How to Buy, Repair & Install a Wood Floor

To buy, repair, and install a wood floor, research and choose the type of wood, determine the square footage needed, hire a professional or do it yourself, and carefully follow the installation instructions. Ensure you have the necessary tools and materials before starting the repair or installation process.   Wood floors can add warmth and beauty to any space, and with proper care and maintenance, they can last for many years. Whether you are looking to refresh an existing wood floor or install a new one, this guide will provide you with the essential information you need to successfully complete the project.    

Factors To Consider When Selecting Wood Flooring

  When purchasing, repairing, or installing wood flooring, there are several factors to consider. These include the type of wood, the durability of the flooring, the desired finish, and the budget.  

Types Of Wood Flooring Options

  • Solid wood flooring: Made from a single piece of wood, solid wood flooring offers a timeless and classic look. It can be sanded and refinished multiple times, allowing for longevity and versatility.
  • Engineered wood flooring: Consisting of layers of wood veneer glued together, engineered wood flooring provides enhanced stability and resistance to moisture. It can be installed in basements and other areas where solid wood is not recommended.
  • Laminate flooring: Composed of a high-density fiberboard core with a photographic layer that mimics the appearance of wood, laminate flooring is an affordable and durable option. It is resistant to scratches and fading, making it suitable for high-traffic areas.
  • Vinyl plank flooring: Designed to resemble wood, vinyl plank flooring offers easy installation and maintenance. It is waterproof and highly resilient, making it perfect for kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Bamboo flooring: Known for its eco-friendly properties, bamboo flooring is made from a rapidly renewable resource. It is as hard and durable as most hardwoods, providing a unique aesthetic to any space.

Durability And Lifespan Considerations

  • Hardness: The janka hardness rating measures a wood’s resistance to indentation. It is important to choose a hardwood with sufficient hardness to withstand daily wear and tear.
  • Finish: Opting for a durable finish, such as aluminum oxide, can protect the wood flooring from scratches and stains, extending its lifespan.
  • Maintenance: Regular maintenance, including sweeping, vacuuming, and using appropriate cleaning products, can prolong the durability and lifespan of wood flooring.

Cost And Budget Considerations

  • Material cost: Solid wood flooring tends to be more expensive compared to engineered wood, laminate, vinyl plank, and bamboo flooring options.
  • Installation cost: Solid wood flooring requires professional installation, increasing the overall cost. On the other hand, engineered wood, laminate, vinyl plank, and bamboo flooring often come with diy-friendly installation options, reducing labor expenses.
  • Long-term value: While solid wood flooring may have a higher upfront cost, its longevity and ability to be refinished can add significant value to your home in the long run.
  Considering these factors when selecting wood flooring will help you make an informed decision based on your preferences, budget, and the specific needs of your space. Ultimately, choosing the right type of wood flooring can enhance the beauty, durability, and functionality of any room in your home.  

Assessing The Needs Of Your Space

  Assess the needs of your space before buying, repairing, and installing a wood floor. Consider factors like room size and layout, durability requirements, and budget allocation to make an informed decision. By doing so, you can ensure a successful flooring project that meets your specific needs.   Wood floors are a beautiful and timeless addition to any space. Whether you are renovating, repairing, or simply installing new wood flooring, it is crucial to assess the specific needs of your space. This step is essential to ensure that the wood floor you choose is suitable for your environment and will last for years to come.   When assessing the needs of your space, there are three key factors to consider: determining the traffic level, considering the moisture levels, and analyzing the subfloor condition.  

Determining The Traffic Level:

  • Think about the foot traffic that your space receives daily. Is it a high-traffic area like a hallway or a busy living room? Or is it a low-traffic area such as a bedroom or home office?
  • Assessing the traffic level will help you determine the durability and resilience required from your wood floor.
  • Opt for harder wood species like oak or maple for high-traffic areas to prevent scratches and dents.
  • For low-traffic areas, you have more flexibility in choosing softer wood species like pine or cherry.

Considering The Moisture Levels:

  • Measure the moisture levels in your space, particularly if you are installing wood flooring in a basement or on a concrete subfloor.
  • High moisture levels can lead to warping, buckling, or cupping of the wood floor.
  • Use a moisture meter to check the moisture content in the air and the subfloor.
  • If your space has high moisture levels, consider using engineered wood flooring or installing a moisture barrier to protect your wood floor.

