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Glue-Down Installation of Hardwood Floors


Glue-down installation is one of the earliest ways to put hardwood floors. You’ve found the ideal place to understand the fundamentals of glue-down installation of hardwood floors. DIY hardwood floors installed with the glue-down method are sturdy and long-lasting. The glue-down process of installing hardwood flooring has been around for quite some time and is a tried-and-true method.

Equipment Required for Laying Hardwood Floors

A trowel with a quarter-inch-wide notched square is ideal for spreading adhesive.

Saw dust can get trapped under your floor panels and connecting joints, so have a broom and dustpan handy. After installing hardwood flooring, the last thing you want is for it to be uneven.

The carpenter’s crayon is used to draw guides on the panels to be cut. This will also be used to make markings on the floor before laying the boards. Using the glue-down approach requires a high degree of precision. Thus, it would be best if you always had this available.

A circular saw will be used to sever panels as needed. In addition, every eight inches, score your substrate sheets with a circular saw. Curling discussions can be avoided if this is done.

Many hardwood panel kits already include glue for assembly. I recommend Bostik’s Best Adhesive if you need a bond for your hardwood panels.

Nails for Lacework – These are the nails you’ll need to attach the panels to the walls and wall strips.

Sheets of plywood substrate sit on the concrete and support your hardwood flooring.

Soft Cloths – These will be used to wipe up any glue spilled on the floor when the hardwood is installed. If the adhesive dries, it will be difficult to remove. Once the glue has dried, removing it without special chemicals and cement can be difficult. After installing your hardwood flooring, you’ll want to use your soft towels to wipe them down.

Gluing the fingers of your rubber gloves together is preferable to gluing your fingers together. In addition, after laying hardwood flooring, many people don’t appreciate having dried glue on their hands for weeks.

Getting Ready to Lay Hardwood Floors

Using the glue-down method to install hardwood flooring necessitates a thoroughly prepared surface to set the flooring panels. The floor must be smooth, dry, and as clean as possible because this is where you’ll affix the flooring panels that will make up your hardwood floor. Anything that looks like it could be grease or oil should be cleaned up thoroughly before you try to glue it.

It’s also crucial that your subfloor is perfectly flat and level. If the subfloor is uneven, you can even it with patching cement from the hardware store.

With the glue-down method, you’ll also need to decide between two ways to install hardwood panels. Two methods are available to you when putting in hardwood floors: the Walk On method and the Wet Lay method.

When installing hardwood floors using the Wet Lay method, glue is spread across the subfloor, and the hardwood panel is set atop the adhesive. Once the glue has gotten sticky, you can move on to the next section. First-time glue-down installers may benefit by placing subsequent panels before the bond becomes tacky, allowing for panel alignment adjustments after a few minutes.

Hardwood floors laid with the Walk On method necessitate accurate panel placing. In this hardwood flooring method, the panel is applied in the glue after waiting for it to get highly tacky. Doing so can avoid smearing glue on your boards as you work. Seasoned hardwood fitters commonly use the Walk On method due to the superior final results it may deliver. Since you’re here reading about it, we assume you know the Wet Lay method of installing hardwood flooring.

Hardwood Floor Laying Procedures

Spread your substrate sheets out on the floor. Make sure it is flat, smooth, and clear of debris.

Two, heat the adhesive. It should be slightly warmer than room temperature for optimal handling. You won’t be able to use your glue if the temperature is below room temperature.

Third, apply glue to the room’s corner using the square notch on your trowel. Use enough glue to keep the board in place, but save some for later so you have enough to finish the job. You should have gotten more glue before gluing if you weren’t sure you had enough. If you run out of adhesive before you’re done laying flooring, plan on spending an extra day on the project.

After the glue has dried in the corner, you should try to lay the first wood panel down straight on it. Due to the sticky nature of the bond, it is best to get the first placement of the board as close as possible right away. If you had used the Walk On approach, the panel would have been permanently affixed to the floor within seconds.

Continue adding panels as in step 4 until you reach the final meeting, which shouldn’t fit entirely, and then stop. Make a mark on the board with the crayon, then cut it with the saw.

Six, ensure the first row is firmly wedged in so that the rest of the floor can rest securely on top of it.

Seven, wipe away any excess glue from the top of your first row with a damp cloth before it dries. If you wait too long to remove the bond, you’ll have a more challenging time doing it.

I hope you didn’t butcher the panel scrap you removed from the end of the first row. You’ll be moving on to the next row using that panel. With all the panels offset, your hardwood floor is guaranteed to look great.

If the panels you’ve been laying show signs of bubbles, hills, or slopes, place a heavy, flat object on top of these areas to keep them from moving while the glue bonds them to the substrate.

10 Once again, clean up. Clean up the mess of glue and sawdust. Mineral spirits applied to a soft cloth can remove any dried glue that may have been missed. Quickly mop up the mineral spirits so they don’t damage the floor. A brand-new hardwood floor is in order.

Advice from Experience: Laying Hardwood Floors

-Plywood sheets are the ideal substrate material.

It is simpler to adjust for surface leveling discrepancies when working with thicker substrate sheets. However, before placing down your substrate sheets, you should do everything possible to get the surface as level as possible.

To ensure the best possible bond between the panel and the substrate, it is recommended that flat, heavy objects be placed on each new panel as it is placed on the floor. Your panels’ surfaces should be protected at all costs. You can always use the panels as a place to rest if you’ve had nowhere else to go. Avoid getting glue on them directly.

You Can Be Confident That Putting in Hardwood Floors Was A Good Decision

Once the hardwood flooring is cemented, you may relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor. You won’t have to deal with creaky floor syndrome nearly as much if you install your hardwood floors utilizing the glue-down method and do it right.

I’m crossing my fingers that you paid close attention to the directions and had high-quality flooring. This is due to the difficulty of replacing a glued-down hardwood floor. Unless your pursuit of pleasure is detrimental, of course. If you ever want to replace that glued-down hardwood floor, prepare to get out the sledgehammer, crowbar, and circular saw.

Expert flooring and carpet cleaning advice from Niv Orlian, who also runs the website Learn more about Hardwood Floor Installation by visiting

Read also: How to Overcome Changes During Your Home Restoration Project.