In this guide we will take you through the general process of laying your Solid Wood floor. The technical details may change based on the room or the specific floor used so it is essential that you speak to an experienced professional fitter before you lay your floor and do some thorough research.
Before you lay your boards they will need to acclimatise. This means leaving them in their box in the middle of the room for at least 7 days. The room should be kept at a normal temperature (at least 18 degrees).
Make sure the subfloor is as clean as it can be. Sweep, hoover and wash the floor before leaving it to dry. It must also be level, which means as little deviation as possible.
The process will involve a lot of kneeling, so we recommend using padded knee pads. We also recommend safety goggles and dust masks for when sawing boards and ear defenders if using power tools.
You want to avoid boards less than 60mm wide at the edges of your room (that is width, not length). The best way to do this is to measure the width of your room and divide that by the width of your board. This will tell you how many boards wide the room is, and will tell you how wide the last board will be. If it's less than 60mm, cut your first board slightly thinner so that both boards are wider than 60mm.
There are two methods we recommend for securing the boards
The end rows can be nailed down with visible nails, these should be positioned 15mm into the board at 200mm intervals. The remainder of the boards should be Secret Nailed every 200mm to 400mm, whereby the nails are angled at 45 degrees (towards the centre of the board) through the tongue of the board so that they aren’t visible. This is best done with a Porta-Nailer.
This method involves applying a specialist adhesive between the plank and the subfloor. The adhesive is best applied to the subfloor. Remember not to apply too much adhesive, and any excess that oozes up should be wiped up immediately with a cloth.
Do not hammer the boards directly. Put a piece of wood against the board to spread the impact.
Solid flooring shrinks and expands slightly as the room changes temperature, because of this, there should be a 10mm gap between the edge of the flooring and the wall as well as surrounding pipes, fittings etc. Transition mouldings (Skirting boards, scotia and trims) are used to hide this gap.
If you're fitting around any pipes, mark the position of the pipe on the board you're laying. Drill a hole about 16mm larger in diameter than the pipe and make two angle saw cuts from the board edge to the sides of the hole to cut a wedge out of the board. Fit the board and carefully glue the small off-cut wedge behind the pipe.
When installing solid wood floors, it’s important to remember that when wooden boards expand, they expand across their width (across the boards) not their length (along the boards). Whilst the length of a room isn’t a concern, you should pay close attention to the width. If your room is more than 10m wide, all you need to do is separate the floor up into sections, leaving an expansion gap between the areas. A threshold trim or something similar can be used to hide the gap.
It is essential that you speak to an experienced fitter before you lay your floor and do some thorough research.