Now that you’ve finally chosen the perfect hardwood floor the even bigger question remains, who can I trust to install it in my home? With over 40 years of installation experience and continuing education in the field, we take pride in our knowledge of the installation process. Hardwood floors are a living entity within the home and it is important that proper steps be taken when installing to ensure a long lifetime. We approach each installation with a series of calculated measurements and guidelines creating the optimum environment for your new hardwood floor.

Acclimation of materials

The most crucial step in any hardwood flooring installation, proper acclimation of materials ensures they are stable within the environment. Improper acclimation may compromise the overall integrity of the installation.

  • Know the acceptable moisture range for your geological region
  • Investigate/address potential moisture concerns surrounding the home (landscaping, drainage)
  • Take moisture readings of both the subfloor and new floor materials to ensure they are within an acceptable range.
  • Allow an acceptable amount of time for the materials to sit in their new environment to balance all moisture and relative humidity levels.
  • If installed on raised foundation, check crawlspace for proper ventilation and/or determine need for moisture barrier (6mm polyethylene film)
  • For installations on concrete slab moisture levels must be determined and appropriate steps towards moisture mitigation taken in the form of a roll-on liquid sealant (Wakol PU-280)


Subfloor Preparation

Determining the condition of the subfloor prior to installation is a crucial step in the installation of your new hardwood floor. Whether it’s being installed directly onto the concrete slab or fastened to a wooden substrate (plywood), measured steps must be taken for the best results.

On both concrete and plywood subfloors it is important to determine any high/ low areas and level them accordingly (concrete planer, self-leveling compound, wood planer, level)
Remove any foreign materials stuck to the subfloor (excess paint spills, drywall compound, thinset, previous flooring adhesive/tar)
For raised foundation homes/spaces it is a good measure to check for squeaks/ movement and fasten accordingly for less noise issues and a firmer feel.
Concrete slab is best prepared by scarifying surface for optimal adhesive bonding.

Installation Methods

There are many ways to properly install a hardwood floor. Understanding the construction of the subfloor determines the best method for installing your new hardwood floor.


Cleat/Staple Down: Most common installation method over a wooden subfloor. Utilizes cleat nails or staples driven into the tongue of the plank at intervals appropriate to the width of the board.
Floating: Each individual board receives a bead of glue in the tongue/groove but is not affixed to the subfloor below. This floating style can be less susceptible to moisture variances because the floor moves as one unit whereas affixing each board causes them to expand/contract individually. Click together style floors also fall under this category.
Glue Down: A very common installation style here in California due to the amount of homes with concrete slabs. To achieve the best results with this method of installation style it is first important to free the surface of the concrete of any extraneous coatings (ie old glue, tar, paint, drywall compound) and compensate for any major high/low spots with leveling compound. Next we seal the concrete to create a moisture membrane underneath the adhesive layer. This also helps create a stronger bond between the concrete and the glue itself. After the sealer is dry, adhesive is troweled onto the concrete followed by the installation of the floor into the wet glue. This method is also a good option for sound reduction in upper floors, high rise/apartment applications and when installing over radiant heating systems.


Glue Assist: A hybrid method in which a bead or bed of glue is used in tandem with a proper nailing schedule (spacing of cleats/staples). This is our preferred method when dealing with plank widths larger than 4”.