How to Install Solid Wood Flooring with the Glue Down Method?

May 9, 2024

Solid wood flooring is among the most durable and long-lasting flooring options. However, their durability immensely depends on the way they are installed. And solid hardwood is definitely the trickiest to install among all and is usually nailed down to the subfloor.

But since nailing needs a wooden subfloor as compulsion, it can be an extensive process for a homeowner like you. And hence, a glue-down method for installing solid wood flooring turns out to be an easier alternative when opting for DIY.

So if you are about to lay solid wood flooring in your home, here is how you can do it with an adhesive-based approach.

4 Steps To Install Solid Wood Floor Using Glue-Down Method

⇒ Clean The Subfloor

For a glue down approach, a concrete subfloor is better suited for properly adhering the floorboards to the ground. But if you’re installing your wood floor over tile, there will be some aspects related to structure and adhesion to consider.

However, irrespective of the subfloor type, the very first step before installation is cleaning that subfloor you’ll install it on. Make sure you clean and level the floor well to ensure an even installation of solid wood planks and firmness while glueing.

⇒ Let The Floorboards Acclimatise

Acclimatisation is one of the crucial things to consider when installing a wood floor. Since solid wood tends to expand and contract based on the humidity levels, it is important to let it set and adjust as per your space’s temperature.

So, leave the wood floorboards open in the room of installation for at least 3 to 4 days. This will ensure they adapt to your room’s humidity to avoid expansion issues later after installation.

⇒ Start Glueing Down The Floor, Plank By Plank

Once your subfloor is levelled and clean and your floorboards have adapted well to the room, it’s time to begin the installation.

Choose a quality adhesive recommended by your floor’s manufacturer to suit your solid wood floor. Also, make sure you have sufficient wood to cover your entire flooring.

Start with the longest wall in the room and install the flooring row-wise.

Here is how you need to install it.

  • Remove the baseboards and shoe mouldings around the edges.
  • Place spacers across the edges to keep a distance (i.e., expansion gap) of 1.5 cm between wood floor and wall.
  • Start spreading some adhesive on the subfloor with a trowel.
  • Going one row at a time, install solid wood floorboards over the glued area.
  • Fix them together with tongue and groove fitting.
  • Tap each with a tapping block to adhere the floorboard to the glue properly.
  • Keep glueing and installing until the wall edge.
  • Trim the last floorboard of the row with a saw to fit to the space – leave expansion gap.

⇒ Cover The Entire Subfloor And Replace The Baseboards

Continue installing all the wood floorboards with adhesive in the same manner until you cover the entire flooring.

Just make sure you spread the adhesive only in small sections to cover a few floorboards and repeat the process. Spreading too much glue over a large area at the same time can make it begin to dry even before you install the planks.

Once you have fixed all the floorboards, you can remove the spacers to leave the expansion gap open. Thereafter, replace the baseboards and shoe mouldings you removed previously.

Bottom Line

Installing solid wood flooring can be a challenging task. But with the right steps and an easy, glue-down method, you will be able to do it yourself properly. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines throughout the installation. With an attentive installation, you can lay your precious solid wood floor pretty well.