Analyzing The Subfloor Condition:

  • Inspect the current condition of your subfloor. Is it even, level, and dry?
  • Ensure that the subfloor is free from any moisture damage, mold, or pests.
  • If necessary, repair or replace the subfloor before installing the wood flooring.
  • A stable and well-prepared subfloor will provide a solid foundation for your wood floor and prevent any future issues.
  By carefully assessing the needs of your space, you can make informed decisions when buying, repairing, or installing wood flooring. Determining the traffic level, considering the moisture levels, and analyzing the subfloor condition are crucial steps to ensure a long-lasting and beautiful wood floor that perfectly suits your space.  

Measuring And Estimating The Required Materials

  Measuring and estimating the required materials for buying, repairing, and installing a wood floor is crucial. Proper measurement ensures that you purchase the right amount of wood and other materials needed for the job, avoiding wasted resources. Estimating accurately also helps in budgeting and planning the project effectively.   Wood floors add a touch of elegance and warmth to any space. Whether you’re looking to renovate your current flooring or starting from scratch, knowing how to measure and estimate the required materials is crucial. In this section, we’ll cover the essential steps to calculate the square footage, account for waste and additional materials, and plan for transitions and trims.  

Calculating The Square Footage:

  • Measure the length and width of each room: Start by measuring the length and width of each room where you plan to install the wood flooring. Ensure accuracy by measuring from wall to wall.
  • Multiply the length by the width: For each room, multiply the length by the width to obtain the square footage. For irregularly shaped rooms, divide them into smaller sections and calculate the square footage of each section.
  • Add up the square footage: Once you have the square footage for each room or section, add them up to determine the total square footage needed for your project.
  • Consider extra square footage: It’s a good idea to add about 10% extra to account for any cutting errors, damaged boards, or future repairs.

Accounting For Waste And Additional Materials:

  • Determine the waste factor: Wood flooring installation typically involves some waste due to cutting boards to fit around obstacles or irregular walls. The waste factor can vary depending on the complexity of the installation. A general rule of thumb is to add an additional 5-10% to your total square footage to account for waste.
  • Consider additional materials: Apart from the wood planks, you’ll need to account for underlayment, adhesive, nails, and other supplies. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the specific type of flooring you’re installing to ensure you have enough of these additional materials.

Planning For Transitions And Trims:

  • Identify areas requiring transitions: In spaces where the wood flooring meets another type of flooring (e.g., carpet, tile), you’ll need to install transition pieces. Measure these areas to determine the length of the transitions required.
  • Account for trims: Baseboards and quarter-round trims provide a finished look and cover any gaps between the floor and the wall. Measure the perimeter of each room to estimate the length of trims needed.
  • Calculate the required materials for transitions and trims: Using the measurements you obtained, calculate the amount of transition pieces and trims required for your project. Consider adding a small buffer to ensure you have enough materials on hand.
  Properly estimating the required materials is crucial for a successful wood floor installation project. By accurately measuring the square footage, accounting for waste and additional materials, and planning for transitions and trims, you can ensure your project runs smoothly from start to finish.  

Prepping The Subfloor

  Prepping the subfloor is an essential step in buying, repairing, and installing a wood floor. It ensures a smooth, level surface for proper flooring installation, preventing issues such as squeaks and unevenness.   Wood floors can add a touch of warmth, elegance, and nature-inspired beauty to any home. If you’re considering buying, repairing, and installing a wood floor, the first step is prepping the subfloor. This crucial stage ensures that your new wood floor will be stable, durable, and long-lasting.   In this section, we’ll discuss how to remove existing flooring materials, assess and repair any damages, and ensure a level and clean subfloor surface.  

Removing Existing Flooring Materials:

  • Start by removing any carpet, vinyl, or laminate flooring that may be present on the subfloor.
  • Use a pry bar or floor scraper to lift and detach the flooring materials from the subfloor.
  • Dispose of the old flooring materials properly, following local waste disposal regulations.
  • Sweep or vacuum the subfloor to remove any loose debris or nails.

