fitting wood flooring


When considering investing in a new floor, the fitting method you choose is a really important part of your decision making process.  So how do you choose which method will work best for you?  In order to help you decide, we’d like to explain the 3 main fitting methods available today: floating, glued and nailed.

1. Floating - A floating floor is a floor that is neither nailed nor glued to the sub-floor.  The only place glue might be used is between the tongue and groove. In a domestic situation, a floating floor might be laid over a sub-floor or over an existing floor after laying an appropriate underlay.  Floating floors are not recommended for solid wood flooring unless the dimensions of the floor board and room are small.
2. Glued – Fully glued floor fitting is arguably amongst the most popular choice for fitting a wooden floor in this day and age.  To glue a wooden floor, a full coverage of flexible wood adhesive is applied to the sub-floor and the boards are placed directly on top.  A glued floor will feel as solid as a nailed floor as well as allowing for expansion and contraction (due to the flexibility of the glue).  Furthermore, when fitted on top of UFH (under floor heating) this will also prevent existence of air pocket which might occur.
3. Nailed – Nailing is the traditional method used to fit wooden floors.  Nailing generally involves what is known in the trade as “secret nailing”.  Secret nailing means putting nails through the tongue of the wooden boards.  Those nails are then covered when the groove is butted up to the secured board.  Nailed floors can be laid over timber battens; directly on to the timber floor joists or directly on to concrete sub-floors after fitting a layer of plywood or an Oriented Strand Board (OSB).

One key factor for the quality of your fitting of your floor will be your sub-floor.  As a general rule of thumb, any wooden flooring laid will only be as good as the sub-floor it is laid on.

Sub Floors are normally split into 3 main types:
I.    Floor joists or battens
II.   Existing floor boards/ply or chip board (OSB)
III.  Concrete or Screed.

As a common rule all the above sub-floors must be level to a tolerance of plus/minus 2mm over an area of two meter squares.  Concrete or screed sub floors must be dry and tested before laying wooden floors.

Here are some questions you need to consider before you decide how you will fit your wooden floor:

a.    Are you planning to fit a solid wood flooring or an engineered wood flooring?
b.    What is your sub-floor made of?
c.    What is the condition of your sub-floor?
d.    Is my sub floor even and level? If not, what might be applied to create a new sub floor?
e.    Is there any humidity present now or likely to be any humidity in the future in the area you plan to lay the floor?
f.    Do you plan to insulate under the floor and if so what method of insulation would you prefer to use?
g.    In what direction should the floor lie and why?

If you're looking for further advice on the best fitting method for your property, contact us today. As well as offering an extensive range of wooden flooring, we also offer a fitting service which is second to none, with over 25 years experience of fitting flooring.