This blog post is all about installation advice, it will provide you with everything you need to know about the different types of installation available for wooden floors. There are three main installation methods: Floating, Nailing and Gluing. Below we will run through some important points to note when deciding on which method works best for you, and then we will explain the three different methods in detail.
- Ensure site conditions are dry
- Ensure sub-floor is sufficiently level and dry.
- Always use a moisture barrier over cement ground floors.
- Use adhesive only for floors which are intended to be glued down.
- For floor batten construction, ensure the battens are packed where necessary. Always fix the packing to the battens. Do not place batten ends in a line, they must be staggered throughout the floor area and laid end to end.
- Always leave the correct expansion allowances at walls and all fixed points. Gaps may also be necessary between boards, depending on the type of system used.
- If any floor boards/planks appear faulty, do not install them, set them aside or cut to waste.
- We recommended that installation is carried out by a professional wood flooring fitter with a proven track record in installation procedures.
A floating floor is one that is laid down without any glue or nails and is allowed to “float” above the subfloor and underlay. This type of installation is more commonly used with laminate floors. The tongue and groove system on laminate flooring allows the boards to be clicked together like a jigsaw. The floating method enables laminate flooring to be laid down on top of an existing floor without having to rip up the old floor, this is only advised for when an old floor is already firmly attached to the subfloor. Floating is usually the most cost effective and quickest type of installation.
The nailing method is commonly used for engineered and solid wood floors to give it optimum stability and ensure no movement of boards. Nailing is a straightforward way of fitting a floor by simply nailing the boards to a plywood base or to battens/joists. Usually, the flooring is nailed through the tongue part of the board (a portion of the plank that sticks out from the board and fits into the groove of the adjacent board) by using a secret nailing gun pointed at 45°. With this method, the nails are nearly invisible after installation and give a smooth finish.
The glue-down system involves using a glue or an adhesive to directly stick the floor boards to your subfloor. The glue creates a bond between the concrete or wood subfloor and the new floor to minimise movement and enhance the sound and feel of a floor. This method is more commonly used when installing engineered or solid wood, especially in large areas. When gluing a floor, it is important that the subfloor is perfectly level and free from any dust or debris.