How To Install Luan Floor – Tips And Tricks

Luan flooring, also popular as lauan plywood, is a versatile material that has been handy in construction for decades. Originally developed in the Philippines, luan wood is made from thin layers of tropical hardwood glued together to create a strong.

Durable material that can be handy for various applications. One of the most popular uses for flooring is in the construction of subfloors, providing a stable base for carpet, tile, or hardwood flooring. However, its versatility does not end there.

Luan wood is also commonly handy for constructing furniture, cabinetry, and musical instruments. It’s smooth surface and uniform grain make it an ideal choice for painting or staining, and its lightweight nature makes it easy to work with.

While there are concerns about the sustainability of using tropical hardwoods like luan, many manufacturers are now using alternative materials to create similar products. Despite these concerns, this flooring is popular for its versatility and durability.

Luan Floor

Types Of Floor

“Luan” is a term that is sometimes handy to refer to different types of flooring materials. However, it’s essential to clarify that “luan” typically refers to a type of wood rather than a specific flooring material.

Luan, also popular as Lauan or Philippine Mahogany, is a tropical hardwood commonly handy in construction, cabinetry, and other woodworking applications. If you are looking for types of flooring materials that might be similar to or associated with Luan, here are a few possibilities:

  • Luan Plywood: Luan plywood is a type of plywood made from Luan (Philippine Mahogany) veneers. It is lightweight and often used as an underlayment for various types of flooring, particularly in the past. However, it’s not typically used as the primary visible flooring surface.
  • Luxury Vinyl Flooring: Luxury vinyl flooring (LVF) is a popular type of flooring that replicates the look of hardwood, including tropical hardwoods like Luan. LVF comes in planks or tiles with various designs and textures and is known for its durability and water resistance.
  • Engineered Hardwood Flooring: Engineered hardwood flooring consists of multiple layers of wood with a top layer of real hardwood veneer. It can offer a similar appearance to Luan hardwood while providing better stability and resistance to moisture.
  • Solid Hardwood Flooring: Solid hardwood flooring made from Luan wood would be genuine Luan hardwood flooring. However, due to its availability and cost, Luan is not as commonly used for solid hardwood flooring as other hardwood species.
  • Bamboo Flooring: Bamboo flooring is an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional hardwood flooring. It can have a similar appearance to some types of Luan hardwood flooring.

Gather The Necessary Tools And Materials

Gather The Necessary Tools And Materials

Before starting the installation, ensure that you have the correct measurements for the floor area and purchase enough luan plywood sheets to cover it. Also, consider any specific recommendations or requirements from the manufacturer of the chosen flooring material. To install this flooring, you’ll need the following tools and materials:


  • Luan Plywood Sheets (1/8 inch to 1/4 inch thickness)
  • Measuring Tape
  • Pencil or Marker
  • Utility Knife or Circular Saw
  • Straight Edge or T-Square
  • Staple Gun or Nail Gun
  • Staples or Nails suitable for Luan (18-gauge staples or 16-gauge nails)
  • Safety Glasses and Dust Mask
  • Level (for checking the subfloor)
  • Hammer (if using nails instead of a nail gun)
  • Sawhorses or Workbench (for cutting luan sheets)
  • Vacuum or Broom (for cleaning the subfloor)
  • Rubber Mallet (for ensuring a tight fit between sheets)


  • Luan Plywood Sheets (as required for the floor area)
  • Construction Adhesive (optional for added adhesion to the subfloor)
  • Underlayment Seam Tape (if required by the manufacturer)
  • Appropriate Fasteners (staples or nails)
  • Wood Filler (for filling staple or nail holes)
  • Sandpaper (for smoothing rough edges)
  • Primer (if planning to paint the luan)
  • Paint (if you intend to paint the floor)
  • Flooring Material (vinyl, laminate, or carpet)
  • Flooring Adhesive or Double-Sided Tape (if using vinyl flooring)
  • Shoe Molding or Baseboard Trim (to finish the edges)

8 Easy Steps To Install Luan Floor

8 Easy Steps To Install Luan Floor

This floor is a type of underlayment that is handy for smoothing out the surface of the subfloor before installing vinyl or carpet flooring. This floor is made of thin sheets of plywood glued and stapled to the subfloor.

Also, the floor can improve the appearance and durability of the final flooring, as well as reduce noise and moisture. However, this floor also has some drawbacks, such as being prone to warping, swelling, and delamination if exposed to water or humidity. Therefore, it is important to follow the proper steps to install Luan floor correctly and avoid potential problems. Here the full installing processes.

1.Prepare The Surface Where You Will Install The Floor

Prepare The Surface Where You Will Install The Floor

Before installing this floor, you must prepare the subfloor’s surface by ensuring it is level, clean, and dry. You can use a level or a straight edge to check for any high or low spots on the subfloor and use a sander or a filler to correct them.

You must also remove any nails, staples, or debris from the subfloor and vacuum it thoroughly. If the subfloor is made of concrete, you must apply a primer or a sealer to prevent moisture from seeping into the floor.

2.Measure And Cut The Luan Sheets To Fit The Room

Next, measure and cut the Luan sheets to fit the room. You can use a tape measure and a pencil to mark the room’s dimensions on the Luan sheets and use a circular saw or a utility knife to cut them.

