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  • Neil Smith

Wood floor installation methods explained - glue down

Gluing down real wood flooring is probably the most common method in use in South Africa today.

The adhesives used have changed and improved from the days when the black bitumen was used to install parquet blocks. Modern floor adhesives are both flexible and strong - ensuring your wood floor stays stuck down, where it belongs, while being able to move naturally.

Real wood floors - whether solid wood or engineered wood - will move as the seasons change - up here in the Johannesburg area wood flooring will expand in the hot, wet summer months and contract in the colder, drier winters. The type of timber in the flooring, the way it was cut, as well as the way the flooring is manufactured will all affect how much the floors will move. For example, a solid oak floor will move more than a solid teak floor, and more than an engineered oak floor.

The type of flooring - solid or engineered, plank or parquet - along with where the floors will be installed - will determine the best type of adhesive to be used, and whether some form of concrete primer is required or not.

As with all installations, sub-floor checking and preparation are key to a long-lasting floor. A flat, dry, clean and strong sub-floor is required - the stresses transferred from the floor through the glue into the sub-floor can be incredibly powerful, and often, when floor failures occur, the weakest link is the sub-floor screed.

Application of the glue is another critical area - ensuring that the correct amount of glue is used - cutting corners (and costs...) by spreading out glues lines too far or using the incorrect trowels is likely to lead to issues in the future. Having done floor inspections for the local flooring association I have seen first hand the resulting floor failures from the incorrect application of glue, poor floor preparation and a general lack of understanding on what is required for a successful installation.

As professional floor installers we would advise you on the best installation method, and choice of adhesive for your particular application. Contact us for a free quote on your next wooden floor project and to get advice on the best way to install your floors.

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