The 3 Most Common Methods of Fitting (and a 4th that’s not so common)
- Secret Nailing (for solid or engineered)
- Glue or Stick Down (for solid or engineered)
- Floating (for engineered only)
- Self-Adhesive Underlay (for solid or engineered)
1. Secret Nailing
The use of a special Floor Nailing Tool drives a barbed steel cleat into the tongue of the new floor board at an angle of 45 degrees, and then into a suitable kiln-dried batten, joist or plywood subfloor (using non-dried battens can result in ‘cupping’ or warping of the floor boards due to excess moisture). It’s also possible to drill and screw each plank in this way, so that the boards can be removed as and when required—but this obviously takes much longer to do.
2. Glue or Stick Down
This method requires the wood floor to be stuck directly to the subfloor with a suitable flexible adhesive (rigid can be used for Engineered flooring). We recommend the Sika range of products because of their quality performance and value for money. The Sika T54 Flexible Adhesive and Sika Liquid Batten Adhesive provide a measure of flexibility whilst maintaining a strong bond, thus allowing the oak floor to expand and contract without damaging the structure.
In some situations, the Sika 5500S Rigid Adhesive can be used when fitting engineered wood flooring because this type of construction does not generate as much dimensional movement as solid, but the extra coverage of the flexible adhesive makes this the most popular choice.
This is where the new floor is fitted over an underlay without being fixed to the subfloor, which is ideal when there is some doubt regarding excess moisture in the subfloor or the absence of a damp-proof membrane, because we can supply underlay that has an integrated DPM.
We recommend our Sonic Gold Excel underlay (double DPM) or Comfort Silver underlay (single DPM) because of their superior performance.
NB - This method of fitting is only suitable for the Engineered Oak flooring and must not be used for Solid Oak boards.
The underlay we recommend (Sonic Gold Excel or Comfort Silver) both incorporate a damp-proof membrane to isolate the wood floor from any moisture beneath, and so reduce risk of dimensional changes and damage due to the new floor ‘soaking up’ the excess moisture available.
This method of installation can result in a slightly cushioned feel when walking on the finished floor surface, but this can be overcome by installing the heavier 21mm structural grade board instead of the lighter 15mm.
4. Self Adhesive Underlay (means you can ‘sort of’ float a solid floor)
We also supply a Self-Adhesive Underlay that allows solid or engineered oak to be ‘sort of’ floated. It's simply rolled out onto the subfloor and then when the removable film is peeled back, the flooring is then pushed down and stuck onto the underlay. You can read a little about this product in our Free Info Pack
To Watch a Demonstration Video for Self-Adhesive Underlay Click Here
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT FINISHED FLOOR LAYOUT
How you actually fit your flooring when you receive it is up to you, but we advise you to stagger the joints as the diagram below shows, because although the preferred way seems to vary from country to country, in our opinion this appearance creates a more authentic-looking and stronger floor.
The pictures below show the various appearances available depending on where you position the ends of the boards. See our Installation Guidelines for more detailed information on how to fit wood flooring.