You should leave a gap of 1/16 inch between the Luan sheets and the walls to allow for expansion and contraction. Also, You should stagger the joints of the Luan sheets so they do not align with the joints of the subfloor or the final flooring.

3.Lay Down The First Layer Of Luan Sheets

Lay Down The First Layer Of Luan Sheets

After cutting the Luan sheets, you can start laying them down on the subfloor. You should begin from one corner of the room and work your way across, leaving a gap of 1/16 inch between each sheet. You should also dry-fit the Luan sheets before gluing them to ensure they fit properly and make any necessary adjustments.

4.Secure The Luan Sheets To The Subfloor

Secure The Luan Sheets To The Subfloor

Once dry-fitted the Luan sheets, you can secure them to the subfloor using adhesive and staples. You should apply a thin adhesive layer on the back of each Luan sheet using a trowel or a roller and press it firmly onto the subfloor.

Using an electric stapler or hammer tacker, you should also staple each Luan sheet every 4 inches along the edges and every 6 inches in the center. You should ensure that the staples are flush with or slightly below the surface of the Luan sheet.

5.Fill Any Gaps Or Holes In The Luan Sheets With Wood Filler

After securing the Luan sheets to the subfloor, you must fill any gaps or holes with wood filler. You can use a putty knife or a finger to apply wood filler on any cracks, seams, or staple holes on the Luan sheets and smooth it out with a damp cloth or a sponge. You should let the wood filler dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

6.Sand Down The Surface Of The Luan Sheets To Smooth Out Any Imperfections

Next, you need to sand down the surface of the Luan sheets to smooth out any imperfections and create an even base for the final flooring. You can use an orbital sander or a sanding block with fine-grit sandpaper to lightly sand over the floor’s entire surface. You should be careful not to sand too much or too hard, as this can damage or expose the layers of plywood. Also, You should vacuum up any dust or debris after sanding.

7.Clean And Vacuum The Surface Of The Luan Sheets

Clean And Vacuum The Surface Of The Luan Sheets

Before applying the final layer of Luan sheets, you need to clean and vacuum the surface of the first layer to remove any dirt, oil, or residue that might interfere with the adhesion of the second layer. You can use a damp cloth or a mop to wipe the floor’s surface and let it dry completely. You should also vacuum the floor’s surface to remove dust or particles.

8.Apply The Final Layer Of Luan Sheets

The final step is to apply the second layer of Luan sheets over the first layer. This will provide extra strength, stability, and smoothness for the final flooring. You should follow the same steps as the first layer: measuring, cutting, dry fitting, gluing, stapling, filling, sanding, and cleaning the Luan sheets.

However, you should ensure that the joints of the second layer do not coincide with those of the first layer or the subfloor. You should also leave a gap of 1/32 inch between the Luan sheets and the walls to allow for expansion and contraction.

Cost Of This Floor

The cost of this floor depends on several factors, such as the size of the room, the quality of the Luan sheets, the type of adhesive and staples, and the labor involved. According to some online sources, the average cost of this floor ranges from $0.50 to $1.00 per square foot for the materials and from $0.75 to $1.50 per square foot for the installation.

Therefore, the total cost of the floor for a 10 x 10-foot room can range from $125 to $250 for the materials and from $75 to $150 for the installation, resulting in a grand total of $200 to $400. However, these are only rough estimates, and the actual cost may vary depending on your location, contractor, and preferences.


A luan floor can be a practical and cost-effective option for homeowners looking to update their flooring. With its lightweight and easy-to-install nature, This floor has become popular with many homeowners. Its durability and ability to withstand heavy foot traffic make it a reliable option for high-traffic areas.

Additionally, the floor’s smooth surface can provide a clean and polished look to any room. Its affordability compared to other flooring options makes it attractive for those watching their budget. In short, choosing a floor can lead to a successful flooring renovation that is both practical and visually appealing.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.Can This Flooring Be Used As The Primary Flooring Material?

Ans: This flooring is not recommended as the primary material for high-traffic areas or areas exposed to moisture. It lacks the durability and water resistance needed for long-term use as a finished floor. It is best used as an underlayment or temporary flooring solution.

2.How Thick Is Flooring?

Ans: This flooring is typically available in thicknesses ranging from 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch (3.2 to 6.4 mm). Its thin profile makes it suitable for underlayment without adding significant height to the overall floor.

 3.Can I Install Tile Or Hardwood Directly On This Flooring?

Ans: It is not recommended to install tile or hardwood directly on this flooring. Luan is not sturdy enough to support the weight and stresses of these flooring materials. Proper underlayment, such as cement backer board or plywood, is required for tile or hardwood installations.

4.Is Flooring Water-Resistant?

Ans: this flooring is not naturally water-resistant. It is vulnerable to damage from moisture and should not be used in areas prone to water exposure, such as bathrooms, kitchens, or basements. Moisture can cause warping and delamination of luan.

5.Can I Paint This Flooring?

Ans: Yes, you can paint this flooring to match your desired aesthetics. Make sure to clean and prepare the surface before painting, and use a high-quality primer and paint suitable for use on wood.

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