Can An Engineered Floor Be Installed By Nailing?

In the last few years there has been an explosion in the manufacture of engineered floors driven by a huge demand in popularity of sustainable wood flooring products. The ever increasing target market of the diy’er has seen manufacturers pushed to create an easy installation method generally consisting of a glue free locking system. Therefore, everyone I meet automatically assumes that floating an engineered floor is the way to go. 

But can an engineered floor be nailed directly to an appropriate sub-floor? The short and direct answer to that is YES!

However, not every engineered floor can be nailed. Let’s look at engineered wood floors that can and can’t be nailed down.

Currently there is essentially two types of engineered wood floors and it is important you are clear on the difference before you begin the decision process.

A man checking an engineered floor locking system.The first type and extremely popular is the glue free floating type (as shown on the right). A huge hit with diy’ers and tradesmen as these tend to be very easy to install. However, they should NOT be nailed to the sub-floor in any way. The glue free type of engineered floors are designed as a floating floor and should be installed as such, allowing the floor the breath naturally and unrestricted. These type of engineered boards are generally recognised by the obvious locking system and also by their thickness. Often no more than 16 mm in depth with some exceptions.

An example of an engineered wood floor constructed with a basic tongue and groove locking system that can be nailed to a sub-floor.The other type and generally at the quality end of the market and more specialised with respect to the installation is engineered wood floors with a tongue and groove construction (as shown on the left). This type of flooring can be nailed directly to a sub-floor or joists and tend to be manufactured to an overall thickness of between 18 and 22 mm. It is advised that when nailing this type of flooring to a wood sub-floor or joists, no underlay should be used.

The expectation when nailing any wood flooring directly to a sub-floor is to achieve a solid and firm finish and also allow the fixing nails to stay in place. The use of an underlay can add a compression value when walked on and potentially allow the nails to either work themselves free or carve out space around the nail heads resulting in possible plank separation and looseness to the boards.

Prior to installing any wood floor covering it is always advised that you should carefully read the manufacturers installation instructions. Different situations can require approaching installations from an alternative angle.

Now you know a little more about engineered wood floors, take a look at this huge selection gathered from suppliers around the country.

© Copyright 2013 Wes, All rights Reserved. Written For: Fitmywoodfloor

I am a Pergo trained professional installer of 20 years. I've been up close and personal with lots of floors and have the knobbly knees to show for it...Should you have any questions or comments please feel free to add them below. Thanks for taking the time to call by and I hope the information you've found has given you some insight!........................................................................................................................................................................“When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in the site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network,,,,,,, affiliate window network.” This statement is to comply with current internet regulations regarding transparency to consumers.

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