Wood Floor Finishing
Our flooring installation method will depend on the type of floor you’ve chosen – solid wood, engineered, square edged, parquet or laminate flooring. It will also depend on the condition and materials of your subfloor.
The principle methods of floor installation that we use are secret nailing and gluing.
We may need to do some preparation on your subfloor, and we also install soundproofing, insulation, and damp-proofing membranes beneath your floor if it is needed. (Soundproofing is a legal requirement in flats, and damp-proofing is a necessity when laying a floor directly onto cement.)
Once we’ve completed laying the floor, we can seal or oil it according to the final result you’re after.
The time it takes to lay a floor will vary greatly from project to project, but we know how precious time and schedules are in building projects of any nature and we pride ourselves in being efficient and meeting our pre-agreed deadlines.
We always leave your rooms clean and ready to use after any flooring installation.
Solid Wood Flooring Installation
Secret nailing is the traditional flooring installation method to use if you are installing a solid wood floor. Because solid wood floors expand and contract more than engineered wooden floors they need to be able to ‘move’, otherwise the floor will warp. Nailing down the planks allows for this movement.
But some solid wood floors can be glued down or floated over concrete as long as the sub floor is well prepared and the appropriate damp-proof membrane is used.
It also depends on the type of wood, and the width and thickness of the planks as to whether these alternative installation methods are suitable.
Engineered Flooring Installation
Engineered flooring is very flexible in the ways it can be installed. But the flooring installation method that you choose will be because of other factors – like the state of your subfloor, the position of the room, if any type of insulation is required, or if you have underfloor heating.
Engineered flooring boards can be nailed onto wooden beams (joists/battens). They can be glued down directly onto a subfloor, or they can be floated over an existing floor.
Depending on the subfloor and the use of the room it may be necessary to lay damp-proof membranes or insulation beneath the floor boards.
Square Edged Flooring Installation
Nailing is the only viable flooring installation method for square-edged flooring boards.
It is important when installing them that care is taken to lay leave adequate gaps between the boards so that they can expand and contract with the changes in moisture. The width of the gaps required will depend on the width of the flooring planks themselves. These gaps will alter depending on the seasons.
Parquet Block Flooring Installation
Installing a parquet or block floor requires precision and patience. How long it takes to install depends on how complicated the chosen pattern is. Since parquet floors consist of square-edged blocks they cannot be nailed, but are glued down to the subfloor.
The parquet blocks are installed from the middle of the room towards the edges. As you reach the edge of the room the blocks will need to be cut to size with a jigsaw in order to fit correctly.
Laminate Flooring Installation
Laminate flooring is commonly manufactured with a ‘click system’ on all four sides of the boards that allows you to snap the boards together as they are laid. Laminate flooring boards are usually floated. These types of floors are not nailed down as a rule.
Laminate wood flooring can be installed over any type of subfloor, including over underfloor heating systems. It does require a membrane to be laid under it though, depending on the subfloor type.
Just like other types of flooring you will need to leave a one-centimetre gap around the edge of the room so that the boards can expand and contract.
The appropriate flooring installation technique will depend two key factors:
You subfloor – whether it is concrete or wooden joists and in what condition it is in.
Your chosen type of flooring – tongue-and-groove solid wood boards, parquet, square edged boards, or engineered or laminate flooring
There are two principle methods of installation: secret nailing and gluing down. We will of course be able to advise you on the best method of flooring installation.
Depending on the state of your subfloor we may need to do some additional preparatory work to ensure it is suitable for laying the floor. This might include putting down a scree or a damp- or sound-proofing membrane depending on the building’s requirements.
Nailing down a floor board requires that there are wooden joists to nail the boards into. The ‘secret’ part of this method is that the nails are hidden from above because they are driven through the tongue that runs down the side of the flooring board. The tongue is then slotted into the groove on the adjacent board, hiding the nails from view.
For this method you need flooring boards of at least 18mm thick. This method is popular for installing solid hardwood floors.
Using a special adhesive to glue flooring planks directly onto a concrete subfloor is another flooring installation option. This method is more often used with engineered flooring boards, and is less appropriate for solid wood boards.
Your subfloor needs to be completely level before you start. You may need to add a layer of scree to the existing floor to get this right. And very importantly you need to use the glue that is recommended for the specific flooring type. The glue is spread onto the floor with a grooved trowel and the boards are then laid on top of this, fitted together by the tongue and grooves.
Gluing down a floor is not recommended if your subfloor is in bad condition. It is probably also the method that requires the most professional experience. You may also need to lay waterproof membranes before you are able to lay the floor.
When gluing down a floor onto concrete the slab needs to as dry as possible. As a general rule, you will not be able to lay a wooden floor on top of a concrete slab floor for at least six weeks, although this is likely to be longer.