Hardwood floor layer


Hardwood floor layers install floors made of solid wood. They prepare the surface, cut parquet or board elements to size, and lay them in a predetermined pattern, straight and flush.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to hardwood floor layer:

installer of harwood floors
timber floor layer
parquet floor installer
hardwood floor installer
parquet floor layer
wood floor layer

Minimum qualifications

A high school diploma is generally required to work as a hardwood floor layer.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Hardwood floor layer is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Hardwood floor layer career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to hardwood floor layer.

carpet fitter
resilient floor layer
ceiling installer
staircase installer
tile fitter

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of hardwood floor layer. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of hardwood floor layer with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

carpenter supervisor
bridge construction supervisor
plastering supervisor
tiling supervisor
construction quality inspector

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of hardwood floor layer.

  • Wood cuts: Different ways of cutting wood, across the grain or parallel with it, and radial or tangential to the core. The behaviour of cuts of wood under different circumstances and the optimal cut for a given purpose. Influence of special attributes of the wood, like knots or defects.
  • Types of wood: Types of wood, such as birch, pine, poplar, mahogany, maple and tulipwood.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of hardwood floor layer.

  • Create floor plan template: Lay out the floor plan of the area to be covered on a suitable medium, such as strong paper. Follow any shapes, nooks and crannies of the floor.
  • Install wood elements in structures: Install elements made of wood and wood-based composite materials, such as doors, stairs, plinths, and ceiling frames. Assemble and affix the elements, taking care to prevent gaps. Inspect the work and notify the responsible person in case of problems.
  • Work ergonomically: Apply ergonomy principles in the organisation of the workplace while manually handling equipment and materials.
  • Pin parquet: Use air fired pins to pin parquet to the underfloor while the adhesive cures. Fill the resulting holes with putty.
  • Join wood elements: Bind wooden materials together using a variety of techniques and materials. Determine the optimal technique to join the elements, like stapling, nail, gluing or screwing. Determine the correct work order and make the joint.
  • Fill nail holes in wood planks: Fill holes left by nails in wood planks with wood putty. Remove excess material with a plastic trowel or putty knife.
  • Transport construction supplies: Bring construction materials, tools and equipment to the construction site and store them properly taking various aspects into account such as the workers’ safety and protection from deterioration.
  • Inspect construction supplies: Check construction supplies for damage, moisture, loss or other problems before using the material.
  • Lacquer wood surfaces: Apply one or several layers of lacquer to a wood surface to coat it. Use a roller and a brush for larger surfaces. Load the roller or brush with lacquer and coat the surface evenly. Make sure no debris or brush hairs stay on the surface.
  • Create smooth wood surface: Shave, plane and sand wood manually or automatically to produce a smooth surface.
  • Identify wood warp: Identify wood that has changed shape due to stresses, wear or incorrect installation. Recognise the different types of warp, like bow, twist, crook and cup. Identify possible causes and solutions to wood warp.
  • Prepare surface for hardwood floor laying: Make sure the base is properly prepared. Flatten out any uneven surface by applying thin strips of wood called firrings, sanding and refixing any loose or creaky boards.
  • Follow health and safety procedures in construction: Apply the relevant health and safety procedures in construction in order to prevent accidents, pollution and other risks.
  • Monitor processing environment conditions: Verify that the overall conditions of the room where the process will take place, such as temperature or air humidity, meet the requirements, and adjust if necessary.
  • Interpret 3D plans: Interpret and understand plans and drawings in manufacturing processes which include representations in three dimensions.
  • Clean wood surface: Use a variety of techniques on a wood surface to ensure it is free of dust, sawdust, grease, stains, and other contaminants.
  • Use measurement instruments: Use different measurement instruments depending on the property to be measured. Utilise various instruments to measure length, area, volume, speed, energy, force, and others.
  • Wax wood surfaces: Treat wood surfaces with an appropriate wax, such as solid paste wax or liquid wax. Apply the wax to a wood surface and rub it in. Buff the surface to a shine using manual or electric equipment.
  • Interpret 2D plans: Interpret and understand plans and drawings in manufacturing processes which include representations in two dimensions.
  • Lay underlayment: Lay an underlayment or pad on the surface before placing the top surface covering in order to protect the carpet from damage and wear. Tape or staple the underlayment to the floor and attach the edges to each other to prevent intrusion of water or other contaminants.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of hardwood floor layer. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Wood moisture content: The amount of water contained in wood materials. The effect of wood moisture on the size and physical characteristics of the wood. Suitable moisture contents for different uses.
  • Aesthetics: Set of principles based on which something is appealing and beautiful.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of hardwood floor layer. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Advise on construction materials: Provide advice on and test a wide range of construction materials.
  • Lay marquetry: Lay marquetry, decorative parquet surface including curved elements usually cut with laser equipment.
  • Apply restoration techniques: Select and apply appropriate restoration techniques in order to achieve the required restoration goals. This encompasses preventive measures, remedial measures, restoration processes and management processes.
  • Answer requests for quotation: Make up prices and documents for the products that customers may purchase.
  • Use sander: Use different types of drywall sanders, automatic or manual, handheld or on an extension, to sand surfaces to a smooth finish or to rough them up for better adhesion.
  • Monitor stock level: Evaluate how much stock is used and determine what should be ordered.
  • Work in a construction team: Work as part of a team in a construction project. Communicate efficiently, sharing information with team members and reporting to supervisors. Follow instructions and adapt to changes in a flexible manner.
  • Calculate needs for construction supplies: Take measurements on site and estimate the amount of materials required for the construction or restoration project.
  • Acclimatise timber: Acclimatise wooden materials to make sure they will not change size after installation, which may cause damage or produce an otherwise inadequate result. Leave the material in climatic circumstances very similar to those in the location where they will be used. Allow several days for the wood to acclimatise, depending on the type and circumstances.
  • Seal flooring: Use a suitable sealer to seal a floor, preventing damage from fluids and other spills.
  • Nail floor boards: Nail floor boards using traditional flat bard nails.
  • Estimate restoration costs: Estimate the cost implications of restoring and replacing products or parts.
  • Screw and plug parquet boards: Perform screwing and plugging on parquet boards by countersinking a hole no deeper than half the thickness of the board, screwing it into the subfloor and filling the resulting hole with a matching plug.
  • Keep personal administration: File and organise personal administration documents comprehensively.
  • Advise customers on maintenance of parquet floors: Ensure that customers understand how to take proper care of their parquet floor. Advise them to protect the floor from scratches by padding chairs and other furniture with felt pads. Explain how to clean the floor and to avoid water.
  • Order construction supplies: Order required materials for the construction project, taking care to purchase the most suitable material for a good price.
  • Process incoming construction supplies: Receive incoming construction supplies, handle the transaction and enter the supplies into any internal administration system.
  • Tend CNC laser cutting machine: Monitor and operate a computer numerical controlled (CNC) laser cutting machine according to regulations.
  • Use safety equipment in construction: Use elements of protective clothing such as steel-tipped shoes, and gear such as protective goggles, in order to minimise risk of accidents in construction and to mitigate any injury if an accident does occur.
  • Keep records of work progress: Maintain records of the progress of the work including time, defects, malfunctions, etc.

ISCO group and title

7122 – Floor layers and tile setters

  1. Hardwood floor layer – ESCO
Last updated on August 27, 2022

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