How To Install Engineered Flooring

Not sure how to install engineered wood flooring? In this installation guide we will take you through the general process of laying your engineered floor. You'll be pleased to hear that engineered flooring is some of the easiest floors to lay yourself, therefore you can DIY and save on the cost of a professional fitter.

The technical details will change based on the room or the specific floor chosen so you'll also need to refer to the manufacturers guides before you start your installation process.

Links can be found for these at the bottom of this page.

Engineered Flooring Installation Safety

Safety first! Remember, installing your new engineered floor will involve a lot of kneeling, so we strongly recommend using padded knee pads. We also recommend safety goggles and dust masks for when sawing boards and ear defenders for when using power tools.

Step 1: Preparing Your Engineered Floor

We recommend acclimatising your new engineered wood floor for a period of 2 days before fitting. Acclimatisation is the process of allowing your engineered flooring to become accustomed to its new climate after delivery. There can be dramatic differences in temperature and humidity between the warehouse and your home and your floor needs to adjust to this before it is laid.

When acclimatising your engineered floor make sure you leave it in its box, in the room where you are going to install it. The temperature should remain ‘normal’ for that room whilst the floor acclimatises.

Make sure the subfloor is as clean as can be - sweep, vacuum and wash the floor before leaving it to dry. Then you'll need to refer to your manufacturer's installation guide to find the ideal sub-floor moisture level and humidity, plus room temperature.

Step 2: Installing Engineered Flooring Underlay

Once the surface is prepared, you can apply your engineered underlay. Place a roll at one end of the room and unroll it from the wall. Simply use scissors or a knife to trim at the opposite end. Continue across the room, making sure the edges meet but don't overlap as this will create an uneven floor. It's important for the thin Damp Proof Membrane to overlap if this is larger than the rest of the underlay. It's best to leave a 10mm gap around pipes, but make sure the DPM reaches slightly up the wall to protect the edges of the boards.

Step 3: Engineered Floor Fitting

Tip: You want to avoid boards less than 60mm wide at the edges of your room (that is width, not length). The best way to do this is to measure the width of your room and divide that by the width of your board. This will tell you how many boards wide the room is, and will tell you how wide the last board will be. If it's less than 60mm, cut your first board slightly thinner so that both boards are wider than 60mm.

  • Start in a corner, working left to right. The end with the groove goes against the wall. Use expansion spacers along the wall to easily keep the 10mm expansion gap. This gap will cater for the natural shift in size through seasons and temperatures, and without it your engineered flooring could become damaged.
  • Lay the next floorboard, fitting the tongues together at 30 degrees from the floor before lowering it to a level and locking it in place. Carry on until the end of the row.
  • If the last board of the row is too long to fit, you'll need to cut it to size. To accurately measure the board to the exact size of the gap, turn it 180 degrees and lay it next to the previous board (remember to use an expansion spacer). Use a tri-square and pencil to draw a line across the board level to where it meets the previous board. Now, cut the board to size and fit it in the end of the row with the freshly cut side facing the wall.
  • If the off-cut from the previous row is longer than 30cm, use this as the first board of the second row - cut side facing the wall. However, if it's too short, simply cut a board in half and use that. The ends of boards should be at least 30cm apart, and this makes sure of that.
  • The locking mechanism is the same on the long end as it is on the short end - insert at 30 degrees and push down to lock into place.
  • If the last row needs to be cut lengthways, lay the planks as pictured below. The line you draw along the edge of the top plank is where you need to cut the middle plank to fit against the wall.

Fitting Engineered Flooring Around Pipes

If you're fitting your new engineered flooring around any pipes, follow the steps below:

  1. Mark the position of the pipe on the floorboard you're laying
  2. Drill a hole about 16mm larger in diameter than the pipe and make two angle saw cuts from the board edge to the sides of the hole to cut a wedge out of the board
  3. Fit the board and carefully glue the small off-cut wedge behind the pipe

Installing Engineered Flooring in Large Rooms

When installing engineered floors, it's important to remember that when wooden boards expand, they expand across their width (across the boards) not their length (along the boards). Whilst the length of a room isn't a concern, you should pay close attention to the width. If your room is more than 10m wide, all you need to do is separate the floor up into sections, leaving an expansion gap between the areas. A threshold trim or something similar can be used to hide the gap. Please note: some manufacturers' guidelines differ on the maximum width of a room, so please check for your specific floor.

Specific manufacturers installation guides

Select a guide:

Engineered Installation Tools

You'll need the correct tools if you're installing your engineered floor yourself. Make sure you take a look at the engineered installation tools that we have available. We provide a variety of installation kits as well as a few handy gadgets to help you install your flooring yourself at home.

Our Engineered Flooring Fitting Service

If you're not so confident with your DIY installation skills, we have joined forces with a network of floor fitters across the country to bring you the best floor fitting service available.

We supply our fitting service for all our engineered, solid wood and laminate floors. Get a free, no-obligation engineered flooring installation quote or call 01603 650078.