The single most important decision to make before installing a wood floor?

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Wood floors bring warmth and luxury to your home. They can also bring headaches if you don’t make informed installation decisions. Do you glue, nail, or float your floor? The answer is yes—depending on the conditions in your home.

Solid hardwood floors vs engineered wood floors

While solid hardwood flooring comes in differing wood varieties, it’s the more expensive choice of the two. Moisture if the catch. If there’s moisture in the slab or even in the air, a solid hardwood floor can ripple or buckle, destroying it.

On the plus side, a solid wood floor can be re-finished many more times than an engineered wood floor. That’s because the engineered wood floor’s finish is only a veneer fractions of an inch thick. Solid hardwood floors added lifespan make them more environmentally friendly.

Engineered hardwood flooring, on the other hand, is made of crisscrossed wood layers that make them more resistant to the effects of moisture. Because it’s manufactured, an engineered wood floor is less expensive than a solid hardwood floor.

Engineered wood floors are also environmentally friendly because they use less of the ornamental wood found on the surface. Since that finish is a veneer skin, one tree can effectively create many times more feet of flooring.

The worst enemy of a wood floor

While kids and dogs rank high on the list of enemies of any wood floor, moisture beats them all. It’s a critical reason for determining how your wood floors are installed.

Lay a paper towel atop a damp sponge. The paper towel wicks up excess moisture. Wood floors will do the same thing with excess moisture in a concrete slab or subfloor. Texas Floors, our Trusted Company for flooring, recommends against gluing down on floors with moisture readings in excess of 4%.

Floating vs glue down wood floor

The advantage of a floating floor is flexibility. They can work over subfloors such as plywood, ceramic tile, linoleum floors, and concrete. The substrate, however, must be flat to about an eighth of an inch in ten feet. Areas out of level will result in a hollow sound beneath the floor.

That’s one reason floating floors are typically installed with a foam layer between the subfloor and your chosen surface. This underlayment acts as both a moisture barrier and a sound-dampener. While the underlayment can help reduce a floating floor’s hollow sound, it will not eliminate it.

For strong bond, it’s difficult to beat a glue down floor. Elastomeric adhesives allow the wood to expand and contract making it a better choice than a nailed-down floor.

As you will see in the video, a glued down engineered wood floor is the best of all worlds: it’s durable, affordable, and has the feel of solid hardwood floors.