Introduction

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It's hard to imagine a house being cozy without the warmth of wood flooring. The quickest way to get new wood underfoot is to install a floating floor. Unlike traditional solid-wood strips, a floating floor isn’t nailed down. Instead, the planks are either glued or snapped together. The planks go down fast, over virtually any material—concrete, plywood, sheet vinyl, even ceramic tile. There are several floating floor materials available, but if you want real wood, the best choice is engineered flooring. This sandwich of wood veneer glued to layers of pine or plywood looks like solid wood and is very stable. Although engineered flooring's thin veneer can't be sanded as many times as solid wood can, its thick factory-applied coating is more durable than one applied in your home on solid wood, and it will be ready for furniture in just one day.

Shown: Chesapeake Hickory Plank in Cherry Spice, from Mannington

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    Tools List

    • power flush cut saw
      Flush-cut dovetail saw,
      to trim door casings
    • miter saw
      Miter saw,
      for cutting flooring and molding to length
    • jigsaw
      Jigsaw or circular saw,
      to rip flooring to width
    • hammer
      Hammer and nail set,
      for tapping planks together and installing molding
    • flat prybar
      Flat bar,
      to pry last plank into place
    • coping saw
      Coping saw,
      for coping molding's inside corners

    Shopping List

    1. ENGINEERED WOOD FLOORING

    sold in bundles of 11 to 30 square feet. Calculate the square footage of the room, then add 10 percent to account for off-cuts



    2. FOAM UNDERLAYMENT

    sold in 3- or 4-foot-wide rolls



    3. DUCT TAPE

    to seal foam underlayment seams



    4. 5/16-INCH SPACERS

    to create expansion gaps between flooring and walls



    5. GLUE

    use only the type recommended by the flooring manufacturer



    6. PAINTER'S TAPE

    7. TRANSITION MOLDING

    8. QUARTER-ROUND SHOE MOLDING

    9. 1 1/2-INCH (4D) FINISH NAILS

    for attaching shoe molding