Assessing And Repairing Any Damages:

  • Inspect the subfloor for any signs of damage, such as rot, mold, or structural issues.
  • If you notice any damages, assess their extent and determine the appropriate repairs needed.
  • Replace any damaged or rotten subfloor sections to ensure a solid foundation for the wood flooring.
  • Repair any minor cracks or imperfections in the subfloor using an appropriate wood filler or patching compound.

Ensuring A Level And Clean Subfloor Surface:

  • Use a long straightedge or level to check the subfloor for any unevenness or dips.
  • If you find any uneven areas, use a floor leveling compound to create a flat and even surface.
  • Sand down any high spots that may interfere with the wood floor installation.
  • After leveling the subfloor, thoroughly clean it to remove any dirt, dust, or adhesive residue.
  By efficiently removing existing flooring materials, assessing and repairing damages, and ensuring a level and clean subfloor surface, you’ll be well-prepared for the next step in buying, repairing, and installing a wood floor. Keep in mind that proper subfloor preparation is essential for achieving a flawless and long-lasting wood floor installation.  

Acclimating The Wood Flooring

  Acclimating wood flooring is an essential step when buying, repairing, and installing it. Allowing the wood to adjust to the environment ensures a smooth and durable installation process. Follow these steps to ensure a successful wood floor project.  

Understanding The Importance Of Acclimation

  Acclimating the wood flooring is a crucial step in the buying, repair, and installation process. This allows the wood to adjust to the environment it will be installed in, minimizing the risk of potential issues down the line. Here’s why acclimation is so important:  
  • Wood is a natural material that reacts to changes in humidity and temperature. Acclimating the flooring enables it to expand or contract before installation, reducing the likelihood of warping, gaps, or buckling.
  • Proper acclimation helps to ensure a more stable and durable wood floor, providing a long-lasting investment for your space.
  • Acclimating the wood flooring also helps to maintain the look and feel of the product, as it allows the planks to settle into their final dimensions.

Properly Storing The Wood Flooring

  To properly acclimate the wood flooring, it’s essential to store it correctly. Follow these guidelines to ensure optimal storage conditions:  
  • Keep the flooring boxes intact and unopened until you are ready to install. This prevents exposure to unnecessary changes in humidity and protects the wood from potential damage.
  • Store the boxes in a clean, dry, and well-ventilated area. Avoid locations near sources of moisture, such as basements or bathrooms.
  • Maintain a consistent temperature within the storage area, ideally between 60°f to 80°f (15°c to 27°c), to mimic the conditions of the installation space. Fluctuations in temperature can affect the acclimation process.
  • Do not store wood flooring directly on concrete or near windows, as these areas are prone to higher levels of moisture. Instead, consider using pallets or other protective measures to create a buffer between the flooring and the ground.

Allowing Sufficient Time For Acclimation

  Patience is key when it comes to acclimating wood flooring. Allocating sufficient time for this process ensures the best results. Here’s what you need to know:  
  • The duration of acclimation varies depending on factors such as the wood species, thickness, and the environment it will be installed in. It is recommended to refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for specific instructions.
  • Generally, wood flooring needs to acclimate for a minimum of 48 to 72 hours. However, some species or thicker planks may require a longer acclimation period.
  • During the acclimation period, it’s important to keep the boxes open to allow air circulation around the flooring.
  • Measure the humidity levels in the installation area using a hygrometer. The humidity should stay within the range recommended by the manufacturer throughout the acclimation process.
  • Avoid rushing the acclimation process, as this can lead to potential issues and compromise the integrity of the wood flooring. Take the time required to allow the wood to adjust properly before installation.
  Remember, acclimating the wood flooring is a critical step in ensuring a successful and long-lasting installation. By understanding the importance of acclimation, properly storing the wood, and allowing sufficient time for the process, you can enjoy a beautiful and durable wood floor in your space.  

