How To Lay Solid Wood Flooring

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Laying Solid Wood Floors

There are three main methods used to fix Hard wood flooring. Which method you choose may depend on the sub floor you are fixing to, and the wood flooring you are fixing.

Nailing Solid Wood Flooring

  • The wood should be stored in the area it is to be laid in for a few days to allow it to acclimatise.
  • All furniture and floor fittings should be removed from the room.
  • It is best if possible to lay the planks at right angles to the existing floorboards; this will increase the stability of the finished floor.
  • If the area you wish to cover is uneven or cement, then the floor will need to be boarded out with ply first to achieve a nice flat surface
  • It is a good idea to open up some packs first and loose lay them to get a feel for the mixture of shades and lengths of the planks
  • Make sure you have the correct tools ready: Broom and dustpan, saws, nails, hammer, wood floor nailer, pry bar, spacer wedges, mallet and knee pads.
  • Choose the planks you will use to start your first row. Long planks should be the easiest to start off with. Put the planks with the groove to the wall. Pop some spacers in place to make sure you have a gap for expansion and then drill some little pilot holes to avoid splitting the wood. Nail this first row down, through the wood, close to the wall. Don’t worry too much about these nails being seen, if they are nice and tight to the edge, they will be covered up by your edge trims.
  • Blind nail the first couple of rows by hand to make sure you have a nice stable start to the room. Drill pilot holes at 45-50 degree angles through the tongues first. Make sure the nails are positioned at the joists of the original floor and every 10 inches
  • When installing the rows, position a small piece of flooring along the edge and give it a sharp rap with a mallet or hammer to tighten it against the previous row before nailing. This will ensure the joints are nice and tight.
  • Stagger the joints by at least 6 inches
  • Once you have installed the first 3 rows you can work a lot faster using a wood floor nailer. This is slipped over the board tongue, and then strike the plunger with a mallet to drive the nails in at the perfect angle.
  • Once you get to the last row, use a pry bar to wedge the planks tight before nailing in place in the same way as the first row. This will again be covered up by your edge trim.

Gluing Solid Wood Flooring

  • The wood should be stored in the area it is to be laid in for a few days to allow it to acclimatise.
  • All furniture and floor fittings should be removed from the room.
  • Make sure the surface is totally dried out and clean before you start
  • It is a good idea to open up some packs first and loose lay them to get a feel for the mixture of shades and lengths of the planks
  • Make sure you have the correct tools ready: Broom and dustpan, Saws, trowel or adhesive gun, spacer wedges, clean cloths or adhesive wipes and knee pads.
  • If the wood is to be glued to a concrete floor, a suitable moisture barrier should be applied to ensure moisture doesn’t penetrate and swell the wood.
  • Apply the glue to a workable sized area. If it is a tub of glue it is normally applied evenly with a trowel. If it is a tubed glue it will normally be applied in ribbons.
  • Starting at the longest wall start pressing your planks firmly down into the glue making sure there is good contact. As you lay the planks, make sure they are slotted tightly together.
  • Stagger the joints by at least 6 inches
  • Wipe away any excess adhesive before it dries
  • Make sure you leave an expansion gap all around the room. Use wedges to keep this in place as you lay the floor
  • Allow the floor plenty of time to dry

View our range of wood flooring tools and wood flooring adhesives.

Laying Solid Wood Flooring with Self Adhesive Underlay

  • The wood should be stored in the area it is to be laid in for a few days to allow it to acclimatise.

  • All furniture and floor fittings should be removed from the room.
  • It is a good idea to open up some packs first and loose lay them to get a feel for the mixture of shades and lengths of the planks
  • Make sure you have the correct tools ready: Broom and dustpan, Saws, knife, spacer wedges and knee pads
  • Place a polythene membrane over the floor, overlapping the joins by 20-25cm
  • Roll out the self adhesive underlay in rows without overlapping the joints
  • Cover the entire floor surface with the underlay, leaving the protective plastic on the sticky surface
  • Carefully peel back the protective layer to the width of a couple of boards exposing the sticky surface
  • Cover the sticky surface with a spare piece of the protective film.
  • Lay your first row down and place some fitting wedges to give your expansion gap
  • Lay the second row down, tightly fitting it into the first
  • Gently Peel back the protective film so the adhesive sticks to the planks
  • Continue to lay a couple of rows and peel back the protective film until the whole floor is laid
  • The floor can be walked on and used straight away

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