Glue Installation Wood Flooring

A glue down wood floor is adhered to the subfloor with water-resistant glue. This installation method is a more time intensive process than installing a floating floor, but not quite as intricate as nailing down the floor. There are three factors that determine the best install method:

  1. The area of installation
  2. Subfloor material
  3. Installer recommendation

Even if all three of those factors lead you to a glue down installation method, it’s worth pointing out that not all wood floors can be installed using adhesive. A flooring manufacturer has the final say on installation options available. This specification should be clearly stated in the install instructions and the product’s warranty.

Wood floors that are adhered with a manufacturer approved floor adhesive are engineered wood, not solid. The reason solid hardwood is not recommended for glue down is because of its susceptibility to moisture content. Solid hardwood floors react to seasonal changes in humidity, causing the planks to expand and contract. Gluing a wood floor down can cause the wood to distort since it won’t have the ability to expand and contract freely. Glue down installation wood flooring works with engineered wood because of the construction and stability of engineered wood planks; they are layered sheets of plywood and a top solid wood veneer, all of which are stacked and bonded in a cross-ply construction. Because of this engineered wood construction, glue installation wood floors can be installed in areas solid wood floors are not typically allowed, such as in a basement.

Installation Preparations

No matter what, all flooring material (including a glue down wood floor) must acclimate to the environment they will be installed in. The subfloor preparations are just as important. Before installing glue down wood flooring, you need to prepare your subfloor by doing the following:

  • Test the moisture content of your subfloor. If you have a plywood subfloor, the difference in moisture content between the planks and the subfloor should be no more than 4%. For concrete subfloors, vapor emissions from the subfloor must not exceed 3 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft. in a 24-hour period.
  • Clean all residues from the subfloor.
  • Use a 10-foot level tool to make sure the subfloor is level. Smaller levels can be used in tighter spaces.
  • Acclimate the flooring planks to the room temperature. A professional installer can recommend the best acclimation time based on relative humidity and subfloor condition.
  • Control the installation environment. The installation space should be fully enclosed. An open jobsite could expose the wood flooring to excess moisture from humidity and potentially the flooring installation.

How to Install Glue Down Wood Flooring

A moisture barrier is always recommended to protect your investment. Certain subfloor conditions will require one. Check with your installation professional before gluing hardwood flooring. Bostik’s MVP is recommended for GoHaus wood flooring. Once the moisture barrier is applied and set, a urethane-based adhesive should be used exclusively for gluing hardwood flooring from GoHaus. Bostik’s Ultra-Set® SingleStep™ is recommended to protect against moisture and install in one application. Read the glue manufacturer’s instructions (printed in detail on the glue container) to choose the correct size trowel.

  • Create a working line parallel to the starting wall, in multiples of our engineered plank width, to set up the baseline of installation.
  • Following the spread rate and curing time suggested by the glue manufacturer, spread glue evenly on the subfloor to cover an area appropriate to the number of planks that can be laid in time for best result of the glue.
  • Lay one row of flooring planks along the entire length of the work line. Add each additional row of flooring, watching the pattern repeat and offsetting or staggering the joints as desired. Generally, joints should either match in a specific pattern or be staggered by no less than six inches.
  • A ½” expansion space should be left around the perimeter. Roll the whole floor with a 150 lb. roller within 3-6 hours after installation. Finished areas should be covered with a breathable protective paper, NEVER PLASTIC, immediately after installation to prevent damage. Do not tape protective paper to the finished surface of the wood for extended periods of time.

Complete wood floor installation instructions can be found here.

GoHaus offers a variety of glue down wood flooring. Our engineered wood flooring can also be installed by floating the planks or nailing them down. Before purchasing, we always encourage buyers to request floor samples. If you’re looking at glue installation wood floors with us, we offer up to 6 free samples to help you choose the best floor for your space. Contact us at 1-877-334-2877 or to learn more.

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