Carpet and Wood Flooring Installation Methods

Updated: January 10th, 2024

Installing new carpet or wood flooring is an extremely difficult job that requires special tools, experience, and knowledge. Like any other highly skilled trade, flooring installation is a craft that takes professionals years to perfect. While attempting to DIY carpet or wood floor installation might seem like a good way to save some money, trusting the pros with Empire Today® to get the job done right will pay dividends in the long run. Because even the highest-grade carpet wouldn’t look its best without skilled installation by a trained professional who knows exactly what tricks and tactics to use for a particular home’s quirks or technical requirements. Here’s a rundown of they various carpet and wood flooring installation methods professional installers use—each may be used for a different reason, and using an improper method during a DIY job can have some seriously undesirable effects.

empire today carpet installation in a living room

Stretch-In Carpet Installation

This is the most standard and practiced technique for installing carpeting in homes, which is typically called residential carpet. Strips of wood, called tack strips are nailed around the edges of the room. These strips have very sharp pins, or tacks, that will grip the back of the carpet and hold it in place. Padding is used in this type of installation to make the carpet feel softer underfoot, and to protect the back of the carpet from wear. One tack strips and padding are place, the carpet rolled out and then stretched to the edges and attached to the strips. There are special tools professional installers use in order to properly stretch a carpet, such as a knee kicker and power stretcher.  Carpet will not stay flat without getting lumps unless enough tension is place on the carpet to pull it close to the wall and fix it to a tack strip.

Your professional installer with Empire Today has the essential tools and expertise to properly complete stretch-in carpet installations.

Glue Down Carpet Installation

Used commonly in commercial spaces or special areas like your basement, a glue down installation is when the carpet is glued directly to the floor and without a pad. While this provides a solid base, the lack of a pad means less comfort and less durability. Also, the floor that the carpet is being glued to needs to be completely smooth otherwise you will feel (and maybe even see) imperfections through the carpet.

Wood Flooring Installation Methods

empire today installing wood look flooring in a living room

Nail Down Wood Flooring Installation

This flooring installation method is how it sounds, flooring is nailed or stapled to a subfloor. Solid hardwood is typically nailed down, while some engineered hardwood options may be stapled. In order to nail down a floor, there must be a suitable subfloor underneath. A floor cannot be nailed down to concrete, and the subfloor must be dry, level, and flat. This type of installation is considered to me more permanent because it is difficult to remove planks once their nailed down. 

There are also special tools needed to property perform a nail down installation, such as a specialty flooring nail/staple gun, jamb saw, and router. Your Empire Today installation contractor will have all the necessary tools to complete a nail down installation.

Glue Down Wood Flooring Installation

Like carpet, engineered hardwood and vinyl flooring can be glued down. This leaves no space between your floors and the subfloor, creating a cohesive surface. It also helps reduce bounce on the floor and helps deaden the sound of footsteps. Keep in mind, that while it’s possible to glue down laminate, it isn’t common since most laminate was built for a floating installation, which we will discuss next.

Floating Wood Flooring Installation

A floating floor installation does not require the floor to be nailed or glued down. Instead the floor planks are connected together using a click-and-lock system. The planks have tiny groves along the edges that allow them to be strongly joined together. An advantage of a floating floor is that it allows the floor to adapt by expanding and contracting to alterations in the room’s humidity.

Installing floors is a big job that requires tools, experience, and knowledge. Empire has been installing floors in homes for more than 65 years – it’s what we do… everyday. Avoid a DIY disaster and leave flooring installation to the pros.

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