Installing Glue-Down Wood Floors
How to Install Engineered Hardwood Flooring:
Please read the previous page, on subfloor preparation, before considering moving on to the installation steps. This article presumes that your floor is flat and ready to accept glue, and if concrete, is dry as discussed.
This section, is designed to answer the following:
- Do I need to acclimatize my flooring?
- What kind of glue should I use?
- Must I remove the baseboards, before installation?
- Where do I start laying my hardwood flooring?
- What is “rolling” the floor?
Do I need to bring the flooring into my house ahead of time?
No, as with the “Classic” wood flooring, the Mirage Engineered wood floor, is delivered to your door, at the right moisture content, assuming of course your supplier has taken the necessary humidity control steps in warehousing the flooring before you take possession of the product ……. if this is true…. Don’t Mess With It!
What kind of glue should I use?
Mirage recommends Bostic Best or BST Urethane… or Franklin 811 or 711 Plus. This does not mean that other products are not suitable, but rather these are the companies, that Mirage could get a secure warranty from the glue manufacturer to say that: “Yes, these companies will warranty their product to hold down to concrete or a plywood subfloor, a Mirage engineered wood floor.”
Most installers have their own product preferences, and will probably use what they are used to. If you are doing it yourself….and particularly, if you are at all doubtful about the moisture content of your cement slab, we recommend using the Bostic BEST. This glue will act as a vapor barrier as well as a glue. It is more expensive, but researched and tested by the Mirage people.
Must I remove baseboards, casing & doors?
You must remove all your baseboard, since it is rarely the right height to allow the flooring to slide underneath..and trim the base of the casings (door trim) and door frame, to allow the new floor to be installed underneath as well.
Now is the time to check your doors as well. Open them their full turning circle, and make sure they have enough clearance the entire way round… trim if necessary before they damage any of your new wood flooring.
Where do I start laying my flooring?
Unlike its 3/4″ solid wood flooring cousin, this engineered flooring can be installed with the tongue, OR the groove facing you. That means that you can lay starting in any position in the room, even in the middle, if you so chose. Just make sure that the line you are using as your starting point, is in fact, lined up with the most important wall, hall or visual line of sight. That’s what you are going to notice when all is said and done.
Often it is started against a railing or stairs, so one does not have to rip a strip of flooring to meet up correctly with a nosing. (see the lower section on “special situations”) As with the Classic flooring, it should be installed in the opposite direction to your floor joists.
On concrete, your flooring is usually installed parallel to the longest wall.
How do I start?
Chalk a line on the floor 31″ from your guide wall.
Why 31″?… This is the width of 12 boards of 2 9/16″ floor plus 1/4″ expansion space against the wall. (Adjust for different floor widths.) This is the last part of the floor you will install. Lay down a straight edge (aluminum bar, piece of plywood, whatever as long as it is straight) and nail, hilti or screw this into place along the straight chalk line, chalked as above. The guide will be on the 31″ side of the line.
Spreading the Glue?
Read directions on the glue can and trowel out the appropriate amount of glue for about a 20″ strip. Use the correct V notched size trowel as specified on the can. Note the “open time” of the glue, adjusting this time for current humidity and temperature conditions. You do not want to spread more glue than you can cover, within that time period, or you may have trouble getting a good bond.
Gluing your fingers?
Its going to happen…… have appropriate solvent available!. Clean fingers and floor immediately or you’ll find it later and not be able to get it off… you or the wood! Again be very careful as you lay each piece of flooring into place that you are not forcing glue into the tongue and grooves.
Installing the wood strips?
Using the 31″ area to kneel in, line up the tongue of the boards against the straight edge of the guide and press into the adhesive, working from left to right. Inspect each piece before installation, and discard or use in closets, any boards that you are not happy with. Tap into place if necessary.
All the guidelines discussed for installing solid 3/4″ flooring, apply here as well. Don’t line up two end splices at the same place (should be 6″ apart).
When you hit the end wall, and must trim a board, leave at least 6″ of wood to cut off, so this piece of flooring can be used to start the next row at the other end. Presort for colour and flaws according to your own likes.
With all brands of flooring, the manufacturer makes the customer, the last inspector, so…. you the customer must assure that any wood that is unsatisfactory is NOT installed (ie.not up to the grade you purchased). I’ve dealt with lots of manufacturers and none of them will cover installation costs, if you dispute product quality AFTER the flooring has been installed.
Do I need to roll the floor?
Most installers, and glue manufacturers recommend rolling your floor, although there seems to be some debate as to how heavy it should be. This is where I would go by the glue manufacturers recommendations.
The rolling is to assure that the wood is in fact seated firmly into the glue and squeeze out any blobs that you may have missed on the way through.
How about the original 31″?
Once you have finished the main section, it is the time to remove your original straight edge and install in the same manner the remaining floor.