How to Install Engineered Hardwood Over Tile

Engineered hardwood is an excellent flooring solution for those who want real wood without the high price that comes with solid hardwood. Because it is a floating floor, it can be installed over existing floors, eliminating the need for demo work, which can be quite messy. 

To install engineered hardwood over tile, you will first need to check the quality of your tile, ensuring that it is even and doesn’t contain any cracks or damage as this can cause an uneven floor once the hardwood is installed. To make installation simpler, you can use click locking planks.

We will be going over the key steps you need to know about installing engineered hardwood flooring over tile, including what to prepare for before the installation process. We will also answer a few frequently asked questions regarding engineered hardwood. Read on to learn more. 

Should You Install Engineered Hardwood Over Tile?

The general answer to if you can/should install engineered hardwood over tile is that it can be done, but you need to ensure that your tile is of good quality and is even. If it is damaged and not consistent in height, it will only cause problems for your new flooring such as creaking, hollowness, and uneven planks. 

Know the State of Your Tile

The quality of the flooring underneath is the engineered hardwood is everything as that will be the foundation of your new floor. If your tile is uneven, loose, and cracked, you will be dealing with a lot of creaking, flexing, and planks that simply won’t line up. 

Pick the Height of Your Planks Accordingly 

Next, take height into account, and you can either use ⅜-inch (0.95 cm) hardwood flooring to keep the height down or go with ¾-inch (1.91 cm) if you prefer thicker planks. You typically won’t run into issues such as doors not opening, but if you do, you’ll have to slice off the bottom of the door. 

To avoid surprises, however, ensure you are measuring to confirm the final height before laying down the wood. 

Be Mindful of How Wood Reacts to Moisture and Temperature

Temperature and moisture content comes into play when talking about wood. It is advised to keep the room you are intending to install flooring between 65 and 75℉ ( 18 and 24℃) with a moisture content between 35 and 55 percent for at least 5 days prior to bringing your planks home.

If you are struggling with high moisture, we recommend a dehumidifier like this Gocheer Upgraded Dehumidifier. A moisture meter such as this SAM-PRO Dual Moisture Meter is also encouraged, so you know the humidity of your air before installation.  

  • Let your planks acclimate. We know you are eager to get started on your project after receiving your flooring, but it is recommended to leave your planks sitting open on-site for 3 days so the wood can acclimate to the humidity and temperature levels of the home.
  • Ensure you have spacers. Wood expands and contracts as it is a natural product. Because of this, you’ll want to leave a half-inch space around the perimeter of the room. You can easily do this by using spacers like Tfloor Laminate Flooring Spacers to leave a gap as you are installing your flooring.

Measure Your Floor 

Add up the flooring width to calculate the width of the last row, and you may need to cut the first row in half if the last row is skinnier than an inch. This is mainly done for aesthetic reasons and we recommend taking this step to make your room look nicer. 

Start Placing Your Flooring Down

Once you have gotten far, you are ready to start installing your floor. If you have click locking plants the process of laying the planks down and attaching them is quite simple. The planks will attach together and lock in place. Laying the flooring down is easy, but you’ll still need to do some cutting and stagnate your flooring.

  • Laying the floor down. Lay the flooring down from left to right with the tongue side facing the wall ensuring the boards are snapping into place securely. 
  • Cutting is part of the process. If you need to cut at the end of a row, measure the difference, mark it, and cut it. Furthermore, you may need to cut around vents or other obstructions.
  • Stagnate. Be sure to stagnate the ends 6 inches (15 centimeters) apart – this not only helps the flooring look great, but it also provides balance.

We recommend watching this quick video to get a visual demonstration of how you will be installing your new floor:

As the video suggests, you might need to use a tapping block to help lock certain pieces together. If you come across any defective planks, do not use it as it will cause more problems than it’s worth and store any unused planks in a dry place in case repairs need to be made in the future.

FAQ

Naturally, there are a lot of questions surrounding installing engineered hardwood, and we have compiled some of the most frequently asked ones to give you an idea of what the whole process is like and what it is like living with an engineered hardwood floor.

Can or Should You Use an Underlayment?

An underlayment helps with sound quality and reduces wear, but it isn’t recommended for placing over a tile floor for instability reasons. Engineered hardwood that is placed directly over quality leveled tile will produce great results, so there isn’t much to worry about in that regard. 

Inspect your tile by walking over it to check for popping, looseness, and hollowness. Additionally, check for visual damages that could compromise the project, and you may need to repair your tile before you install your new flooring.

How Long Will Installing Take?

The prep will take 8 days, which includes having your home at the right temperature and humidity and letting your planks acclimate to the environment. The actual process of installing a floating floor takes around 5-6 hours in total. It is a project you’ll likely want to have a day off for and be free from distractions.

Is Engineered Hardwood Durable?

The material is reasonably durable because it is layered, making stability is quite good. If you have pets, you may be pleased to learn that it is scratch resistant to a degree, and you can expect a lifespan of anywhere from 20 to 80 years depending on the thickness and quality of the engineered hardwood.

It is worth noting that it is not advised to use engineered hardwood in a bathroom or kitchen because wood and water do not go together. Even though engineered hardwood holds up better against water than solid hardwood, you’ll still run into swelling and warping if the floor is getting excessively wet over an extended period of time. 

How Is Engineered Hardwood Cleaned?

Keeping your floor clean can increase the longevity of it, and of course, it looks better that way. You can clean your floor daily with a soft-bristle broom and a flat mop with a microfiber cloth like this MAYSHINE Microfiber Hardwood Floor Mop. Avoid using steamers or soaking the floor for conventional mopping.

Engineered hardwood does a decent job at dealing with moisture as mentioned above, but it is still best to avoid getting it too wet if possible. 

If you want to add a gorgeous shine to your new floor, you can use a polish like this Rejuvenate Professional Wood Floor Polish to take your hardwood to the next level. 

Final Thoughts

Installing a floating engineered hardwood floor is a great learning experience, and the end results are that of satisfaction and a brand new floor you can be proud of. Be sure to read the manuals of the wood you are buying and always seek out answers to questions you may have.

The prep, installation, and maintenance of engineered hardwood are all equally important, and ensuring that things are done correctly will leave you with results you can be happy with. Be sure to check out our other articles if you’d like to explore a multitude of options for new flooring. 

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