rising market demand due to its insulating features, smooth and warm surface, and easiness to clean. Moreover, the flooring material comes with an authentic natural beauty that is irreplaceable. With wood floor, you needn’t worry when its surface becomes weary and old as you will only need to refinish it to restore the original beauty. You can install floating floor on slab, concrete sub-floor or tiles. The following steps will guide you on how to install a floating wood floor.
Tools and materials that you need
- Flush-cut dovetail saw
- Vacuum cleaner
- Tape measure
- A pencil and a notebook
- Form underlayment
- Floating flooring
- Utility knife
- Duct tape
- Patching compound
- Kick tool
- Heavy harmer
- 5/16 inch spacers
- Circular saw
Preparations of The Space
It is the first step in ensuring a smooth installation of the desired flooring type. You’ll need to clear the room of any material and obstacle that might obstruct the installation process. Before you commence the process, you’ll need to know how much space you have to help you determine the quantity of the material that will be enough to cover your floor. Even though you can calculate and buy the exact amount of materials that will cover the area, it would be pretty good to buy 10% more than you need to account for wastage.
All you will need in this step is a tape measure, notebook and a pencil. Measure the distance from one wall to the opposite one and record that reading in meters. Then, continue measuring the distance between the opposite walls and the others and record in meters. Multiply the two measurements to get your area in square meters. For instance, if the first reading between the two opposite walls was 5 m and the second measurement on the other two opposite walls was 3 m, you’ll have to multiply 5 X 3 to get 15 square meters. And that would be the space or area to be covered.
Preparation of the Sub-Floor
If you intend to use concrete sub-floor, you should use an underlay made of plywood or engineered hardwood. Never think of laying your floating wood floor directly on concrete as there will be less insulation. Also, the possibility of dampness may be more than what you might have contemplated. Thus, there should be a reasonable number of membranes to secure your floating floor from moisture action.
However, many experts prefer the standard oriental board (OSB) or plywood. You can use the method above to establish the quantity of the underlay that you need. Also, you should determine whether your sub-floor is even or has some rise and fall.
In the case of depressions, fill them with the patching compound to make the floor leveled. Grind down the ridges and bumps using sandpaper and vacuum the floor to remove all dust.
How to Prepare Floating Hardwood Flooring
Before settling down for installation, you should pick out the floating flooring. However, it is essential to know that pre-finished hardwood comes in a variety of thickness, sizes, color, lengths and designs with some of the most common types being Oak, maple, walnut and cherry.
The number of boxes that you’ll need to complete the job will depend on the coverage of each box of tiles and the amount of foam rolls or underlay required. Always be keen to read the manufacturer’s instruction to ensure you do not mess up the process. On the day of material arrival, open the boxes and leave the flooring in the open in store for about two to three days to acclimate.
How to install a floating wood floor on concrete
- Roll out the foam underlay across the floor in a single layer and cut an appropriate size using a utility knife.
- Tack the foam into the sub-floor and seal it with duct tape to eliminate the seams.
- Lay the pre-finished hardwood flooring planks parallel with the broadest wall to make your work easy. In the case of irregular-shaped rooms, you will have to design another efficient way to go. You can try other tactics such as diagonal arrangement or layout. At times, how to install a floating solid wood floor in irregular-shaped rooms might be tricky and may call for more creativity.
- Place a spacer against the furthest wall from the door and lay your first piece of flooring with the groove side facing the wall to make it fit snugly against the pre-set spacer. The spacers help to create a room for expansion without causing cracks on your flooring.
- Lay the next end-to-end line of wood flooring while snapping the groove and tongue together to fit snugly.
- Place the flat edge of a wooden block or kick tool on the end of the second piece and knock it with a hammer and continue laying the flooring along the walls.
- Cut the last flooring piece in the row using a jigsaw or circular saw to allow it to fit snugly leaving a buffer zone. If you have a problem laying the last bit, then you can remove the second-last part and install the final section and after that fit the last one.
- Install the next row of the flooring while staggering the joints in an overlapping manner by cutting the first piece of flooring in the next raw to avoid the end joists falling in the same plane. The staggered joists present an appealing aesthetic beauty as well as adding strength to the floor.
- Gently knock the side of the second row using a kick tool to fix the two rows together. Continue with the installation until the work is over.
- Remove the spacers and cover the spaces between the flooring and the baseboards with a shoe molding on the entire perimeter of your walls. Ensure you nail the frames to the boards and not to the flooring. The above methods can also apply to the process of how to install a floating wood floor over tile.
- Troubleshoot for any of the common problems and fix them before re-organizing the room.
Even though the procedure is long, the steps are simple and easy to understand. With the availability of hardwood planks with click-fix technique, there is no need to worry. You can easily install your floating wood flooring at home and save some reasonable chunks of bucks. But if you’re not so sure on your capabilities, you can hire an expert to lay your floating floor.