10 common pitfalls to Laying wood flooring correctly and how to avoid them

If you’re laying wood flooring yourself, you need to be aware of the potential problems that can occur. If you’re not careful you could install it incorrectly, and as a result, devalue your home should you choose to sell.

Laying a wooden floor should be an easy satisfying job, and it can be if you miss these common pitfalls. Laying engineered flooring should be reasonably stress free, but focus on what you’re doing and don’t make these common mistakes that people make all the time.

Here are our 10 common pitfalls to laying wood flooring correctly.

laying wood flooring
Laying wood flooring – Moisture

Moisture doesn’t have to be the problem, but it usually is because the installer hasn’t considered the variables. The flooring can sit somewhere in a cold dry place, then move to an area where it’s warm and the heat is running, and then it’s laid down. In time, gaps develop between the boards, or there’s splitting and warping. It’s important therefore to check that the flooring has been kept in constant temperatures before installation.


There’s no point laying down wood flooring and then hoping for the best. Subflooring needs to be prepared beforehand. The floor below needs to be flat and dry with no uneven parts, broken bits of previous flooring or damp or cracked parts. You’ll need to flatten the subfloor, clean away previous flooring, check the flooring your laying down to make sure it’s even, clean and not contaminated by anything.

Laying floors – lazy Installations

wood floor installation
No measuring, no clearing the subfloor, not checking door entrances or taking into consideration carpeted entrances where the flooring will need to fit in with it. Ill-fitting carpet at entrances, so doors won’t close, all adds to headaches later. Prepare and work cautiously and you’ll avoid these mistakes.

Bad Racking

H-Joints not fitting properly, no smooth plank to plank look, end joints much too close together, poorly fitted flooring equals uneven planks. Uneven colouring is another feature, because of not paying attention to the appearance of the entire floor.


Not enough of these will make the flooring loose which means that the flooring won’t last over time. Just a couple of nails then one nail in another board is called cutting corners, and it will lead to problems later. You need consistency when laying down wooden flooring.

Large rooms need glue for wood flooring

laying wood flooring
If you’re fitting hardwood flooring in a room that’s quite large and that’s at least over 25sqm, then you’ll need glue to help the floor stay durable and to keep it stable.

Installing flooring over still wet concrete.

This is a common problem, because the moisture from the wet concrete will warp and crack the wood, don’t do it, exercise some patience.

Installation near high humidity levels

Hardwood flooring especially shouldn’t be laid near areas where there’s constant humidity and moisture, such as bathrooms, basements and shower rooms. The wood will expand and warp.

Damaging the wood during installation

how to lay wood flooring
Be careful you don’t damage the flooring while you install it. Sweep the floor with a brush during installation and after it. Put pads on the feet of all furniture and always mop floorboards with a damp mop. Ban heels as it will damage the flooring.

Gaps in the flooring

Make sure all the planks are evenly matched and of the same colour. If there are gaps it will look unsightly and uneven, leaving you with an ugly floor that won’t stand the test of time and it could reduce the value of your home.

We offer a no obligation free quote so if you’re interested in having wooden flooring or engineered wooden flooring in your home, then get in touch and we can get started.

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NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE ROYAL NAVY  – Part of a £1.25m fit out of a major new exhibition for the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRM) at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Indigo Flooring were tasked with completing the complicated layout of some 1,500 m2 of Marmoleum flooring with a water jet cut world map inlaid into the floor and Jet cut map of Great Britain vertically installed onto two swing doors, with various hand cut contrasting inlays leading the public to important exhibits throughout.

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