Once you’ve chosen the best floor to suit your needs and budget, you’ll need to think about which wooden floor fitting method to use. No matter whether your floor is *solid or **engineered, it’s important to decide on a suitable fitting method to suit the floor and the conditions. We have created this guide to help you either install the floor yourself or to act as an aide memoire if you want to discuss the options with a professional fitter.
Popular Wood Flooring Fitting Methods Compared:
Glue-down installation involves the use of a bonding agent or adhesive, which is applied directly on to the subfloor and can be applied to either concrete or wooden subfloors. If you are laying over a concrete subfloor you will first need to put down a two part epoxy damp proof membrane to ensure no damp rises up into your new floor. We recommend using Kerakoll EP21. A Glue-down installation can be very stable when done properly, although you do need to allow a good amount of time before walking on your floor. The adhesives used in this process need to bond to the floor, and can be quite messy if done by a less skilled installer. Another important consideration in choosing glue-down installation is your choice of adhesives as some are only suitable for flooring up to a certain width. To avoid warranty issues, we supply Kerakoll Silovil Flex, which allows you to install flooring with widths of up to 220mm.
Nail-down installation is the most straightforward of all solid wood floor installation methods but is only advised if you have a wooden subfloor. When installing over plywood the direction you choose to lay the planks does not matter. However, if you are going to nail down a new floor over existing floorboards you must face the planks of the new floor in the opposite direction to the existing floorboards, essentially making a criss-cross pattern. This is done to ensure stability and avoid the risk of warping or buckling. Solid wood floors are also thicker; hence they need to be nailed down in order to stay in place.
Staple-down installation is very similar to nail-down, only staples are used instead of nails to attach the floor to the subfloor. Staple-down installation is simpler than the nail-down method.
Floating Installation is the most do-it-yourself (DIY) friendly of all the installation methods because it is the easiest and the fastest to do, and it does not require any special skills or prior experience. An underlay is required with a floating installation to prevent contact between the floor and the subfloor and more importantly to serve as a moisture barrier and insulation.
* Solid wood flooring is a popular type of wood flooring made from one piece of wood timber such as Oak or Walnut. Also often referred to as real wood flooring, solid floors have been around for years and are extremely popular in both domestic and commercial properties.
** Engineered wood flooring is a type of wood flooring constructed from a three-layer core of wood together with plywood or MDF and a top layer of wood veneer. The core of the floor comes from Oak and Walnut, which are considered amongst the most durable and strongest of all wood species.
Fitting Methods Compared
|Involves the use of a bonding agent or adhesive, applied directly onto the subfloor. Can be applied to either concrete or wooden subfloors.
|Requires a damp-proof membrane on concrete subfloors. Must choose suitable adhesives for the flooring width. Can be messy if done by a less skilled installer.
|Solid wood floor installation method that involves nailing the floor to a wooden subfloor.
|Only advised for wooden subfloors. Requires consideration of plank direction, especially when installing over existing floorboards. Solid wood floors need to be nailed down to stay in place due to their thickness.
|Similar to nail-down, but uses staples instead of nails to attach the floor to the subfloor.
|Simpler than the nail-down method.
|Easiest and fastest installation method. Does not require any special skills or prior experience.
|Requires an underlay to prevent contact between the floor and the subfloor and serve as a moisture barrier and insulation. Most do-it-yourself (DIY) friendly of all the installation methods.
What are the main methods for fitting a wooden floor?
The main methods for fitting a wooden floor are glue-down, nail-down, staple-down, and floating installation. The choice depends on the type of flooring (solid or engineered), the subfloor (concrete or wood), and your DIY capabilities.
What is involved in a glue-down installation of wooden flooring?
A glue-down installation involves using a bonding agent or adhesive applied directly to the subfloor, which can be either concrete or wooden. If you’re laying over a concrete subfloor, you’ll first need to put down a damp-proof membrane. This method can be very stable when done properly, but it requires a good amount of time to allow the adhesive to bond to the floor.
How does nail-down installation of wooden flooring work?
The nail-down method is most straightforward for solid wood floor installation and is advised if you have a wooden subfloor. If you’re installing over existing floorboards, you must place the new floor planks in the opposite direction to the existing floorboards to ensure stability and avoid the risk of warping or buckling.
What distinguishes staple-down installation from the nail-down method?
Staple-down installation is similar to the nail-down method, but uses staples instead of nails to attach the floor to the subfloor. This method is simpler than the nail-down method.
What is a floating installation of wooden flooring?
A floating installation is the most DIY-friendly method as it’s the easiest and fastest to do, requiring no special skills or prior experience. An underlay is necessary with this method to prevent contact between the floor and the subfloor, and to serve as a moisture barrier and insulation.