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Engineered Oak Flooring Installation Guide

We have put together this helpful wood flooring installation guide to help you prepare and install your engineered oak flooring.  We have included comprehensive video guides below.  If you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to get in touch.

At Stone and Wood Shop, we sell three main types of wood flooring:

When properly installed and cared for, an engineered wooden floor will make your home look great and give you many years of good service. Take some time to read the information below to help ensure your floor starts off and stays looking good. Installing wooden flooring can be a job for the DIY enthusiast but different fitting methods require different levels of skill and knowledge. Here is an outline of the most common installation method:  

  1. Engineered Oak boards as a structural floor - In this situation the engineered Oak boards are fixed by 'secret nailing' (see below) them to your timber joists to form a new floor or to replace existing floor boards. The engineered Oak flooring must be suitable for the task, so normally 20 mm thick and the joists should be spaced no wider than 400 mm centres.
  2. As a floating floor -  Engineered wooden floor board are strong as they are crafted from layers instead of single peices of solid wood. The term 'floating' refers to the fact that with this method the engineered wooden floor boards would not be stuck or fixed down in any way but instead, glued together and laid or 'floated' onto an underlay. Using this method it is relatively quick but do note that for a good result the subfloor must be nice and flat.
  3. By secret nailing - Engineered wooden floor boards can be fixed to existing floorboards, plywood or chipboard decks by 'secret nailing'. This involves using a nail gun which fires special nails at an angle through the tongue of the board and into the subfloor beneath. The 'groove' of the next engineered board, when installed hides the point where the nail is driven in- hence the term 'secret nailing'. Nail guns suitable for fixing engineered wooden flooring can be found at most hire shops. Use 38 mm nails for 15 mm thick engineered boards and 50 mm nails for 20 mm boards and don't be tempted to use the ' Paslode ' type builders gun to fix your engineered Oak or Walnut as these smooth, non serrated nails are not suitable.  
  4. Stick down method - This method can be used on plywood & chipboard but when laying engineered wooden floor boards on a timber background the ' secret nailing ' method is the most straight forward way of achieving a ' fixed down ' floor. Similarly if you want to 'fix' your floor but have a concrete subfloor you will need to 'stick down' to the subfloor.

Tools For Laying Solid Wood and Engineered Wood Flooring

Measuring, Setting OuT Before Laying A Wooden Floor

How To "Secret Nail" A Wooded Floor

How To "Stick Down" A Wooden Floor

How To Lay A "Floating Floor" With Engineered Floor Boards

Sub Wooden Floor Preparation

  1. Wooden - Generally floorboards, chipboard & plywood. Must be fixed down if loose and levelled if uneven. The new floor can be installed by floating, secret-nailing or gluing.
  2. Concrete - When installing wooden floors onto concrete subfloors, consideration needs to be given to the moisture level in the substrate, particularly if the floor is to be partially or fully glued, in which case a surface-applied moisture suppressant will be required. It is essential to understand this process. Click here for comprehensive information CREOM

Engineered boards generally do not need to be acclimatised, however it is good practice to allow your wood floor to sit in its natural environment for a week or so before it is installed. The house should be weather-tight (eg; windows and external doors installed and roof on) and all wet-trades such as plastering should be complete and dry.

A 10mm expansion gap should be left at all room edges and other points of contact (pillars, hearths etc). Skirting boards can be removed prior to installation and then put back afterwards to cover expansion gaps. If this is not possible, a scotia bead or perimeter trim can be fitted instead. Architraves and door frames should be "undercut" to allow floor to tuck underneath them. Threshold strips should be fitted in adjoining room doorways to meet other floorcoverings. A 10mm gap must be left around radiator pipes coming up through the floor, which can be covered by wooden pipe collars. Our floors are supplied in their raw state, ie: sanded, which then requires finishing once installed. We thoroughly recommend Osmo Polyx Oil, having used it ourselves extensively for many years.

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