Glue-down wood flooring is a great option for any room in the house. It’s perfect for basements, kitchens, living rooms, and more. It does best on concrete where moisture won’t be an issue. Many people prefer this type of flooring because it doesn’t require routine maintenance like refinishing or sanding.
Here are some tips to help you install glue down engineered wood flooring no matter what your experience level may be:
1) Make sure you have enough space to accomodate the glue-down wood planks. Rooms with 8-foot ceilings work best but smaller spaces can still be accommodated by cutting strips to fit around the perimeter of the room then simply cutting off pieces as needed during the installation process.
2) If you are using wood that has an engineered pattern as part of the flooring, make sure to read all instructions prior to beginning. Some patterns will require more than one application for full coverage and some have unique peel-back techniques when applying border pieces.
3) Use strongest wood glue for furniture repair down underlayment in every room except baths & laundry rooms where moisture may be an issue. It is against OSHA regulations to install glued wood on top of existing subfloors or carpeting due to fire hazard concerns. Therefore plan accordingly when doing your rough floor layout measurement so that there is enough space between the walls and the glued wood floor for adequate ventilation should you use traditional padding (as opposed to luxury vinyl tile).
The underlayment should extend at least 1/2 inch past the walls into the room. This will allow for proper expansion & contraction when humidity levels go up and down, especially in basements.
4) Use a good flooring adhesive or contact cement designed specifically for hardwood installation. Titebond III is well known to be one of the best available on the market today and remains pliable even after 24 hours allowing your flooring time to acclimate before final nails are installed during finishing work. Proper moisture content in both the subfloor and wood prior to installation is crucial for a long-lasting finish that won’t squeak or bow as it ages over time. Don’t forget about preparing your tools! An easy way to do this is to submerge all of your tools in water for at least one hour prior to using them. This will help prevent the adhesive or contact cement from sticking to tool surfaces during installation.
5) Prepare your subfloor properly by placing 2″ of closed-cell foam underlayment down first, then add sand and a layer of concrete backer board on top. The foam is necessary over concrete due to expansion & contraction issues that may occur as humidity levels go up and down throughout the year. The sand acts as a cushion between the flooring and the backer board (the backer board provides moisture resistance). If you are installing into an existing wood subfloor with carpeting attached it may be less expensive to simply rip it off so that you can use standard foam and backer board without the sand.
6) Always layout your flooring in a room before installation. This will give you an opportunity to check for flaws prior to starting work. It is much easier to do this while it’s still in the box rather than when it’s already installed on the subfloor! If there are flaws, don’t cut them off because they will naturally blend into the pattern as they are laid down. Doing so may void warranty exclusions set forth by manufacturers of glue-down wood planks (they typically allow for up to 4% variance).
7) After removing loose debris with a vacuum or broom, use masking tape and cardboard template boards to help you align the layout of the flooring properly. Make sure to remove tape removed from the wood prior to installation!
8) Roll out your underlayment over all of the subflooring first and then roll out one row at a time. It is very important that you keep pressure on the planks as you roll them so that they are aligned correctly during installation. This will prevent your seams from opening up later in the process when it’s too late to correct it! Always install plank edges down and butt joint together tightly for maximum durability. Corners should always be mitered for a perfect fit every time while leaving no gaps between pieces even if using border pieces with peel back or application techniques (wider than 3/4″). Leave space between tiles and remove all templates prior to backing up so that they don’t get caught up in the installation process.
9) Once your first plank row is installed repeat this same exact process for each additional row until you reach the desired height of your room. All seams should be nailed down using a flooring nailer and full head nails (used similar to how you would use a brad nailer). You can use 80-120dpi depending on how fat your wood is. The thinner boards like hickory or oak will require the higher number while thicker lumber like pine may only need 60-80 dpi depending upon application thickness as well. Additionally, for strips with profile cuts, it is best to go with 120 over 80dpi since you will be able to hide the head of the nail inside the profile cut.