Gathering The Necessary Tools And Supplies

  To successfully buy, repair, and install a wood floor, gathering the necessary tools and supplies is crucial. From measuring tools and adhesive to sanding equipment and finishing products, having everything ready will ensure a smooth and efficient process.   Wood flooring is a beautiful and versatile option that can instantly transform the look and feel of any room. Whether you’re renovating your home or updating your office space, buying, repairing, and installing a wood floor can be a rewarding project.   Before you dive into the process, it’s important to gather all the necessary tools and supplies. In this section, we’ll discuss the essential tools for installation, additional supplies needed for a successful installation, and the importance of safety equipment and precautions.  

Essential Tools For Installation:

  • Power saw: A power saw is essential for cutting the wood flooring to the desired size and shape. Make sure it’s suitable for cutting through hardwood.
  • Measuring tape: Accurate measurements are crucial for a proper installation. Use a measuring tape to measure the dimensions of the room and the wood flooring.
  • Chalk line: A chalk line helps in marking straight and precise guidelines for the installation.
  • Hammer and nails: These traditional tools are used to secure the wood flooring to the subfloor.
  • Pneumatic flooring nailer: This handy tool will make the installation process faster and more efficient. It uses air pressure to drive nails into the wood flooring.
  • Tapping block and mallet: These tools are used to tap the wood boards together securely, ensuring a tight fit between each piece.
  • Square: A square is useful for checking if the wood flooring is laid down straight and aligned properly.

Additional Supplies Needed For A Successful Installation:

  • Underlayment: Underlayment acts as a protective barrier between the subfloor and wood flooring. It helps to reduce noise, moisture, and provides additional insulation.
  • Wood flooring adhesive: Depending on the type of installation, you may need wood flooring adhesive to secure the wood floor to the subfloor.
  • Moisture barrier: If you’re installing wood flooring in areas prone to moisture, such as basements or bathrooms, a moisture barrier is necessary to prevent moisture from seeping into the wood.
  • Spacers: Use spacers to create a small gap between the wood flooring and the wall. This allows for expansion and contraction of the wood due to changes in temperature and humidity.
  • Finishing nails: These small nails are used to attach trim pieces and molding to the walls for a finished look.
  • Touch-up kit: A touch-up kit containing wood putty, marker pens, and filler sticks will come in handy for repairing any minor scratches or imperfections that may occur during the installation process.

Safety Equipment And Precautions:

  • Safety goggles: Protect your eyes from any dust or debris that may be created during the installation process.
  • Dust mask: Breathing in sawdust and other particles can be harmful to your health. Wear a dust mask to protect your lungs.
  • Knee pads: Installing wood flooring involves a lot of kneeling and bending. Protect your knees with comfortable knee pads.
  • Gloves: Wearing gloves will protect your hands from any sharp edges or splinters.
  • Safety shoes: Sturdy and slip-resistant shoes are essential for a safe installation, as they provide better grip and protect your feet from heavy tools or falling debris.
  • Ventilation: Ensure the room is well-ventilated during the installation process by opening windows or using fans. This will help to dissipate any fumes from adhesives or finishes.
  By gathering the necessary tools and supplies, and taking the appropriate safety precautions, you’ll be well-prepared for a successful wood floor installation.  

Installing Solid Wood Flooring

  Learn how to buy, repair, and install solid wood flooring with our step-by-step guide. Discover expert tips and tricks to transform your space with a beautiful and durable wood floor.  

Nail-Down Installation Method:

  • This installation method involves securing the wood planks to the subfloor using nails.
  • Before starting the installation, ensure that the subfloor is clean, dry, and level.
  • Begin by laying down a vapor barrier or underlayment to protect the wood from moisture.
  • Start in one corner of the room and lay the first plank perpendicular to the floor joists.
  • Place the next plank next to the first one, ensuring a tight fit, and use a nail gun to secure it to the subfloor.
  • Continue this process, working row by row, until you reach the opposite wall.
  • Use a flooring nailer to drive nails at an angle through the tongues of the planks, securing them in place.
  • Trim the last row of planks to fit using a circular saw, ensuring a proper fit against the wall.
  • Finally, install baseboards or trim to cover the expansion gap around the perimeter of the room.

