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What to Know Before Installing Hardwood Flooring

You’ve been debating and researching all the different types of flooring out there for your next renovation project and you’ve finally come to the decision that you want wood flooring in your home. That’s great! But before you install hardwood, there’s a few things you need to know to ensure you’re getting exactly what you want and that you have it installed correctly.

The Type of Woods Matters

Not all wood is created equal. The type of wood you choose will impact not just the aesthetics but also the durability and maintenance of your flooring. The more common options include oak, maple, cherry, and walnut, each with its unique grain patterns and colours. You can see the varieties carried by your local End Of The Roll Flooring Centre here.

A living room with hardwood floors with an area rug in the middle.

Solid vs. Engineered Hardwood

Two primary categories of hardwood flooring are solid and engineered. Solid hardwood consists of one solid piece of wood and is known for its authenticity. Engineered hardwood, on the other hand, comprises multiple layers of plywood topped with a hardwood veneer. Engineered hardwood is more stable and resistant to moisture, making it suitable for various environments not normally suited for hardwood, including basements.

Natural hardwood is a solid piece of wood cut to shape. Engineered hardwood is made up of a backing layer, supporting plywood layers, the hardwood surface, and a clear protective finish.

Budget and Cost

Hardwood flooring can range in price, so it’s crucial to establish a budget before you start shopping. Factors that affect the cost include the wood species, quality, and installation method. While hardwood flooring is an investment, it can increase the value of your home and last for many years with proper maintenance and care, making it a wise long term choice.

Subfloor Preparation

Your subfloor must be properly prepared for hardwood flooring installation. It should be clean, level, and dry. Any irregularities in the subfloor can lead to problems like squeaks, gaps, or unevenness in your hardwood flooring. Depending on your subfloor type, you may need additional underlayment or moisture barriers. Not sure what the difference is? We’ve got a guide breaking down the difference between subfloor vs underlayment.

Installing an underlayment.

Acclimation Period

Wood is a natural material that expands and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity. To avoid issues like warping and buckling, your hardwood flooring should acclimate to the environment it’s going to be installed in. This typically involves storing the hardwood in the room where it will be installed for a minimum of three days to give the wood enough time to achieve its average expansion or contraction in the room’s environment.

A variety of hardwood trimmings

Installation Methods

There are three common methods for installing hardwood: nail-down, glue-down, and floating. The method you end up choosing will depend on the type of hardwood you’ve purchased and your subfloor. Nail-down is common for solid hardwood, while engineered hardwood can often be floated or glued down. When it comes to hardwood, we recommend bringing in the professionals because hardwood is naturally more difficult to install and any mistakes can be quite costly.

Measuring flooring for installation

Maintenance and Care

Proper maintenance is essential to keep your hardwood flooring looking its best, so consider investing in area rugs and felt protectors for furniture before installation to prevent scratches. The last thing you want is your beautiful new floor to be scuffed up by a chair leg as you move furniture into the room!


Installing hardwood flooring is a pretty hefty decision, but the timeless beauty and long-lasting quality it brings to your home can make it a worthwhile investment. We suggest speaking with a flooring advisor at your local End Of The Roll Flooring Centre to get a more detailed insight into the best option for your home renovation.

Man placing padding down onto a floor
Subfloor VS Underlayment

When you think of the flooring in your home, you probably think of just the one layer of visible flooring that your feet are touching. Your flooring is actually a system of layered components that are all essential to make your flooring functional and durable.