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Hardwood Flooring Installation Method

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Nail down vs. Glue down vs. Floating application

When most people think about installing wood floors, they typically envision a hammer, nails and a lot of back-breaking work. There are, however, several options available, and choosing one will one will depend on the flooring used, whether it is installed above or below grade, and the subfloor material. Basically, there are three methods used to install wood floors: Nail down, Glue down and floating.

Nail down application

Nailing down wood floors is the most common installation method. The process involves nailing the flooring directly to a wood subfloor. Typically, the flooring is blind nailed through the tongue so the nails are not visible after installation. This method works for solid and engineered floors, but only for wood subfloors. Nailing schedules are critical to ensure quality installations. The National Wood Association Guidelines recommends fasteners be space 8 to 10 inches for solid flooring, and 4 to 8 inches for engineered flooring. Using fewer fasteners could result in cracks or squeaks, while using more could result in split tongues.

Glue down application

The glue down method involves using adhesive to adhere the flooring to the subfloor. Adhesives work by creating a bond between the subfloor and the wood flooring through a chemical reaction process. While all adhesives work by changing chemically From a viscose liquid to a solid, they differ in the carrying agents or catalysts that activate them.

There are three types of wood flooring adhesives available today. They include water Based, solvent-based and moisture-curing. Because each type has different application and performance and VOC regulations.

Floating application

Using this method, the flooring is neither nailed nor glued to the subfloor but floated above it. The flooring, usually engineered, is glued or clipped to itself, tongue to grove, and at end joints. This gives the floor stability without actually fastening it to the sub- floor. This installation method is ideal over existing floors such a laminates, which can be difficult to remove.

Before beginning a floating installation, the installer must make sure the subfloor is dry and level and level any high or low spots. A moisture barrier underlayment will decrease any hollow sounding areas that could occur. The underlayment must wraps up the wall to completely encapsulate the flooring. Then, when the last board is installed the excess underlayment or padding can get trimmed off.

Note: For the best installation results, always read and follow the manufacturers' recommendation.

Modified On 9/8/2014 11:00:00 PM
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