Staple-Down Installation Method:

  • This method is similar to the nail-down method, but instead of nails, staples are used to secure the wood planks.
  • Prepare the subfloor by ensuring it is clean, dry, and level.
  • Lay down a vapor barrier or underlayment to protect the wood from moisture.
  • Start in one corner of the room and lay the first plank perpendicular to the floor joists.
  • Place the next plank next to the first one, ensuring a tight fit, and use a flooring stapler to secure it to the subfloor.
  • Continue installing the planks row by row, stapling them in place.
  • Use a flooring nailer to drive staples at an angle through the tongues of the planks, securing them firmly.
  • Trim the last row of planks to fit using a circular saw, ensuring they fit snugly against the wall.
  • Finally, install baseboards or trim to cover the expansion gap around the room’s perimeter.

Glue-Down Installation Method:

  • This method involves using adhesive to secure the wood planks directly to the subfloor.
  • Ensure that the subfloor is clean, dry, and level before starting the installation.
  • Apply a moisture barrier or adhesive primer to the subfloor to prevent any moisture-related issues.
  • Starting in one corner, spread a layer of adhesive onto the subfloor using a trowel.
  • Place the first plank onto the adhesive, ensuring a tight fit.
  • Apply adhesive to the next area of the subfloor and continue installing the planks row by row.
  • Use a rubber mallet or tapping block to ensure each plank is properly seated and bonded to the adhesive.
  • Trim the last row of planks to fit using a circular saw, ensuring a proper fit against the wall.
  • After the adhesive has cured, install baseboards or trim to cover the expansion gap around the room’s perimeter.
  Installing solid wood flooring can be done using various methods, including the nail-down, staple-down, and glue-down installation methods. Each method has its own benefits and considerations, so choose the one that best suits your needs and preferences.  

Installing Engineered Wood Flooring

  Installing engineered wood flooring is a simple and cost-effective way to enhance the beauty of your home. Learn how to buy, repair and install a wood floor with our comprehensive guide. We provide step-by-step instructions to help you achieve a professional result.   Installing engineered wood flooring can be a rewarding project that adds beauty and value to your home. There are two popular methods for installing engineered wood flooring: the floating installation method and the glue-down installation method. Each method has its own advantages and considerations, so let’s explore them in more detail:  

Floating Installation Method:

  • Ideal for diy enthusiasts, the floating installation method is relatively easy and doesn’t require extensive preparation of the subfloor.
  • First, ensure that the subfloor is clean, level, and free from any debris or imperfections that could affect the installation.
  • Lay down an underlayment, which acts as both a moisture barrier and a cushioning layer that helps reduce noise.
  • Start by laying the first row of engineered wood planks along a straight reference line, using spacers to maintain a consistent gap against the walls.
  • Connect each subsequent row by interlocking the planks, carefully aligning the tongue and groove joints.
  • Use a tapping block and a mallet to gently tap the planks together, ensuring a tight fit.
  • Continue installing the planks row by row until you reach the final row. You may need to cut the last row to fit the remaining space.
  • Lastly, remove the spacers and install the baseboards or quarter-round molding to cover the expansion gap along the walls.

Glue-Down Installation Method:

  • The glue-down installation method provides a more permanent and stable flooring solution, particularly suitable for high-traffic areas.
  • Prepare the subfloor by ensuring it is clean, level, and free from any imperfections.
  • Apply adhesive directly onto the subfloor using a trowel, being careful to spread it evenly and avoid any excess that might seep up between the planks.
  • Begin installing the first row of planks along a straight reference line, ensuring a small gap is left between each plank and the wall for expansion.
  • Press each subsequent plank firmly into the adhesive, ensuring proper alignment and a tight fit.
  • Work row by row until the installation is complete, periodically checking that the planks are level and aligned.
  • Wipe off any excess adhesive with a damp cloth before it dries.
  • Allow the adhesive to cure according to the manufacturer’s instructions before placing any furniture or walking on the floor.
  Whether you choose the floating or glue-down method for installing engineered wood flooring, it’s essential to carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions and consider factors such as the condition of your subfloor and the specific characteristics of the engineered wood product you have chosen.   With proper installation, you can enjoy the warmth and elegance of a wood floor that will last for years to come.  

