Types of Flooring and How to Install Them

Hardwood Flooring

A hardwood floor needs a subfloor foundation which can be chosen from the following materials:

• Wood
• Concrete
• Any existing tile or vinyl

Basic Materials:

• Square
• Chalk line
• Crow Bar
• Electric Saw
• Felt Paper
• Hammer
• Jigsaw
• Spacers
• Tapping block
• Utility knife
• Rags
• Rubber mallet

Installation Preparation:

• Use a moisture meter to test the subfloor. A maximum of 4% is acceptable
• Remove all door casings in the installation area
• Remove doors and moldings in the installation area
• Sweep the floor thoroughly or vacuum

Installation Steps:

1. Saw the pre-finished side of the hardwood flooring
2. Lay felt paper on the subfloor and trim it around the perimeter of the installation area
3. Before beginning the first wood piece, leave an expansion gap in the beginning row and in the end row that is the same thickness as the hardwood flooring.
4. Move each piece into position with the tapping block
5. Stagger the ends of each board so that none of the boards are exactly side-by-side in corresponding rows.
6. Using the rubber mallet, tap the tongue of each board in place next to the adjoining board.
7. When you reach the end, find a board that is longer than the end space. Turn it upside down so the tongue is facing the boards that are already installed. Mark it, then put the same mark on the surface of the wood. Cut at the mark with the electric saw.

The process for hardwood flooring installation from start to finish can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNVc8zuS95k

Ceramic Tile

Before going further to give you the best ideas on what types of mosaic tiles there are, refer to the House of mosaics for your many options.


• Fix any cracks in the existing concrete
• Check for chemical residue on the concrete that will deter bonding to the tile (beaded water dropped on the surface signals a chemical coating)

Installation Steps for Tile:

1. Measure out the area to see how much tile, mortar, and grout will be needed. If you are unsure, take your measurements to your local hardware store and they will determine how much in materials you will need.
2. Prepare the subfloor depending on the type (concrete, wood, vinyl, older tile)
3. Figure out the tile design by laying the tile so that you are using as many of the whole tiles as possible.
4. Lay the edges first. Use the spacers as you go along between each tile for evenness
5. After all the tiles are in place, use the tile saw to cut the measured tiles
6. Once completed, begin to remove the tiles and apply mortar
7. Mortar is thinly applied in one layer, small sections at a time with the notched trowel
8. Complete each small section by laying tiles and moving to the next section and repeating the process. Use spacers to hold tiles in position
9. Let the mortar dry for at least one full day
10. When completely dry, remove all the spacers
11. Mix the grout and take the grout float and fill in the spaces between each tile until the entire space is done.
12. Take a dampened sponge and wipe all the excess grout so that the tiles are smooth and free of any grout residue
13. Let the tile cure for at least a full day before walking on it
14. Apply a grout sealer within a week

The process for tile installation from start to finish can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k374K2AJ57g

Laminate Flooring

Laminate is a wood-like material with layers of melamine resin which is a protective inner layer while still having wood material layers. Unlike wood, it is treated with these additional layers to resist scratches and heat. It is also very easy to clean. Laminate flooring is available at flooring stores in a wide variety of colors and styles. Whether you are looking for classic wood-look or modern laminate flooring, the stores have it all.


Open the boxes of the laminate in the installation space and leave them there for at least 24 hours in order for them to become acclimated to the room that it will be installed.


• Adhesive tape
• Hammer
• Chisel
• Carbide-tipped blade/table saw
• Undercut saw
• Glue (carpenter’s glue)
• Utility knife
• Carpenter’s pencil or regular no. 2 pencil
• Safety glasses with a dust mask
• Measuring tape
• Spacers

Installation Steps for Laminate:

1. First, measure the entire space and divide that number by the width of one plank. If the remainder amount is below 12 inches, then divide that number by 2. This is the width of the beginning and the ending plank.
2. Do this same measurement for the length of the room.
3. Begin installation either at the left corner or right corner. Do not use planks from only one box at a time. Mix them for visual effectiveness.
4. Place the first row of laminate with the edges parallel to the wall using spacers
5. Grout lines should be aligned lengthwise and crosswise. Put any thin joints next to thicker joints
6. Insert each plank with the short end of the other plank at a 20-degree angle. Then press down gently.
7. At the end of each row, cut the plank with the non-decorative side down with a power saw then fit.
8. Continue in this fashion and begin a new row each time. You will need to lift the row you just completed slightly in order to fit in the next row.
9. Continue until you the whole space is completed
10. Take a flooring plank to mark the depth of the door frames in the room for the purpose of trimming.
11. The final row should have space left over for the purpose of expansion of the material itself with changes in temperature.
12. Finally, take out the spacers and extra plastic if it was used, then install the baseboards without nailing them directly to the new laminate.

The process to install laminate flooring from start to finish can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CHRRkzbxEM

Carpet Flooring

Preparation for Carpet Installation:

• Walk over the space and listen for creaking. Where you hear this, put a 1 ½” nail. Do this until you have found all the creaks
• With a hammer, install the tack strip approximately a ½” from the perimeter walls. Do not do this in the doorways. The teeth of the tack strip should be pointing toward the walls.

• Razor knife
• Padding
• Carpet stretcher
• Kicker
• Seam iron
• Seam tape
• Edge strip (for door)

Installation Steps for Carpet:
1. Overlap the padding onto the tack strip, then trim it inside of the tack strip
2. Tape the seams
3. Measure the entire installation space and add 3” to that number on all sides.
4. Put your measurements on the back of the carpet large enough to read them with black marker
5. Place the cut carpet on the floor.
6. Iron any seams together at this time
7. Begin to stretch the carpet onto the tack strip using the
8. Put the back of the carpet stretcher against the wall where the carpet has been stretched onto and stretch the carpet
9. Repeat this around the entire perimeter of the installation area
10. When complete, take the razor knife and trim any leftover carpet so that the material is tightly against the walls.
11. Make sure the carpet in the doorways is trimmed with the seam centered
12. Cut vent holes and place the vents back.

The process to install carpet flooring from start to finish can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhjTecUYPVc

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Scaffold Store, the favorite and trusted scaffold supplier of the largest contractors.

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