I'm planning on replacing my hardwood floors but I don't know if my current floors are glued down, floating, or nailed. Is there a way to find out before starting? This is on the second floor, so the base is wood. The same hardwood is installed on the first floor with a concrete slab.

  • Is there a heating register that comes up through this floor any place? If so then it is often possible to evaluate the flooring some by lifting the heating register grate and viewing the flooring edge on.
    – Michael Karas
    Commented Dec 20, 2019 at 12:11
  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. If either of these answers is good, you can click the checkmark next to it to "accept" it. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to participate here. Commented Dec 20, 2019 at 13:11
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    If the flooring is nailed you may want to leave it in place. Floating floors glued or snap together I can understand removing but true T&G can be refinished and has value. Pulling up a t&g floor also creates a big gap at the walls that would require more work to fix, so think through what you plan to do if you find it is nailed (T&G).
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Dec 20, 2019 at 14:14

2 Answers 2


There are a few ways to check this out. Like Michael stated above, a register is a good place to start. You can also look for a short piece of base board and remove it and check to see if the floor lifts up. Check any thresholds or transition pieces because many snap into a track and can be easily removed.

  • Thanks Jack. I do have a transition piece between the dining room and living room. I can see two nails in that piece. Could that be an indication that HW panels are also nailed down?
    – Mateen
    Commented Dec 21, 2019 at 11:08
  • @Mateen no, that's not really an indication of the panels being nailed down. If you can pry up the transition, carefully, you could probably tell.
    – JACK
    Commented Dec 21, 2019 at 12:45

You can't nail hardwood floor to concrete. So, If same hardwood floor is installed on concrete slab in first floor then most probably it is either glue down or floating floor.

Is your decision to replace floor is final or depends on what type of floor you currently have ? If it is final then You can cut it in corner and check.

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    If it's throughout the house do the cut in a closet, not a corner. Commented Dec 20, 2019 at 12:44
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    On a slab T&G is nailed to furring strips, I have done a couple of these floors and a basketball court all on a slab and yes they were nailed.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Dec 20, 2019 at 14:17
  • There are two reasons I have for replacing the hardwood. First We have a half wall, a divider, between the kitchen and dining room, where we have hardwood. We want to remove that wall. But by doing so, it will leave the corresponding area without hardwood flooring. I have extra pieces to the existing hardwood, but I don't see a way to put them in that area without breaks. Second the dining room extends to the living room where it is carpeted. And we want to replace that with hardwood. So having a single flow would be great. But I'm open to suggestions that would meet our two objectives.
    – Mateen
    Commented Dec 21, 2019 at 10:54
  • If you have Hardwood in kitchen and dining room then I think only option is to use matching wide transition strip to cover the area ( which I guess would be around 4 1/2 inches ) which will be exposed after removal of wall. It is hard to find wide transition strip though. Commented Dec 21, 2019 at 11:49

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