Common Wood Floor Repair And Maintenance

  Repairing and maintaining your wood floor is essential for its longevity. Learn how to purchase, repair, and install a wood floor with our easy-to-follow tips and guides. Keep your wood floor looking beautiful for years to come.   Wood floors are a beautiful and timeless addition to any home. However, over time, they can experience wear and tear, scratches, dents, and even water damage. Understanding how to properly repair and maintain your wood floor is essential to keep it looking its best.   In this section, we will cover the common wood floor repair and maintenance tasks you may encounter.  

Fixing Scratches And Dents:

  • Applying wood filler: Start by cleaning the scratched area and applying a suitable color-matching wood filler. Smooth out the filler with a putty knife and allow it to dry. Sand the area lightly until it is level with the surrounding floor.
  • Sanding and refinishing: For deeper dents or scratches, sanding and refinishing may be required. Use a fine-grit sandpaper to sand the damaged area gently. Once the damage is level with the rest of the floor, apply a new coat of finish to restore its original appearance.

Repairing Water Damage:

  • Identify the source: Before repairing water damage, it’s crucial to address the underlying issue causing the damage. Locate and fix any leaks or sources of moisture to prevent further damage.
  • Drying the affected area: Thoroughly dry the water-damaged area using fans, dehumidifiers, or natural ventilation. Avoid leaving any moisture behind, as it can lead to mold growth.
  • Sanding and refinishing: If the water damage is extensive, sanding and refinishing the floor may be necessary. Sand the damaged area gently until it is smooth and level with the surrounding floor. Then, apply a new coat of finish to restore its appearance.

Regular Cleaning And Maintenance Tips:

  • Sweep or vacuum regularly: Use a soft-bristle broom or a vacuum with a floor attachment to remove dirt, dust, and debris from your wood floor. This helps prevent scratches and keeps the surface clean.
  • Avoid excess moisture: Wood and water don’t mix well, so it’s important to wipe up spills immediately to prevent water damage. Additionally, avoid using excessive water when mopping, as it can seep into the wood and cause warping or swelling.
  • Use appropriate cleaning products: Choose cleaning products specifically designed for wood floors. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can damage the finish.
  • Protect with rugs or mats: Place rugs or mats at entryways and high-traffic areas to prevent dirt and grit from scratching the wood floor. Ensure that the rugs or mats have a non-slip backing to prevent accidents.
  • Trim pet nails: Keep your pets’ nails trimmed to avoid them scratching the wood floor. Additionally, place protective pads on furniture legs to prevent them from leaving marks.
  By following these common wood floor repair and maintenance tips, you can ensure the longevity and beauty of your wood floor. Proper care and timely repairs will keep it looking stunning for years to come.  

Frequently Asked Questions For How To Buy, Repair & Install A Wood Floor


How Do I Choose The Right Wood Floor For My Home?

  Choosing the right wood floor for your home involves considering factors such as wood type, durability, thickness, finish, and color. You should also consider the room’s foot traffic and moisture levels before making a decision. It’s best to consult with a flooring specialist to choose the right wood floor that suits your specific needs and preferences.  

How Much Does It Cost To Repair A Wood Floor?

  The cost of repairing a wood floor depends on the extent of damage and the type of repair needed. Minor repairs such as filling cracks or replacing a few damaged planks can cost as little as $100. However, more extensive repairs like refinishing or replacing large areas can cost several hundred or even thousands of dollars.   It’s best to get an estimate from a professional to know the exact cost.  

Can I Install A Wood Floor Myself Or Should I Hire A Professional?

  Installing a wood floor is a complex task that requires careful planning and specialized tools. While it is possible to install a wood floor yourself, it is recommended to hire a professional for the best results. A professional installer has the experience and expertise to ensure that the floor is properly installed, minimizing the risk of damage and ensuring a long-lasting and beautiful wood floor.  


  Purchasing, repairing, and installing a wood floor can be a rewarding and transformative process for any homeowner. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can confidently navigate each stage of the process and create a beautiful and durable wood floor in your home.   Remember to carefully research and select the right flooring material, consider the unique needs of your space, and employ proper repair techniques when necessary. With the right tools and knowledge, you can successfully install your wood floor and enjoy its timeless elegance for years to come.   So, don’t hesitate to embark on this exciting journey of enhancing your space with a wood floor – it’s a decision that brings beauty and functionality to any home. Happy flooring!

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