Have you ever wondered how to install hardwood floor panels to make
your home beautiful inside? There are many methods of installing
hardwood flooring currently in use. One of the best do it yourself
hardwood floors is the floating hardwood floor. The term floating
doesn't refer to a floor that is sitting in liquid. Floating means
that, while the floor is fastened to itself, it is not fastened down to
A floating hardwood floor has some disadvantages you should be aware of before proceeding with your installation. These floors will sometimes feel like you're walking on a bubble. And, each bubble you step on will have a creaky sound. On the other hand, those bubbles give the floor a much softer feel than a well-fastened hardwood floor. And, the floating floor is much easier to maintain. Best of all, it is one of the cheapest types of hardwood floors to install.Before continuing with the installation of a floating hardwood floor, we highly recommend that you consider using oak as your hardwood floor material. Oak looks beautiful and provides lasting durability.Tools Needed to Install a Floating Hardwood FloorBroom and Dust Pan - It is important to keep everything clean as you go. It is particularly important to keep the saw dust out from under and between your panels where it can really throw things off kilter. If it gets in there, there is no way to get it out without the very difficult process of hardware floor disassembly. Carpenter's Crayon - You'll have to cut up your panels to make them fit in the corners and make them go around objects that cannot be removed from the room having the hardwood floor installed. You may also want to use your carpenter's crayon to mark a layout pattern of where to place your flooring panels.Circular Saw - Your saw is what you will use as you cut along the lines you drew with your carpenters crayon.Claw hammer - In most places, you will use a rubber mallet to help push the boards together, but in those places near the wall where you don't have enough room to swing the mallet, you can use the claw hammer to fit them together.Cushioning Surface - You can make your floating hardwood floor feel even softer to the feet with the use of a cushioning surface under the floor. You would be shocked by the difference between a floor with the surface and a floor without the surface if you could try the two side by side.Cutter Knife - The cutter knife comes in handy in more places than you would expect as you work on your floor. But the main reason we recommend this tool is so that you can make minor cuts on the panel ends when you just can't quite make them fit together. Glue - Floating hardwood floors aren't supposed to be glued together. However, you might find you get better results if you just put a bit of glue at the end of each panel as you connect them. Of course, this will mean you'll need to be very careful not to get any glue on your floor surface.Nails - You will need to nail the floating floor to the wall strips. It may help to use a drill to do pilot holes to prevent the wood from splitting, but if you're a gambler, you can just hammer these nails in without pilot holes. Most people do that anyways.Rubber Mallet - The rubber mallet is what you use to fit the panels together at the joints. However, you need to be very careful not to hit the panels too hard and damage the panel surfaces.Preparing to Install Floating Hardwood Floor PanelsBefore you install your floating hardwood floor panels, you need to get your cushioning sheet installed. You can use your cutter knife to make it fit. Some people find that making it into many small pieces is much more manageable than trying to fit a large piece in the room. These pieces should be laid in the same direction as your panel rows.One of the nice parts of using a cushioning sheet is that debris on the sheet or lumps in the surface below it have a less dramatic effect on the floor. However, you should still try to get all of these straightened out to the extent you can see them. For debris, just use your broom and dust pan to remove them. It's not such a big of a one-time task when you consider the implications are pretty close to permanent if you fail to remove them.Installing a Floating Hardwood Floor1. Place your first panel in the corner with the ends with a cavity in them towards the walls.2. Put a little bit of glue in the cavity of the next panel.3. Attach the next panel to the first panel quickly after step two.4. You may need to work with the rubber mallet gently to ensure that the two panels come together snuggly. If the wall gets in the way of the rubber mallet, you can use your claw hammer to nudge it in place.5. Continue this until you get to the end of the row where you will need to mark off the excess length of your last panel with the carpenter's crayon. Then cut the panel to fit using the circular saw.6. Use the remaining piece of the panel to start the next row of hardwood.7. If you are using the glue, as in step two, you'll need to be careful to get the entire adhesive off of each row as you complete it or it may do permanent damage to the hardwood surface.8. Make sure you fit your entire pieces well, especially the last corner piece. If you have fit everything together just right, your floor will be much more stable. And, it will look better after the next step.9. Now you go around all of the room walls and place the wall strips. You should nail these strips to the wall and to the floor. This will stabilize your floor. This will also make the edges of your new floor look better.How to Install Floating Hardwood Floor - Clean UpAs with any big woodworking project, you can expect to have a mess as you go. There are such debris as saw dust, cut splinters, glue spots, and more. While you were trying to clean as you went, you should really do a final inspection and cleaning at the completion of the project. You don't want any saw dust or wood chips scraping across your new floor before you even get to admire its smooth shine.After your floor has had a day to settle you can clean it with a mildly wet mop to get everything else up that you might have missed. You need to dry the floor up right away after mopping, of course. Otherwise, your wood will swell and lumps will form.Hindsight Tips for Installing Your Floating Hardwood FloorYou do not need to be terribly careful with the cushioning sheets. Don't spend all day trying to get exact measurements. As long as there are no major overlaps or separations between them, your floor should be just fine.When you are working with your hardwood panels, it is important not to rush. You should not be moving on and placing another panel until the current panel is completely and firmly connected to the other panels. But be very careful when using the rubber mallet and other tools on the panels not to cause surface damage. The surfaces are quite fragile when they are not yet anchored in place. It is very hard to go back and fix later if you missed a panel early in the installation process.Be careful when measuring your panels for cutting at the end of the row that you are marking off the right part of your panel for cutting. One of the most common mistakes is to have the panel backwards while measuring it and then end up with the wrong pieces being the lengths you need. Save yourself some time and be careful.Feeling Good after You Install Your Floating Hardwood FloorYou have saved a lot of money by installing a floating hardwood floor yourself. And, if you don't like it, you've chosen one of the easiest hardwood floors to replace. But, of course you like it. Hardwood floors look great. And, your new floating hardwood floor feels great too with its cushioning surface. Your neighbor's glued down floor may not creak much, but your neighbor's feet don't feel like they're floating when he walks on his floor.