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Installing Glue Down Hardwood Floors

How To Install

Download Hardwood Flooring Installation Instructions | PDF's
PDF icon for PDF fileQuick Guide on How–to–Install Hardwood Floor – 300kb pdf | Our short installation guide for those with DIY experience.
PDF icon for PDF fileFull Guide – Complete Installation Instructions on Installing your Hardwood Floor – 1.5 mb pdf | Our full set of DIY installation instructions.

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Use this method for solid T&G hardwood above wood or concrete subfloors. Keep these things in mind before you begin:

  • Always choose a urethane based adhesive designed to be troweled onto the subfloor. Do not use any adhesive that lists water as an ingredient.
  • Use books, buckets of glue or other heavy objects to weigh down areas where the flooring is not securely in contact with the subfloor.

NOTE: Not all manufacturers approve glue down installations for solid hardwood floors above concrete subfloors. Always check with your manufacturer to ensure this type of installation will not void your warranty.

Install the First Row

Take extra time when installing the first row of hardwood flooring. It is critical that this row be straight even if the walls are not.

  1. Measure out your expansion spacing in at least two places along the longest wall. Snap a chalk line between these points.
  2. Dry fit the first row by laying out the hardwood with the groove toward the wall. Add spacers between the wall and the flooring. Make sure this first row is completely straight. Scribe fit (if necessary) so that the flooring matches the contours in the wall.
  3. Once satisfied with the fit, remove and stack boards in the order they will be installed. Take care not to scratch the finish while stacking.
  4. Use a trowel to apply the flooring adhesive to the subfloor according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  5. Re–install the first row of flooring. Place spacers between the wall and each board. Ensure boards are in full contact with the adhesive.
  6. Squeeze each T&G tightly together. Wipe away any excess adhesive. If desired, use small finishing nails to hold the first row in place.
  7. At the end of the wall, measure and cut a plank to fit. Use a pinch bar (if necessary) to fit the last plank in place. Place a spacer at the end of the first row.
  8. Evaluate the first row to ensure it is straight and level. Adjust where needed.
  9. Let the first row set completely before continuing your installation.

Install the Main Part of the Floor

  1. Use a short board (it should be at least 8"–10" in length) to start the second row.
  2. Spread adhesive and fit the hardwood together as you did on your first row.
  3. Work your way across the floor until you reach the last row. Weigh down areas of concern.

Install the Row

  1. Measure out your expansion spacing in at least two places along the wall. Snap a chalk line between these points.
  2. Dry fit the last row by laying out the hardwood with the tongue or cut part of the board toward the wall. Scribe fit (if necessary) so that the flooring matches the contours in the wall. Make sure this last row is completely straight.
  3. Once satisfied with the fit, remove and stack in the order the boards will be installed. Take care not to scratch the planks while stacking.
  4. Use a trowel to apply the flooring adhesive to the subfloor according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  5. Re–install the last row of flooring. Place spacers between the wall and each plank. Ensure all boards are in full contact with the adhesive.
  6. At the end of the wall, measure and cut a plank to fit. Use a pinch bar (if necessary) to fit the last plank in place. Place a spacer at the end of the first row.
  7. Evaluate the last row to ensure it is straight and level. Adjust where needed.

Roll the Floor

Use a 100lb–150lb roller to roll the floor as recommended by your flooring manufacturer to ensure all flooring is securely in contact with the subfloor. Rollers can be rented from most equipment rental shops. Or use heavy objects to weigh down the floor during your installation to simulate rolling.

Let It Set

Allow the adhesive to set for between 8–24 hours. Do not walk upon or place anything on the newly installed floor during this time. Do not remove the spacers until the floor is completely dry.

Hardwood Manufacturers


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