10) After you have installed all of your planks, use a piece of 60 or 80 grit sandpaper and lightly sand down the entire floor prior to sealer application. This will help remove any bumps, uneven seams, dents, and other imperfections that you may not have noticed earlier in the process. It is best if you can do this step by hand because it gives you better control over how much area you cover as well as providing maximum force/pressure when pressing into the surface for a high-quality finish.
11) Next, apply your first coat of polyurethane over all of your planks using a brush or roller to make sure that it gets into every seam and crevice properly. Don’t worry about doing too good of a job at this point because your goal here is just to lay down a good sealer coat that will properly bond with the wood later on. To ensure proper adhesion, make sure that you wipe off any excess immediately after application and do not allow it to dry before doing so. Do this for 2-3 coats at appropriate drying time between applications.
12) If using border strips with peel back or application techniques, now is the time to install them! Use your masking tape template boards again and align them accordingly as well as making sure that they butt tightly up against the seams of tiles without leaving gaps all while hiding the seam underneath behind their profile cut if possible. Once you get one side started just roll over with your roller and apply pressure from row to row. Continue in this manner until all of the strips are installed.
13) After your final application coat has dried completely, begin to apply a border around your room and cut in any seams that will be visible after you have smoothed everything out. You can use either a brush or roller depending on how many areas you want to cover quickly and evenly one time. Try not to minimize this step as it is very important for creating an even surface and gives your flooring project that final professional touch! We recommend using at least 2 coats on each side (top/bottom) with proper drying time between applications while finishing up by lightly sanding once more before applying the final finish coats later on. Make sure all of the imperfections have been removed before moving onto the next step of sanding!
14) Allow your floor to dry for 24-36 hours before applying the final polyurethane coat for finished protection. This will also help make sure that you avoid any bleed through and it provides a longer-lasting sealer surface. Do not use large roller covers or heavy coats in this stage as it can easily leave marks on the floor once fully dried. Just go with light coats here using 120-160dpi depending on lumber thickness being applied correctly without leaving runs, sags, and drips behind before finally sanding one more time prior to finishing up with a high-quality wax like Momma’s Wax or Swirl Away (to name two of our favorites).
15) Finally, after your floor has dried for 72-96 hours, you can begin to install baseboards and other accessories around your home such as picture frames or trim pieces!
A few more tips… You may want to use the edge of a really soft foam paint roller cover that you can find at most hardware stores in place of an expensive edger just prior to installing borders if you want something less time consuming and easy to hold onto as it will help hide any uneven edges left from miter cuts when you begin finishing up the perimeter of your room.
Having a helper to assist you with the above steps can also be very helpful when working on large areas as it will allow you to lay down planks in rows and helps ensure that you are not leaving any gaps behind between each row of planks as well as keeping joint compound from getting onto other parts of the finished floor later on. By doing this, he/she can quickly fill things in for you after every row is laid down and smoothed out properly.
When using a laminate cutter or table saw, always keep your guard up and make sure that you never go back over with anything sharp into already cut/sliced pieces! This will help reduce possible mistakes such as chipping and splintering that can happen if you go back in with anything that could leave a noticeable mark on your finished product. Skipping this part will not only allow for something like splinters to appear as they come loose but it will also reduce the lifetime of whatever tools you are using and may cause additional problems such as possible cuts or wounds when handling uncut pieces later on! Make sure that everything is properly masked, taped off and covered accordingly before cutting up pieces or particles from whatever material you are working with!
Installing engineered wood flooring is a great way to update your home and living space. There are many advantages to installing this type of floor, including its durability and the fact that it is easy to clean. However, not everyone has access to contractors who specialize in these types of installations or may be worried about installation on concrete because they have heard it can be difficult. It’s true that you won’t find as much information online for installing these floors directly onto concrete surfaces due to how uncommon this setup usually is; however, there are still some things you should know before moving forward with an installation like this one so that you avoid any potential problems down the line. The next time someone asks if they can install their own engineer.