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Choosing the right type of installation for your floor

Hardwood flooring is a popular choice for many homeowners because of its durability, beauty, and versatility. One of the most important decisions you'll make when installing hardwood floors is which type of installation method to use. In this blog post, we'll explore three of the most common hardwood flooring installation methods: nail down, glue assist, and full spread glue installation.

  1. Nail Down Installation

Nail down installation is the most traditional method of hardwood flooring installation. In this method, the planks are attached to the subfloor using cleats or staples. The subfloor must be in good condition, and the planks must be acclimated to the room's humidity and temperature before installation. The nails or staples are placed in the tongue of the planks, which are then joined together and nailed to the subfloor. This method is ideal for hardwood floors with the widths not exceeding 4 inches. It is also best suited for installation over a plywood subfloor rather than a concrete subfloor. Nail down installation is durable and long-lasting, making it a popular choice for most strip flooring applications.

  1. Glue Assist Installation

Glue assist installation is another method of installing hardwood floors. In this method, the planks are glued down to the subfloor using a flooring adhesive as well as cleats or staples like nail down installation. The adhesive is applied to the subfloor in only sections but not spread over entire subfloor. This method is ideal for installation over a plywood subfloor. It is also a great option for homeowners that choose a medium width of wood flooring between 4-6 inches wide. It’s not required to spread glue over entire subfloor so it can be a more cost effective installation of wood flooring. The glue is only assisting the cleat or staple to help achieve a quieter floor with less movement in medium width wood flooring.

  1. Full Spread Glue Installation

Full spread glue installation is another method of installing hardwood floors. In this method, the entire subfloor is coated with adhesive before the wood flooring is installed. The planks are then joined together sometimes using no cleats or staples at all. This is the only method of installing wood floors on top of concrete subfloors. This method is also ideal for homeowners who want a wide plank hardwood floor with widths 6 inches and up. With the full spread glue installation, it allows minimal movement and noise. Full spread glue installation also provides excellent stability and resistant to moisture. However, it can be more difficult to install than glue assist and nail down requiring more time to complete.


Choosing the right hardwood flooring installation method is essential for a successful installation. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the best option will depend on the type of hardwood flooring you choose, the condition of your subfloor, and your personal preferences. Consider the pros and cons of each method carefully and consult with a professional installer to determine which installation method is right for your home.

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