Completing your own home renovation project can be extremely rewarding and can help cut down on your overall costs. New floor installation or replacement is a popular project that homeowners may feel comfortable taking on themselves. Hardwood flooring and engineered hardwood flooring is a very popular flooring option, as it provides added warmth and style to any room. 

Below we will review the basic steps to installing hardwood flooring utilizing the glue-down method. Note this is not a comprehensive guide, but rather an overview.

Installation Methods

There are three main methods to installing hardwood and engineered hardwood:

1) Glue-down – This installation begins by clicking the flooring together and then securing the flooring down using glue or adhesive.

2) Click-lock – Otherwise known as floating floor installation is one of the most common methods utilized for engineered wood flooring. The flooring is held together by clicking the flooring into each other.

3) Nail-down – This method is the most durable as the floor is held in place with nails. The nails are not visible upon installation. This method requires you to have a wooden subfloor for the nails to hold to.


If you are replacing an existing floor, begin by removing the baseboards and the old flooring. Once you have cleared the space and cleaned up any debris, inspect your subfloor to ensure it is level. You may need to sand down or fill in any uneven spots. 

Once your subfloor is prepared, lay down a moisture barrier such as a silicone vapor shield. This will help protect your flooring and even reduce noise. 

Racking The Board

This entails mixing the boards from different boxes in order to avoid potential dark or light areas in your floor. You will also have the opportunity to sort the boards in order of installation, so that you can ensure different length boards are being used to avoid the joints of different rows from lining up. Finally, it is a good idea to install your hardwood perpendicular to your floor joists for added support.

Glue-down Installation

With your  subfloor prepped and ready to go, begin by spreading out a thin layer of floor adhesive. It’s a good idea to spread it one section at a time, so the adhesive doesn’t dry before you have a chance to lay down the flooring. Once you have laid down the first row, gently tap the second row boards into the groove of the first row using a rubber mallet. Once the second row is complete, move on to the third row and so forth. Take the time to make sure the rows are flush with each other and the boards are all tightly clipped in to one another. 

Once the final row is installed, you can install the baseboards to cover the small gaps at the ends of your flooring.

There you have it, you’ve successfully installed hardwood flooring in your home.